death row

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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 »

World's Longest Serving Death Row Inmate Goes Free

Japan sets boxer free after 48 years on death row

(Newser) - A Japanese court has ordered the release of the world's longest-serving death row inmate, saying investigators had likely fabricated evidence. The court ordered a retrial and suspended the death sentence for 78-year-old Iwao Hakamada, a former professional boxer convicted in the 1966 murder of a family. More than 45... More »

Death Row's Longest Serving Inmate Goes Free

All-white jury convicted Glenn Ford of murder in 1984

(Newser) - In 1984, Glenn Ford, who is black, was wrongfully convicted by an all-white jury in the murder of an elderly white man in Louisiana. He spent the next three decades on death row—but yesterday afternoon, he was finally set free, the Atlantic reports. During the case, Ford had cooperated... More »

Washington State Suspends Death Penalty

Gov. Jay Inslee 'not convinced equal justice is being served'

(Newser) - Gov. Jay Inslee today brought the use of the death penalty to a screeching halt in Washington state, declaring a moratorium on a system he says has "too many flaws" and pushing his state to "join a growing national conversation" about capital punishment. "There is too much... More »

Wyo. Senator to Try to Bring Back Firing Squads

Because gas chambers are 'cruel and unusual'

(Newser) - That there is a shortage of lethal injection drugs is not news, but a Wyoming senator's response to the situation is. Republican state Sen. Bruce Burns yesterday very simply pointed to state law, which commands a gas chamber to be used if those drugs aren't accessible. Except Wyoming... More »

Japan Slammed Over 'Secret Executions'

2 executed in secret hangings, common in country in support of capital punishment

(Newser) - Japan secretly executed two men today, in the fourth round of such executions since Shinzo Abe took power last December. Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki signed off on the secret orders for Mitsuo Fujishima and Ryoji Kagayama, both convicted murderers, who likely would have been told of their fates only hours... More »

Tennessee Apparently Quite Eager to Execute People

State requests execution dates for 10 inmates

(Newser) - Since 1960, Tennessee has executed just six people. If the state has its way, however, 10 more prisoners could be dead in the near future. Officials have asked the state Supreme Court for execution dates for the death row inmates, in what the Tennessean calls an "unprecedented push,"... More »

Ohio Delays Execution to Weigh Organ-Donor Request

Killer Ronald Phillips wants to donate organs to family, others

(Newser) - A convicted child killer just got a last-minute reprieve from Ohio's governor, thanks to the inmate's unusual request to be an organ donor . Ronald Phillips, who raped and murdered the 3-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, was supposed to be put to death tomorrow morning. Instead, Gov. John Kasich... More »

FBI Pulled an Inmate Off of Death Row...

So he could join in search for his victim's body in W.Va

(Newser) - FBI agents took the unusual step of temporarily letting a federal death row inmate out of his cell so he could help with the search for the body of one of the two women he killed. Chadrick Evan Fulks, 36, was taken from the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind.... More »

Woman Once on Death Row Freed Pending New Trial

Arizona's Debra Milke was convicted in murder of her 4-year-old son

(Newser) - Debra Milke spent more than two decades on death row in Arizona, but she is no longer behind bars as of this afternoon, reports CNN . She walked out of the Maricopa County jail after supporters put up a $250,000 bond. The 49-year-old isn't in the clear, however. She... More »

Florida Executes Man Who Says He Controlled Sun

Court didn't buy insanity argument

(Newser) - “I just want everyone to know that I am the prince of God and I will rise again." Those were the last words of mass killer John Errol Ferguson yesterday and a prime example of why his lawyers say he shouldn't have been executed in the first... More »

Ohio Convict Found Hanged Days Before Execution

Billy Slagle had been trying to get a new trial, was denied clemency

(Newser) - An Ohio convict sitting on death row was found hanged in his cell this morning, just days before he was to be executed on Wednesday. Billy Slagle, 44, was declared dead shortly after he was found at 5am; he had been convicted in the 1987 fatal stabbing of a Cleveland... More »

What Death Row Inmates Say Before They Die

Texas keeps an online database of last words

(Newser) - Texas executes more inmates than any other state, but its gone are not forgotten. The state memorializes its executed with a morbidly fascinating online database containing each inmate's last statement, the New York Times reports. Some praise a deity, some tell their family they love them one last time,... More »

NC Scraps Law That Brought Executions to Halt

Gov. Pat McCrory signs repeal of 'Racial Justice Act'

(Newser) - North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has put an end to what he calls a "judicial loophole to avoid the death penalty": On Wednesday he repealed the Racial Justice Act, four years after it was put on the books. The law, passed under a Democratic legislature, allowed Death Row inmates... More »

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