In her New York Times piece, “After Parkland, One Question Remains: What Is Justice?”, Audra D. S. Burch writes about Tom and Gena Hoyer, whose son was killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018. Fifteen-year-old Luke Hoyer was one of 17 students and teachers killed in the shooting, which also injured 17 others. A penalty trial is now underway for the confessed gunman, 23-year-old Nikolas Cruz, which has compelled the Hoyers to search more deeply than they already have about the concept of justice. “What the Hoyers now know is that the concept of justice shape-shifts with the tides of mourning. It is both evasive and precise, and at times, uniquely unsatisfying,” she writes.
“Everything that has been learned about [Richard] Glossip’s story since 2015 further validates (former US Supreme Court Justice Stephen] Breyer’s concerns about the cruel and unusual nature of the death penalty in the United States.” In his article, “The Vindication of Stephen Breyer,” Jeremy Stahl writes in Slate. Referring to Breyer’s powerful dissent in Glossip v. Gross (2015), in which the Court denied Glossip’s claim that Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol violated the Eighth Amendment. While Breyer didn’t address Glossip’s case specifically in his dissent, “Everything that has been learned about Glossip’s story since 2015 further validates Breyer’s concerns about the cruel and unusual nature of the death penalty in the United States,” Stahl writes.
In his essay, “America’s ‘Machinery of Death’ Is Slowly Grinding to a Halt,” in the New York Times, Maurice Chammah writes that the “public seems to have returned to the same ambivalence about the death penalty that preceded the Furman v. Georgia (1972) decision.” Noting that polls show support for capital punishment is at its lowest point since the early 1970s, he cites growing opposition from conservative Republicans, gubernatorial moratoria, state legislators, fiscal conservatives, and the number of death row exonerations.
Players Coalition, a nonprofit charity and advocacy organization that works with more than 1400 professional players, athletes, coaches, and owners from leagues including the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, and MMA, has produced a video in support of AB 256 (Kalra) California Racial Justice Act for All. This bill would make 2020’s Racial Justice Act retroactive, prohibiting using race, ethnicity, or national origin in sentencing and convictions. You can view the video on Twitter or Instagram.