CBS News’ “48 Hours” reporter Erin Moriarty updates the Kevin Cooper case in an interview and article, noting that “It’s very difficult to believe that one person” could have committed the 1983 San Bernardino quadruple murder Cooper was convicted of and sentenced to death for, in 1985. California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered an innocence investigation in the case in May 2021. Moriarty has covered the case since 2000. She hopes this piece will be “another resource” for investigators since she interviewed many witnesses who are now dead. “We want a light shed on this case,” Moriarty says.
Dahlia Lithwick interviews former federal judge Nancy Gertner on her, podcast, Amicus, about Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement. Lithwick says, “He really sees this as an existential moment for public regard for the court. And that seems to be breaking his heart more than the end of Roe and the expansion of gun rights.” Gertner, who is on the White House Supreme Court Reform Commission, agrees, saying Breyer didn’t really have a choice in deciding to retire. “This is a court that doesn’t have to deal with anybody. That’s the horrifying point. They’ve got a clear road to do whatever the hell they want to do with precedent. I think that’s what he saw,” Gertner says.
An investigation by The Idaho Statesman in collaboration with the Idaho Capitol Sun, into the secrecy surrounding how the state procures its lethal injection drugs, how much it pays for them, and the identity of its suppliers “reveals the lengths to which prison officials have gone to withhold documents from the public.” The court-ordered release of public records reveals that Idaho paid more than $20 thousand in cash to out-of-state pharmacies for use in its last two execution in 2011 and 2012. “Experts on the death penalty, civil rights, and pharmaceutical law have called such practices — directly involving IDOC Director Josh Tewalt — ethically suspect and potentially risky to the inmate.
In its report, “Criminal Legal Reform One Year into the Biden Administration,” the Brennan Center for Justice finds that President Biden’s pledge to “strengthen America’s commitment to justice and reform our criminal justice system” hasn’t been fulfilled and identifies critical areas that need reform. Included among the most urgent are revitalizing federal clemency power, empowering the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which has lacked a quorum to conduct business since 2019, fixing the First Step Act and the Bureau of Prisons, and eliminating the federal death penalty.