NEWS ABOUT: death penalty

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Texas Executes Woman Who Starved, Tortured Boy

Lisa Coleman guilty in 9-year-old's death

(Newser) - A Texas woman convicted of the starvation and torture death of her girlfriend's 9-year-old son a decade ago was executed this evening. Lisa Coleman, 38, received a lethal injection after the Supreme Court rejected a last-day appeal to spare her. She was pronounced dead at 6:24pm local time,... 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 »

Death Penalty Foes Should Cut the Appeals to Human Dignity

They'd have better luck portraying it as a big-government failure: Daniel LaChance

(Newser) - Support for the death penalty is declining in the US, but it doesn't have much to do with botched executions or moral outrage, writes Daniel LaChance in the New York Times . Nope, it's mostly because the death penalty just isn't what it used to be: Executions often... More »

IV Line in Botched Execution Wasn't Properly Monitored: Report

Intravenous line in Clayton Lockett's groin caused problems, review says

(Newser) - A review of a botched Oklahoma execution in April says an improperly monitored IV line likely caused problems in administering three lethal drugs. The report released today by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety noted that a paramedic and physician inserted the intravenous line in Clayton Lockett's groin after... More »

Half-Brothers Cleared of Murder After 30 Years

DNA evidence reveals wrongful conviction of NC teens

(Newser) - Two mentally disabled half-brothers in North Carolina have spent the last 30 years locked up for a murder they didn't commit, DNA evidence has revealed. Leon Brown and Henry McCollum were 15 and 19 years old, respectively, in 1983 when they were arrested for the rape and murder of... 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 a First, India Executing Women: Sister Serial Killers

Pair convicted of murdering five kids, suspected in other killings

(Newser) - Serial killer sisters, who kidnapped and murdered at least five children, are poised to become the first women hanged in India, reports the Washington Post . “This is indeed one of the rarest of the rare cases where the perpetrators deserve the death sentence,” a human rights lawyer tells... 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 »

Inmate Takes 2 Hours to Die in Arizona Execution

Lawyers for Joseph Wood tried to stop procedure after an hour

(Newser) - Another botched execution? Arizona executed a murderer today, but it took Joseph Rudolph Wood nearly two hours to die, reports the Arizona Republic . It took so long that Wood's lawyers filed an emergency appeal to stop the procedure after an hour because they say their 55-year-old client was still... 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 »

California's Death Penalty Ruled Unconstitutional

Federal judge says systemic delays amount to cruel and unusual punishment

(Newser) - A potentially huge ruling on the death penalty out of California: A federal judge says the state's system of capital punishment is so inept that California must stop killing inmates, period, reports NBC Bay Area . The decision by US District Judge Cormac J. Carney isn't about the ongoing... More »

Child Bride in Iran Faces Hanging for Killing Husband

Human Rights Watch trying to stop execution

(Newser) - Human Rights Watch is trying to raise pressure on judges in Iran to call off the execution of a 21-year-old woman who killed her husband four years ago. Razieh Ebrahimi’s father forced her to marry a neighbor at age 14, and she gave birth to a child at... 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 »

High Court: IQ Test Alone Can't Decide Death Penalty

Plus: Justices favor Secret Service in free-speech ruling

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today ruled that states must look beyond an IQ score in borderline cases of mental disability to determine whether a death row inmate is eligible to be executed. The justices said in a 5-4 decision that Florida and a handful of other states cannot rely solely on... More »

'Deeply Evil' Billionaire Gets Death Penalty

Liu Han yells out in court: 'I was framed'

(Newser) - Two Chinese brothers have been convicted of murder and running a "mafia-style" gang over two decades—and they'll pay the price with their lives. Billionaire Liu Han, 48, and his brother were leaders of a 36-person gang charged with at least eight murders, Chinese media report, per 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 »

Man Who Planned to Kill His Way to Obama Gets Death

James McVay killed elderly SD woman, stole her car

(Newser) - A man who murdered an elderly South Dakota woman in what he described as the first step in a plot to kill and steal his way to Washington and assassinate President Obama has been sentenced to death. After walking away from a minimum-security prison unit, James McVay drank alcohol and... More »

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