Execution Ban Lifted, States Ready the Death Chambers

With Supreme Court's blessing, officials move to play catch-up
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2008 9:03 AM CDT
This January 1996 file photo provided by the California Department of Corrections shows the entrance to the execution chamber and the lethal injection table at California's San Quentin State Prison.   (AP Photo/California Department of Corrections)
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(Newser) – States are getting ready to catch up on executions now that a Supreme Court moratorium has been lifted, the New York Times reports. At least 14 executions have been scheduled in six states in coming months. "The Supreme Court has essentially blessed their way of doing things," a legal expert said. "They’re back from vacation and ready to go to work." 

The resumption of executions is certain to put the divisive issue of capital punishment firmly back in the spotlight, with its critics having been given fresh ammunition by a recent wave of DNA exonerations. Polls show national confidence in the death penalty dropping, and juries and prosecutors have been increasingly inclined to sentence offenders to life without parole instead.