News Update 06.28.07
Darryl Hunt and the Duke University Innocence Project are working to obtain justice for Kalvin Smith, who has spent ten years in prison for a near-fatal assault he may not have committed. Witnesses have said they were coerced and intimidated into testifying, and the prosecution failed to turn over to the defense a videotaped interview of the victim in which she did not pick Smith from the photographs she was shown, but rather identified another man as a possible suspect.
A former U.S. Attorney told Congress yesterday that Alberto Gonzales has been so eager to seek the death penalty, he ignores the quality of evidence. “No decision is more important for a prosecutor than whether or not to . . . deliberately and methodically take a life,” said Paul K. Charlton. “And that holds true for the attorney general.” See also this article from Senator Russell Feingold, examining whether U.S. Attorneys like Charlton were fired for expressing reservations about seeking the death penalty in particular cases.
Kyrgyzstan has abolished the death penalty.