death penalty

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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 »

Arkansas Inmate Spoke in Tongues Before Execution

It was state's 4th execution in 8 days

(Newser) - Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days Thursday night, wrapping up an accelerated schedule of lethal injections that was set to beat the expiration date of one of the drugs. Kenneth Williams, 38, was pronounced dead at 11:05pm, 13 minutes after the execution began at the Cummins Unit... More »

Survivalist Who Killed State Trooper Hears Fate

Eric Frein taunted cops after 2014 ambush

(Newser) - A survivalist who eluded police in northeast Pennsylvania for seven weeks after killing a state trooper in a 2014 ambush has been sentenced to death. Eric Frein, 33, was found guilty last week on charges including first-degree murder, the BBC reports. The jury deliberated for five hours Wednesday before deciding... 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 »

'Chaotic' Day Ends With SCOTUS Sparing Ark. Inmate

Don Davis' death warrant has now expired

(Newser) - The US Supreme Court spared the life of an Arkansas inmate minutes before his death warrant was set to expire Monday, scuttling the state's efforts to carry out four double executions before its supply of a lethal injection drug expires. The court's decision to maintain the Arkansas Supreme... More »

2 Big Hurdles Lifted in Arkansas Execution Plan

But it's unclear whether first two executions will take place as scheduled

(Newser) - State and federal courts lifted the two primary obstacles Arkansas faced in its plan to execute eight inmates before the end of April, but the state backed away from legal efforts to carry out one of the first two lethal injections scheduled Monday night, the AP reports. The decisions from... 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 »

Judge Might Block Arkansas' Plan to Execute 7 Inmates

Opponents warn of risk of botched executions

(Newser) - Arkansas is preparing to execute seven death row inmates in 11 days because it wants to carry out the sentences before its supply of an execution drug expires May 1. Judge Kristine Baker, who was appointed to US District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas by President Barack Obama,... 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 »

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 »

Mother Sentenced to Death in Daughter's Honor Killing

The Pakistani woman disapproved of the girl's choice of husband

(Newser) - A Pakistani mother who burned her daughter to death because she disapproved of the teen's marriage now faces death herself. A judge in eastern Lahore convicted Parveen Bibi of killing Zeenat Rafiq a week after the 18-year-old's unapproved marriage to her boyfriend, reports Reuters . Authorities say Bibi lured... More »

Lauderdale Shooting Suspect Charged, Could Face Death

Esteban Santiago is charged as authorities try to figure out motive

(Newser) - While investigators try to figure out the motive of an Iraq war veteran accused of killing five travelers and wounding six others at a busy airport in Florida, the suspected gunman was charged and could face the death penalty, reports the AP . Esteban Santiago, 26, was charged with an act... 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 »

SCOTUS Will Let Ohio Execute This Man 'Again'

Supreme Court declined to hear Romell Broom's challenge

(Newser) - Ohio tried and failed once to execute Romell Broom, and the Supreme Court won't stand in the way of the state as it tries again. NBC News reports the justices on Monday declined to hear Broom's challenge, which came after the state's Supreme Court in March rejected... More »

Advocates Call Alabama Execution 'Avoidable Disaster'

Ronald Smith coughed and heaved for 13 minutes

(Newser) - Defenders of a condemned inmate in Alabama are calling his execution an "avoidable disaster," the AP reports. For 13 minutes after he was sedated to avoid an unconstitutionally painful death, Ronald Smith Jr. was seen coughing, gasping, and moving . Smith's legal team says these movements Thursday night... More »

One Client Got Death. Then Another, and Another

The 'Guardian' looks at defense lawyer Frederick Duchardt

(Newser) - Missouri claims less than 2% of America's population, but is the place where 14.5% of the convictions of the 62 people sitting on federal death row occurred. In a lengthy piece for the Guardian , David Rose looks at the lawyer who "has had more clients sentenced to... More »

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