In a case called Ramirez v. Collier, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called into doubt the religious beliefs of someone on death row.
The state of Texas sentenced Jones to death in Tarrant County in 2001 after he was convicted of beating his 83-year-old great aunt Berthena Bryant to death in 1999. He was 20 years old at the time.
In addition to lethal injection and execution, the new law adds firing squads to the list of acceptable methods. While that might seem like a relic of the distant past, it is now very much a reality in 2021 South Carolina.
People of color continue to be excluded from jury service because of their race. This trend dates back for decades. This is especially true in serious felony trials and death penalty cases.
Andrew Brown was shot to death by a police officer in Elizabeth City, NC just one day after Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter. In the days that followed, protests have emerged in Elizabeth City and in Raleigh, the state's capital.
Virginia is now also the first Southern state to abolish the death penalty. But Gov. Northam’s remarks about the new law signal a renewed effort to end capital punishment across the country.
Many states have passed versions of a Racial Justice Act, but some still fight relief for racial discrimination in death-penalty cases.
Virginia is on track to become the first southern state to eliminate the death penalty, but Tennessee and Kentucky could follow.