Reflections of the death penalty


compiled by Tippa Naphtali
22nd July 2009

This is an interview with Mrs. Preston, Frances’ childhood friend on the day of Frances Newton’s execution, September 14, 2005

On Wednesday 14th September 2005, Frances Newton became the third woman to die in Texas’ death chamber since executions resumed in 1982, and the first black woman to be executed in the state since the Civil War.

She was executed despite considerable evidence of prosecutorial negligence, inadequate defence, and recent documentation of evidence lost or suppressed during the original prosecution. On Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Newton’s final appeal (unanimously and without comment).

On Monday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted 7-0 to deny clemency to Newton, who was convicted of the 1987 murder of her husband and two young children. The board’s refusal was echoed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the federal district court for the Southern District of Texas, and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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A Cruel and Unusual Punishment

(taken from the 4WardEver website)

Originally aired June 23, 2007. This is a segment from CNN Saturday Night. Rick Sanchez explores the reasons behind the wide disparity in the number of women vs. men given the death penalty in the United States.

Punishment is supposed to be for the protection of society, and for the reformation of the wrongdoer. It purports to protect society by preventing the same criminals from repeating their crimes, and by acting as a deterrent to other prospective criminals.

Capital punishment is a notorious failure in these respects. It does indeed remove the particular culprit from the possibility of repeating their crime (or alleged crime); therefore, is not the man who, if suffered to live, would have been likely to endanger our safety.

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