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Lawyers Tried to Stop Botched Execution After 1 Hour

Justice Kennedy turned down request

(Newser) - "He has been gasping for more than an hour," lawyers said in an emergency appeal to halt the botched execution of Arizona inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood yesterday. "He is still alive." As the hour mark passed, Wood's lawyers filed an appeal to a district court... More »

Supreme Court OKs Drug Secrecy in Ariz. Execution

Joseph Wood's 1st Amendment case turned down

(Newser) - The Supreme Court has cleared the way for Arizona to execute an inmate whose lawyers argued that he had a right to know more about how he was to be killed. The court sided with the state against Joseph Rudolph Wood, who could be executed as soon as this morning,... More »

Federal Judge: Use Firing Squads, Not Lethal Injections

Don't pretend killing isn't brutal, Kozinski says

(Newser) - Killing people is a brutal and messy business, and if Americans can't deal with that, they shouldn't be condemning people to death, a top federal judge says. In a strongly worded dissent in an Arizona lethal-injection case, Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the Ninth US Circuit Court of... More »

ISIS Crucifies 8 'Moderate' Militants

Meanwhile, Russia sends jets to Iraq

(Newser) - The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—or as the group now apparently prefers to be called, just the Islamic State —sent a grisly message to other Islamist militants this weekend in Syria by crucifying eight rebel fighters it deemed too moderate, according to a report from the Syrian... More »

Florida Executes Killer

John Ruthell Henry is third US execution in 24 hours

(Newser) - Florida has executed a man who fatally stabbed his wife and her young son in 1985—the third US execution in less than 24 hours since Oklahoma's botched procedure in April . The governor's office says John Ruthell Henry was pronounced dead at 7:43pm after a lethal injection.... More »

First Executions Since Botched Injection Go Ahead

Georgia, Missouri carry out lethal injections

(Newser) - The nation's unofficial moratorium on the death penalty is over. Georgia executed 59-year-old murderer Marcus Wellons tonight with a dose of pentobarbital, reports the AP . Wellons is the first inmate put to death since Oklahoma's botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April. Wellons' attorneys had cited Lockett's... 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 »

Autopsy Contradicts State on Botched Execution

It wasn't a blown vein; IV wasn't inserted properly

(Newser) - After the botched execution of Clayton Lockett , Oklahoma officials said that he hadn't received the proper doses of lethal drugs because a vein collapsed. But an independent autopsy contradicts that conclusion, reports the New York Times . The problem wasn't with Lockett's veins—in fact, they were found... More »

Okla. Returns Executed Inmate's Body—Minus Heart

Okla. says cause of death to be released 'very soon'

(Newser) - An Oklahoma inmate who died after a botched execution was returned to his family and cremated without his heart and larynx, which the office conducting an independent autopsy has decided to keep. Officials say medical examiners can retain tissue indefinitely. "It's not completely unusual," the medical director... More »

Oklahoma Town Insists It Owns 'Old Sparky'

But state won't give back electric chair, in case it needs to use it

(Newser) - It is one of the craziest custody disputes you could imagine. A city in Oklahoma wants the state to give it back "Old Sparky," an electric chair last used about 50 years ago. McAlester officials want to put it on display as a piece of history. But the... More »

Tennessee Brings Back Electric Chair

As Wyoming debates return to firing squad

(Newser) - Amid shortages of drugs used in lethal injections and controversy over a botched execution in Oklahoma , Tennessee has become the first state to revive an older method of execution. Gov. Bill Haslam yesterday signed a bill allowing the state to use the electric chair if execution drugs are not available,... More »

Execution of Inmate With Birth Defect Halted

'Are they gonna screw it up?' Bucklew asks

(Newser) - What would have been the first execution since the botched lethal injection of an Oklahoma inmate last month has been called off with a last-minute stay issued by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Missouri inmate Rusty Bucklew suffers from a birth defect called cavernous hemangioma that causes unstable tumors in... More »

Kim Jong Un's 'Executed' Ex Surfaces

Hyon Song Wol was supposedly killed by firing squad

(Newser) - Kim Jong Un's ex-girlfriend died by firing squad ... right? Sure, except she spoke Friday at a televised meeting of artists in Pyongyang and thanked her powerful ex for supporting the arts, the Los Angeles Times reports. Hyon Song Wol, a pop star , was reportedly one of as many as... More »

Utah Lawmaker Calls for Firing Squad Executions

Rep. Paul Ray: 'It's probably the most humane' method

(Newser) - Rep. Paul Ray isn't the first lawmaker this year to call for a return to execution by firing squad—but he may be the first to get his way, the AP reports. After all, his state of Utah used a firing squad only four years ago. Officials had banned... More »

1 in 5 Americans: Bring Back the Gas Chamber

NBC News poll finds most back alternative execution methods

(Newser) - If one in five Americans had their way, the US wouldn't need to worry about an execution drug shortage because, well, we'd be gassing convicts. According to an NBC News poll, about two-thirds of 800 respondents said they would support alternative methods of execution: 20% are for gas... More »

Court Stops Texas Execution With Just Hours to Spare

Lawyers for Robert James Campbell will get time to prove he has 'intellectual disability'

(Newser) - The nation's first execution since Oklahoma's botched one won't take place this evening after all, but this time the issue isn't about the drugs involved, reports CNN . A federal appeals court in Texas stayed the execution of Robert James Campbell, ruling that his lawyers deserve more... More »

Okla. Stays Next Execution After Inmate's Botched Death

Charles Warner gets 6-month reprieve

(Newser) - Oklahoma's attorney general has agreed to a six-month stay of execution for a death row inmate scheduled to die next week while an investigation is conducted into last week's botched lethal injection. In a filing today with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, Attorney General Scott Pruitt's... More »

Inmate's Last Words: 'Something's Wrong'

Details emerge on Clayton Lockett execution

(Newser) - More details are emerging about the botched execution of Clayton Lockett , including the fact that Lockett was struggling to speak before he died. Reporters from News on 6 and the Tulsa World, who were among 12 media observers, offer minute-by-minute recaps. Some key moments:
  • 6:23pm: The execution begins. The
... More »

Oklahoma Botches Execution; Inmate Dies

Clayton Lockett began writhing 3 minutes after being declared unconscious

(Newser) - An Oklahoma inmate whose execution was halted tonight because the delivery of a new drug combination was botched died of a heart attack, the head of the state Department of Corrections said. The execution began at 6:23pm when officials began administering the first drug, and a doctor declared Clayton... More »

4.1% of Those Sentenced to Die Are Innocent

Most end up serving life, 'forgotten'

(Newser) - At least 4.1% of people sentenced to death in the US are innocent, a new report warns—and most of them end up neither executed nor exonerated, but serving life behind bars. Researchers say that at a conservative estimate, one in 25 of the thousands of people condemned to... More »

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