- Jessica Brand: Arkansas is a microcosm of what occurs in the very few remaining places that still utilize the death penalty
- The state's execution rush highlights failure of Supreme Court's efforts to limit the use of capital punishment, Brand writes
Jessica Brand is the legal director for the Fair Punishment Project, a joint initiative of Harvard Law School's Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice and its Criminal Justice Institute, The Accountable Justice Collaborative (at Tides Foundation), and The Bronx Defenders. Formerly she worked at the Texas Defender Service and in the appellate division of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
(CNN)When the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty 40 years ago, it imposed an important limitation on its use. Because an execution is "unique in its severity and irrevocability," it must be reserved for the worst of the worst -- society's most morally blameworthy defendants.