lethal injection

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Utah Approves Firing Squads

Gov. Gary Herbert signs law to OK backup to lethal injection

(Newser) - Utah became the only state to allow firing squads for executions today when Gov. Gary Herbert signed a law approving the method's use when no lethal-injection drugs are available. Herbert has said he finds the firing squad "a little bit gruesome," but Utah is a capital punishment... More »

Missouri Executes Brain-Damaged Inmate

Divided Supreme Court turned down Cecil Clayton appeal

(Newser) - Missouri's oldest death-row inmate was executed yesterday after the US Supreme Court and the state's governor declined to spare the 74-year-old who attorneys said had a diminished mental capacity because of a brain injury from a 1972 sawmill accident . Cecil Clayton, who fatally shot a sheriff's deputy... More »

During Botched Execution, Inmate Tried to Help

Tulsa World investigates all that went wrong in Clayton Lockett's lethal injection

(Newser) - At the end of the night of April 29, 2014, convicted murderer Clayton Lockett lay dead on a gurney, which is the outcome the state of Oklahoma sought. But the botched execution was a "procedural disaster" from the get-go, according to an investigation in the Tulsa World , based on... More »

After Execution, Texas Has Just One Dose Left

Hit man executed with next-to-last dose of pentobarbital

(Newser) - Texas executes more people than any other state—and all but a handful of the world's countries—but it's not clear whether it will be able to continue for long after yesterday evening's execution of Mexican Mafia hit man Manuel Vasquez. The 46-year-old, convicted of the 1999... 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 »

3 Executions on Hold Until Supreme Court Hears Case

Unless Oklahoma comes up with an alternative to controversial drug

(Newser) - Three death-row inmates in Oklahoma now have a much better chance of living long enough to see whether their court challenge to lethal injection is successful. The Supreme Court today ordered Oklahoma to put the executions on hold until the court hears their case in late April, reports NBC News... More »

Supreme Court Will Review Lethal Injection

Justices to hear appeal from death-row inmates in Oklahoma

(Newser) - Gay marriage won't be the only high-profile issue on the Supreme Court's docket: The justices today said they would take up the issue of lethal injection, reports SCOTUSblog . Death-row inmates in Oklahoma say the state's three-drug protocol amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, as evidenced by... More »

'My Body Is on Fire': Okla. Executes Charles Warner

State carries out first execution since botched one

(Newser) - Oklahoma executed a death row inmate last night in its first lethal injection since a botched one last spring , and it carried out the punishment with a three-drug method that Florida used for an execution the same night . Charles Warner's execution for the 1997 killing of an 11-month-old girl... More »

Okla. to Execute Man Today, First Since Botched Death

It's upped dose of midazolam, implemented training, better equipment

(Newser) - Nine months after a botched lethal injection ground capital punishment to a halt, Oklahoma plans to execute a death row inmate today with the same three-drug method Florida intends to use about an hour earlier. Oklahoma prison officials ordered new medical equipment, implemented more training for staff, and renovated the... More »

First US Execution of 2015: Vietnam Vet With PTSD

Andrew Brannan, 66, was convicted of 1998 murder of sheriff's deputy

(Newser) - A man who fatally shot a sheriff's deputy who stopped him for speeding on a Georgia interstate was put to death yesterday for the 1998 killing, which was captured on the patrol car's video camera. Andrew Howard Brannan, 66, was pronounced dead at 8:33pm after a single-drug... More »

Arizona Makes Changes After 'Not Botched' Execution

Judge rules that Oklahoma can resume executions

(Newser) - Arizona's execution of Joseph Wood was "not botched," a state-commissioned review has concluded, even though it took almost two hours for him to die. The director of Arizona's Department of Corrections says the lethal injection was "done appropriately and with the utmost professionalism," the... More »

Okla. Lawmaker: Let's Kill Inmates With Nitrogen

It's painless and cheap, Mike Christian says

(Newser) - A lawmaker in the state that pioneered lethal injections says he has found an "innovative" new way to execute inmates involving nitrogen gas. Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Christian tells Der Spiegel that using nitrogen gas for executions is painless, fast, and "cheaper than the bullets you need for... More »

Texas Executes Killer After Appeals Fail

Supreme Court opts not to stop lethal injection of Willie Trottie

(Newser) - Texas today executed a man for killing his ex-girlfriend and her brother more than two decades ago in Houston. Willie Trottie's lethal injection was carried out about 90 minutes after the Supreme Court rejected his last-day appeals. Trottie, 45, contended he had poor legal help at his trial and... More »

Missouri Executes Armed Robber

Earl Ringo was convicted of 1998 double murder

(Newser) - A Missouri inmate convicted in a 1998 robbery and double murder was put to death just after midnight in the eighth execution in the state this year and the 10th since November. Earl Ringo Jr. and an accomplice killed delivery driver Dennis Poyser and manager trainee JoAnna Baysinger at a... More »

Inmates Sue, Call Electric Chair 'Torture Device'

Tennessee convicts say it shouldn't be alternative to lethal injection

(Newser) - Death-row inmates in Tennessee have sued the state over its possible use of the electric chair to kill them, reports the Tennessean . "Even when the chair works exactly as it is intended, it is a torture device," says an attorney for the inmates. The move stems from the... More »

In Arizona, State Makes Up Execution Rules as It Goes

Times investigation shows history of botched, improvised executions

(Newser) - The botched execution of Joseph Wood last month in Arizona showed that the state Corrections Department was "making it up as it went along,” says Wood's public defender. Now a New York Times investigation suggests the incident may be part of a greater pattern. Wood's lawyer... More »

How a Hospital Made an Execution Possible

It didn't realize drug was for lethal injection: board member

(Newser) - A Louisiana hospital facilitated an execution—without realizing it was doing so, says a new report citing a board member who's also an appeals court judge. Short on execution drugs, the state opted to use a combination of hydromorphone and midazolam for a lethal injection, the Lens explains. Louisiana... More »

Missouri Executes Inmate for 1995 Murder

Execution is first since botched Arizona lethal injection

(Newser) - A Missouri inmate was put to death just after midnight for raping and killing a college student in 1995, making him the first US prisoner put to death since an Arizona lethal injection went awry last month . The Missouri Department of Corrections says Michael Worthington was executed by lethal injection... More »

First 14 Doses Failed to Kill Death Row Inmate

Arizona's Joseph Wood died after the 15th, nearly 2 hours later

(Newser) - Now we know why the execution of Joseph Wood in Arizona took so long : It took 15 doses of drugs to get the job done, reports the LA Times . State prison officials laid out the details yesterday, explaining that Wood got a combination of hydromorphone and midazolam at 1:52pm... More »

John McCain: Botched Execution Was Torture

He says 'bollocks-upped' situation is unacceptable

(Newser) - John McCain, who learned a thing or two about torture during his years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, says the botched execution of an Arizona inmate was torture and that the people involved need to be held responsible. "I believe in the death penalty for certain... More »

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