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Category Archives: Death Penalty


A Discussion of Views on the Death Penalty Surrounding the Pittsburgh Shooting

By Phillip J. Murphy |

In the wake of the terrible tragedy that occurred at the Pittsburgh synagogue in late October and resulted in the death of 11 people, federal and state prosecutors are preparing to move forward with capital murder charges against the suspect connected with the incident, Robert Bowers. Bowers was charged in a 44-count indictment that… Read More »


Pope Francis Declares Death Penalty Unacceptable In All Cases

By Phillip J. Murphy |

In an announcement that could affect the use of the death penalty throughout the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, in early August, Pope Francis declared that the death penalty is always wrong, regardless of the circumstances of a case. He also officially altered this in the “Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church,” the… Read More »


Administration Encourages Use Of Death Penalty In Certain Drug-Related Crimes

By Phillip J. Murphy |

Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo to all U.S. attorneys identifying which drug-related crimes should warrant prosecutors pursuing the death penalty. Specifically, he advocated for federal prosecutors utilizing laws that permit capital punishment as a sentence in both non-violent and violent cases. In providing concrete examples of cases where he feels that… Read More »


U.S. Supreme Court To Decide On Sixth Amendment Rights In Death Penalty Case

By Phillip J. Murphy |

On January 17th, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in McCoy v. Louisiana, a case which poses an important question in criminal defense cases regarding whether a defendant’s attorney can admit their guilt to a jury against the defendant’s wishes, and whether doing so violates the Sixth Amendment. This particular case involves a defendant… Read More »


“On The Death Penalty, New Jersey Got It Right”

By Phillip J. Murphy |

December marks the 10th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty in New Jersey. After the Appellate Division found the procedures by which capital punishment was being imposed in the state to be unconstitutional in 2004, the Death Penalty Study Commission—as created by the legislature—recommended its abolition. In its place followed life imprisonment… Read More »

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