capital punishment

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Man Maintains Innocence as He Faces 8th Execution Date

Tommy Arthur has escaped execution 7 times in past 16 years

(Newser) - When you've faced your own execution seven times with an eighth on the way, it's important to have the right mindset. “You can either let a stressful situation break you ... or you hold on to hope and use your every waking moment to fight," Tommy Arthur... More »

Death Row Inmate's Last Words Were an Insult

'You can kiss my white trash ass'

(Newser) - When asked if he had any final words before his execution in Georgia early Wednesday, JW Ledford Jr. did. But those words weren't an apology or a goodbye; rather, they were a taunt, ABC News reports. The 45-year-old, who murdered his 73-year-old neighbor in 1992, smiled as he tossed... More »

Back-to-Back Executions on Same Arkansas Gurney

2nd inmate was in death chamber when he won temporary stay

(Newser) - Arkansas carried out the nation's first double execution since 2000 Monday night, executing Marcel Williams on the same gurney Jack Jones died on hours earlier. Both men had called for the executions to be halted because of their poor health . The AP reports that Jones, 52, was executed on... More »

Last Meal of Holy Communion, Then Arkansas Executes Inmate

US Supreme Court voted 5-4 not to intervene

(Newser) - After 12 years and hundreds of hours of legal battles, the state of Arkansas has successfully taken a man's life. Ledell Lee, a convicted murderer who'd been on death row for more than 20 years, was executed late Thursday after the US Supreme Court decided not to intervene,... More »

Courts Halt Arkansas Multiple Execution Plan

State running out of time for 7 executions

(Newser) - Arkansas' goal of executing seven inmates in 11 days before its supply of lethal injection drugs expires may be a dead plan walking after two court rulings Friday. In the first ruling, the state Supreme Court temporarily stayed the execution of convicted killer Bruce Earl Ward, NPR reports. Attorneys for... More »

US No Longer Among World's Top 5 Executioners

Amnesty International releases new rankings, hails death penalty's decline

(Newser) - The US is no longer one of the top five executioners in the world, AFP reports. In 2016, both death sentences and executions dropped in the US; only 20 people were put to death, which dropped the US to the No. 7 spot globally, per US News & World Report... More »

No One Wants to Watch Arkansas' Executions

The state is attempting to carry out 8 executions in 10 days next month

(Newser) - Arkansas hasn't carried out an execution since 2005 due to legal challenges and the availability of necessary drugs. It's apparently ready to make up for lost time. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has scheduled eight executions over 10 days in April. There will be two executions by lethal injection per... More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

What It's Like to Witness an Execution

Columnist describes his first experience

(Newser) - Last week, reporter St. John Barned-Smith went to cover his first execution. "You'll never be the same," one anti-death-penalty protester warned him outside Texas's Walls Unit prison, where James Garrett Freeman would be put to death for killing a Texas game warden in 2007, when he... More »

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