Apr 29 2014

Daily News Flash with Robert Jensen on a Death Penalty Study, Senate Requirements on Drone Victims, and White House Campus Rape Study

Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, an author and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:

A new study on the death penalty in the US has concluded that a shocking number of innocent people are being executed. While there have been many instances of death row inmates being exonerated, they constitute about 1.6% of all those sentenced to death between 1973 and 2004. It turns out, according a sophisticated modeling tool, a little over 4% of inmates were likely innocent of the crimes they were convicted of during that same time period. The lead author of the study, University of Michigan Law professor Samuel Gross said, “The great majority of innocent people who are sentenced to death are never identified and freed.” Click here for a Huffington Post article about the story.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has backtracked on a requirement that President Obama reveal details of civilian victims of drone strikes. A bill requiring such disclosure in the form of an annual executive report on the total numbers of “combatants” and “non-combatants” killed from US drone strikes, has now been revised by Senators. Apparently the lawmakers have been assured by intelligence officials that the President will share the information in other ways. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

The White House yesterday released a report on the epidemic of rape and sexual assault on college campuses. Given the high incidence of campus rapes and particularly some high-profile incidents, the President formed a task force earlier this year to study the issue. Their report recommends better reporting of rape, and the wider adoption of policies that have helped curb assaults on some campuses. According to the New York Times, “Many advocates for such a crackdown may see the proposals as an inadequate response to a crisis, but the White House is hamstrung about what it can do without congressional action and has just begun its own attack on the issue.” Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

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