death row

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Georgia Won't Give Inmate Beer With Last Meal

Officials not relaxing contraband rules for convicted killer

(Newser) - Before its last execution, Georgia rejected a plea for mercy from the Pope . Ahead of its next one, it has rejected a plea for beer from the condemned. Marcus Ray Johnson is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7pm Thursday and prison officials have denied his request to have... More »

Death Row Inmate Dies, but Not via Execution

California has only executed 13 out of hundreds of death row inmates since 1978

(Newser) - Ronald Seaton had been on death row at San Quentin State Prison for 26 years following a 1986 conviction for murder, robbery, and burglary. On Friday, he died of natural causes while awaiting execution, NBC Bay Area reports. Seaton became the 69th death row inmate to die of natural causes... More »

Man Who Killed Teen Waiting for Bus in 1989 Is Executed

Ex-Kansas City cop calls Roderick Nunley's 25-year stay on death row a 'travesty'

(Newser) - A man convicted of kidnapping, raping, and murdering a 15-year-old Missouri girl from the Kansas City area more than a quarter-century ago was executed last night, becoming the state's sixth person to be put to death this year, the AP reports. The lethal injection for Roderick Nunley, 50, began... More »

How the Pope Could Save This Killer on Death Row

Lidia Guerrero hopes Francis will intervene on behalf of son

(Newser) - When Lidia Guerrero met with Pope Francis in Rome last year, he told her he knew all about Guerrero's son, who has been on death row in Texas for 19 years. "I've prayed so much for that young man," she says Francis told her. The short... More »

This Woman Left Her Family to Marry Man on Death Row

They married over speaker phone in 1996 and see each other twice a week

(Newser) - Rosalie Bolin hasn't always had such an unusual story. Back in the '90s she had a normal-looking marriage with wealthy attorney Victor D. Martinez (described by the LAT as "the scion of one of [Tampa's] oldest and most prominent families") and four daughters to show... More »

Tsarnaev Heads to a Mostly Death-Less Death Row

Death will be a long time coming

(Newser) - Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was formally sentenced to death yesterday , advancing him along the path to federal death row—a place that's pretty free of death. The US Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, currently houses 61 federal death row inmates; only three such inmates have been put to... More »

Those Who Believe in Pure Evil Tend to Support This

And the issue becomes more black-and-white

(Newser) - As Nebraska becomes the 19th state to abolish capital punishment, researchers out of Kansas State University have been investigating just what makes some Americans more fervently in favor of the death penalty than others. One clear factor, they report in the journal Personality and Individual Differences , is whether someone believes... More »

Ohio Wants to Kill a Man Who Survived His 'Execution'

Lawyers say 2nd attempt to kill Romell Broom in Ohio would be unconstitutional

(Newser) - Six years ago, the state of Ohio tried to execute Romell Broom for raping and killing a 14-year-old girl. That execution was unsuccessful—making Broom the country's only survivor of a botched lethal injection, the AP notes. Now his lawyers are trying to prevent him from having to go... More »

Freed Death-Row Inmate Kills Self

Paula Cooper gained support of pope when sentenced to death at 16

(Newser) - Paula Cooper, once the youngest death-row inmate in the US, has been found dead of a suicide two years after she was released after 27 years in prison . Police say Cooper, 45, was found dead near an ITT Technical Institute parking lot in Indianapolis on Tuesday. She suffered a self-inflicted... More »

Here's What Happens Next to Tsarnaev

He's now the 62nd person on federal death row

(Newser) - Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death by lethal injection yesterday, making him the 62nd person on federal death row. But he won't be executed for years—maybe decades—as the appeals process runs its course. Here's the timeline:
  • Sentencing hearing: Judge George O'Toole Jr.
... More »

Another Alabama Death Row Inmate Walks

William Ziegler maintains he's innocent of 2000 murder in Mobile

(Newser) - A death row inmate in Alabama is out of prison after 15 years, 50 days, becoming the second such convict to walk in the state this month . William Ziegler, initially convicted of the 2000 murder of Russell Allen Baker in Mobile County, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting murder in... More »

Man on Death Row 30 Years Cleared of Double Murder

Ray Hinton: 'They had every intention of executing me'

(Newser) - A man who spent nearly 30 years on Alabama's death row is free after a decades-long fight to prove his innocence. Ray Hinton, 58, was released this morning from the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham. He hugged tearful family members as he walked out. "I shouldn't have... More »

No More Room on San Quentin's Death Row

It's essentially full, governor warns

(Newser) - California Gov. Jerry Brown has submitted his $113 billion budget proposal, and in it he notes that, on average, 20 new felons are expected to show up per year on death row in San Quentin State Prison, the Los Angeles Times reports. One problem: There's no more room. With... More »

Youngest Woman on US Death Row Calls It 'Life Row'

Emilia Carr and fellow inmate Tiffany Cole don't believe they'll ever be executed

(Newser) - One out of every 25 inmates on death row is innocent, according to PNAS —and Emilia Carr and Tiffany Cole say they're in that demographic. That's not the only thing they have in common: They're both among the youngest women on death row in the US... More »

Oklahoma Debates Death by Nitrogen for Inmates

Rep. Mike Christian: executions with nitrogen gas deplete oxygen, are painless

(Newser) - Tennessee has brought back the electric chair ; Utah's considering reviving the firing squad . Now Oklahoma Republicans are making a push to build a $300,000 gas chamber in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, using nitrogen gas as a backup plan to lethal injection in executions, the AP reports.... More »

Guy on Death Row 30 Years Gets Last-Minute Reprieve

US Supreme Court steps in as Texas planned execution for Tuesday

(Newser) - A Texas inmate set to be executed next week for fatally shooting four men at an airplane hangar more than 30 years ago won a reprieve today from the US Supreme Court. Lester Bower Jr., 67, among the longest-serving Texas death row inmates, had been scheduled for lethal injection Tuesday.... More »

Maryland Gov Commutes Last 4 Death Row Sentences

The state abolished capital punishment in 2013

(Newser) - When the Maryland state legislature voted to abolish capital punishment in 2013, five men were on death row. One died of natural causes in April, and now the remaining four—all convicted of murder—have just had their sentences commuted to life without parole on the last day of 2014... More »

2nd Inmate Freed in Crazy Chicago Death-Row Case

Crime figures in why Illinois scrapped the death penalty

(Newser) - A man wrongly convicted in a 1982 double murder in Chicago is being set free after 15 years, reports CBS Chicago . But this is not your typical case of this variety: Alstory Simon is actually the second person to be freed after a murder conviction for the crime, which is... More »

15 Ex-Judges Try to Halt Missouri Execution

Lawyers 'abandoned' Mark Christeson, they say

(Newser) - Mark Christeson is scheduled to die in Missouri at a minute after midnight tomorrow, but no fewer than 15 former state and federal judges are seeking a stay of execution on the basis that his lawyers were terrible. The two court-appointed public defenders who represent Christeson were 117 days late... More »

In 1st Since Botched Death, 3 Inmates Set for Execution

Inmates in Florida, Georgia, Missouri slated to die in next day

(Newser) - Nine executions nationwide have been stayed in the seven weeks since Clayton Lockett died in a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma, but three convicted killers are scheduled to die in the next day or so. All three states planning lethal injections—Florida, Georgia, and Missouri—refuse to say where they... More »

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