Donations to the Community of Sant'Egidio are tax deductible
under current regulations

Also this year it can target the 5x1000 to the Community of Sant'Egidio
Write the number 80191770587 in the tax return

Andrea Riccardi: on the web

Andrea Riccardi: on social networks

Andrea Riccardi: press review

change language
you are in: no death penalty - news contact usnewsletterlink

Support The Community

 
October 9 2009 | UNITED STATES

Oklahoma/USA

Two men released after spending 15 years in Oklahoma's death row: unreliable witnesses against them

 
printable version

Death Penalty Information Center

Two More Exonerations From Death Row: 137th and 138th Persons Freed in Oklahoma

Two men who were charged with murder in a 1993 drive-by shooting were released on October 2 after spending almost 15 years on Oklahoma’s death row. District Attorney David Prater dropped charges against Yancy Douglas (left),35, and Paris Powell (right), 36, after deciding the state's key witness was unreliable.  "Ethically, and on my duty, I could not proceed in this case and had to dismiss it," Prater said. Derrick Smith, a rival gang member to the defendants and the state's main witness, was one of the apparent targets in the shooting. A federal appeals court in 2006 found that Smith had received a deal from the prosecutors that was not revealed to the defense and overturned the convictions. Smith testified against Powell and Douglas in their 1997 trial, but later admitted he never saw who shot him, that he was drunk and high that night, and that he testified only because prosecutors had threatened him with more prison time.

The District Attorney added, “We all came to the opinion that without Derrick Smith, we did not have a case we could prove beyond a reasonable doubt.” Jack Fisher, Powell’s attorney, said his client has always maintained his innocence and that Powell’s release is “bittersweet. It should have happened a long time ago. It’s unfortunate that he had to spend 16 years of his life in jail. What it boils down to is they had no evidence he was guilty. The testimony that they used to convict him was false.”

 

(S. Murphy, "Two ex-death row inmates released from Oklahoma prison," Associated Press, October 5, 2009; R. Surette, "Why 2 Death Row Inmates Were Set Free," News9.com, Oct. 6, 2009).  See Innocence.

 

Douglas was the 137th inmate exonerated from death row since 1973, and Powell is the 138th, according to a list of exonerations maintained by the Death Penalty Information Center.  Ten inmates have been exonerated and freed from Oklahoma. The criteria for inclusion on the list are:

 

Defendants must have been convicted, sentenced to death and subsequently either-

a) their conviction was overturned AND

 

i) they were acquitted at re-trial or

ii) all charges were dropped

b) they were given an absolute pardon by the governor based on new evidence of innocence.

RELATED NEWS
October 18 2017

Back from Death Row: Working to End Capital Punishment

October 16 2017
UNITED STATES

U.N. Secretary-General, European Union Ambassador Call for Abolition of “Barbaric” Death Penalty

October 12 2017
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis calls for end to death penalty: '' it's against the Gospel''


"because it is voluntarily decided to suppress a human life that is always holy in the eyes of the Creator"
October 10 2017

On 15th World Day Against the Death Penalty let us visit the poorest convicts in Africa


Death Penalty and poverty is the main theme of 2017's World Day. The work of Sant'Egidio in African death rows, in the perspective of the World Day of the Cities for Life on November 30th.
IT | EN
October 6 2017

The Texas Journey of Hope - October 13-29


High schools, colleges, churches, conferences, various media outlets, marches, rallies and other venues are ready to deliver the message of "Love and Compassion for all of Humanity"
September 30 2017
UNITED STATES
The Community of Sant'Egidio one month after death remembers

All those working to abolish the death penalty mourns the loss of the dear Ron Carlson, due to a car accident


Ron was a living example that things can really change
all related news

ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 28 2016
AP

High court to examine mental disability, death penalty issue
November 12 2016
Internazionale

Si rafforza la pena di morte negli Stati Uniti
November 11 2016

Al liceo classico “Socrate” di Bari, conferenza “Non c’è giustizia senza vita”
October 24 2016
New York Times

The Death Penalty, Nearing Its End
June 4 2016
The Washington Post

Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty
all press-related

VIDEO PHOTOS
53
Video promo Cities for Life 2015
3:22

73 visits

236 visits

52 visits

57 visits

65 visits
all the related media