capital punishment

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Prosecutor Won't Seek Death Penalty, Fla. Governor Reacts

Gov. Rick Scott takes murder probe away from Aramis Ayala, hands it to Brad King

(Newser) - Orlando's police chief said this week he was "extremely upset" to hear prosecutors wouldn't be going for the death penalty in the case of a man accused of killing a cop and his own ex-girlfriend, the Orlando Weekly reports. Those feelings may be soothed after hearing Florida... More »

He Charged $2K for the Murder. It Cost Him His Life

Rolando Ruiz was executed Tuesday in Texas

(Newser) - A paid hit man was executed Tuesday night in Texas for gunning down a San Antonio woman in a life insurance scheme 25 years ago. Rolando Ruiz was given a lethal injection for fatally shooting Theresa Rodriguez, 29, outside her home in 1992 as she was getting out of a... More »

8 Men Are Set to Die in Arkansas. Here's Why That's 'Unprecedented'

8 are set to take place over 10 days

(Newser) - Arkansas hasn't executed anyone in 11 years—but between April 17 and April 27, eight men will be put to death, an "unprecedented" move in the US, according to a group that monitors executions in the country. Nine inmates had asked the US Supreme Court to review the... More »

Arizona Suggests 'Do-It-Yourself' Executions

Lawyers for death row inmates need only bring the drugs

(Newser) - It's "unprecedented, wholly novel and frankly absurd," a lethal injection expert says of Arizona's new death penalty plan, which includes a provision for what one columnist calls a "do-it-yourself execution." Under the plan, the Arizona Department of Corrections—which has been unable to acquire... More »

Missouri Executes Man for Killing Woman, 2 Kids

'It was a heinous crime'

(Newser) - Nearly 19 years to the day that Susan Brouk and her two children were taken to a Missouri pond and killed, one of the men responsible for the crime was put to death Tuesday. Mark Christeson was given a lethal injection—Missouri's first execution since May, the AP reports.... More »

Texan Executed for Subway Sandwich Shop Murders

Terry Edwards killed 2 former colleagues

(Newser) - A man convicted of a fatal robbery at a Dallas-area Subway shop just weeks after he was fired from his job there was executed Thursday night. Terry Edwards, 43, received a lethal injection for the $3,000 holdup at a Subway restaurant where two employees were shot to death in... More »

Virginia Executes Man Who Saw Open Door, Killed Family

Ricky Gray killed couple, 2 daughters who were prepping for New Year's party

(Newser) - A man convicted of killing a family of four, slashing their throats, and setting their home ablaze after they left their front door open while preparing for a New Year's Day party in 2006, was executed Wednesday. Ricky Gray was pronounced dead at 9:42pm following a lethal injection... More »

Man Who Killed 2 Over Piece of Gravel Is Executed

Christopher Wilkins' execution was first in US in 2017

(Newser) - Texas has executed death row inmate Christopher Wilkins, who was convicted of killing two men after one of them mocked him for falling for a phony drug deal. The lethal injection of the 48-year-old Wilkins on Wednesday is the nation's first execution this year, the AP reports. Twenty were... More »

Military May Soon Hold Its 1st Execution in 56 Years

Former soldier Ronald Gray raped and killed multiple women

(Newser) - The US military could soon execute someone for the first time since a soldier was hanged for raping and trying to kill an 11-year-old girl in 1961, CNN reports. Ronald Gray, a former Army soldier, has been on military death row at Fort Leavenworth since 1988. According to the Fayetteville ... More »

More Than 200 Inmates in Florida Could Avoid Execution

Thanks to a state supreme court ruling on Thursday

(Newser) - Eleven months after the US Supreme Court declared Florida's death penalty to be unconstitutional , the state supreme court ruled that more than 200 inmates on Florida's death row may have the right to new sentencing, the Orlando Sentinel reports. According to the Washington Post , that means more than... More »

Americans Sentenced to Death in 2016: Only 30

Lowest number since early '70s

(Newser) - Only 30 people were sentenced to death in the United States this year, the lowest number since the early 1970s and a further sign of the steady decline in the use of the death penalty. The number is a sharp drop from the 49 death sentences last year and just... More »

Now in California: Streamlined Executions

Opponents of the newly passed Proposition 66 say it's unconstitutional

(Newser) - The Election Day count is finally complete, and California voters have approved a measure aimed at speeding up executions for those on death row, the Los Angeles Times reports. Proposition 66 is designed to make the legal process more efficient by providing a bigger pool of lawyers to handle cases,... More »

Court: Botched Execution Was 'Innocent Misadventure'

Clayton Lockett's execution lasted 43 'horribly painful' minutes

(Newser) - In dismissing his family's lawsuit Tuesday, an appeals court called the 43-minute-long botched execution of Clayton Lockett—during which he regained consciousness and thrashed around—an "innocent misadventure," Tulsa World reports. Lockett, a convicted murderer, was executed in 2014 in Oklahoma. According to Slate , a drug meant... More »

With Her Love on Death Row, Woman Goes Back to School

Yancy Escobar Balderas is becoming a lawyer to help her husband, others

(Newser) - "I cried so much my nose was bleeding." Yancy Escobar Balderas, 29, was in the courtroom—as she had been every day during the two-month trial—when her now-husband Juan Balderas was sentenced to death for a murder she says he didn't commit. This month—two years... More »

Petition Calls for Hanging of Man Accused of Heinous Crime

It was pulled from the White House website

(Newser) - West Virginia hasn't executed anybody since murderer Elmer Brunner went to "Old Sparky" in 1959, but quite a few people want that to change after the horrific murder of a 9-month-old baby . Benjamin Taylor is accused of raping and killing his girlfriend's daughter, and a petition to... More »

In Poll on Death Penalty, a 45-Year First

Supporters no longer in majority: Pew

(Newser) - For the first time in 45 years, Americans who support the death penalty can't count themselves among the majority. Just 49% of Americans polled from late August to early September said they supported capital punishment for people guilty of murder, while 42% said they opposed it, according to the... More »

Ohio Resuming Executions After 3-Year Moratorium

State will use a new 3-drug combination

(Newser) - Ohio plans to resume executions in January with a new three-drug combination after an unofficial three-year moratorium blamed on shortages of lethal drugs, an attorney representing the state told a federal judge Monday. Thomas Madden with the Ohio attorney general's office said the state will use the drugs midazolam,... More »

14% of Death Row Inmates Are There Because of Just 5 Prosecutors

Report argues overzealous DAs are making the death penalty arbitrary

(Newser) - Just five prosecutors representing less than 0.2% of US counties are responsible for 14% of all people currently on death row and 5% of people sentenced to death in the past 40 years. That's according to a recently released report from Harvard Law School's Fair Punishment Project.... More »

Feds Will Pursue Death Penalty Against Dylann Roof

'The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision'

(Newser) - The Justice Department announced Tuesday it will seek the death penalty for Dylann Roof , who is accused of killing nine people during a Bible study class inside a historic black church last June in Charleston, South Carolina. "The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this... More »

Texas Execution Halted, State Won't Appeal

John Battaglia killed his 2 young daughters as revenge against his ex

(Newser) - The Texas Attorney General's Office is not appealing a federal appeals court ruling that has halted the scheduled execution of a Dallas man convicted of killing his two young daughters 15 years ago, the AP reports. State attorneys could have appealed to the US Supreme Court the decision to... More »

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