Richard Strong Executed on June 9, despite pleas from Victim

Richard Strong’s execution date was executed on June 9, 2015, despite eloquent pleas for leniency from one of his victims and daughter.  He was convicted in the homocides of his girlfriend, Eva Washington and her two-year old daughter Zandrea Thomas; his infant daughter was also at the crime scene and spared.  His capital sentence arose as a result of the work of incompetent trial counsel, as well as behavior driven by mental illness and extreme childhood trauma.  He has been diagnosed with Major (Recurrent) Depression,  PTSD and Schizotypal Personality Disorder. 

Execution Raising Racial Justice Concerns Proceeded, Despite Public Outcry

Andre Cole was an African-American man who was tried and sentenced to death by an all-white jury in St. Louis County.  Despite the systemic exclusion of African-American jurors from his trial, Mr. Cole was executed on April 14.   It is no coincidence that St. Louis County embraces the City of Ferguson, which is characterized by its publically condemned and racially biased law enforcement and prosecutorial practices.  Nor is it a coincidence that St. Louis County ranks 9th among all counties in the U.S. in the number of murder convictions leading to executions. 

Missouri Executed Cecil Clayton on March 17

Missouri  executed Cecil Clayton on March 17.  A 74 year old man, who as a result of an industrial accident lost significant portions of his brain, Cecil stands as an example of the fundamental flaws in our system of capital punishment.  In 1972, a projectile shot from a working saw shattered the frontal lobe of his brain.  This area controls judgment, intellectual functions, and emotional adjustment.  Doctors responding to his injury were forced to cut away surrounding dead and damaged tissue in the executive center of his brain.  The loss of so much vital