death penalty

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Lawyer: Rare Condition Could Make Execution 'Gruesome'

She says Missouri inmate could choke on blood

(Newser) - A condemned Missouri inmate faces a potentially "gruesome and painful" execution because of a rare medical condition that compromises the man's veins and causes multiple tumors in his head and throat, his attorney says. Russell "Rusty" Bucklew is scheduled to die by injection Tuesday evening for killing... More »

Georgia Executes 'Stocking Strangler'

Prosecutors say Carlton Gary raped, killed 7 elderly women

(Newser) - A man known as the "Stocking Strangler" was executed Thursday for the rape-slayings of three older women in attacks that terrorized a Georgia city four decades ago. Carlton Gary, 67, was put to death by lethal injection at the state prison in Jackson. He was the first inmate executed... More »

Prosecutors Will Seek Death for Nikolas Cruz

It's still possible a plea deal could be reached

(Newser) - Florida prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz in the fatal shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The office of Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz filed the formal notice Tuesday. The 19-year-old Cruz is scheduled for formal... More »

Her Religious Beliefs Sent Her to Jail. Now They May Free Her

Investigator was held in contempt of court in death penalty case, but now, a 'dramatic change'

(Newser) - Greta Lindecrantz was sent to jail due to her religious convictions, and now, after two weeks behind bars, those religious convictions, as well as a "dramatic change in circumstance," will apparently set her free. Lindecrantz, a criminal defense investigator, was held in contempt of court Feb. 26 for... More »

Trump Touts Plan for Drug Dealers: Kill Them All

(Newser) - On Saturday, President Trump again supported the idea of killing off America's drug dealers. Speaking at a rally in Moon Township, Penn., he said the presidents of China and Singapore inspired him with their policies, USA Today reports. "You kill 5,000 people with drugs because you're... More »

Religion Bars Her From Testifying. Now She's in Jail

She opposes violence on religious grounds, won't testify in death penalty case

(Newser) - Greta Lindecrantz says her Mennonite faith bars her from testifying in a death-penalty case in Colorado—and as a result, she's been behind bars since Monday. Lindecrantz worked as an investigator for the defense team of Robert Ray, who was sentenced to death in 2009 for ordering the deaths... More »

Texas Gov. Halts Execution for 1st Time in Over a Decade

Thomas Whitaker says he's 'thankful' for Gov. Greg Abbott's decision

(Newser) - Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has accepted the state parole board's recommendation and is sparing the life of convicted killer Thomas "Bart" Whitaker, the AP reports. The 38-year-old Whitaker was set for execution Thursday evening for masterminding a murder plot that took the lives of his mother and younger... More »

What Makes This Death Penalty Case in Illinois Unusual

Yingying Zhang disappeared in June

(Newser) - University of Illinois graduate student Yingying Zhang disappeared in June. The Chinese woman's body has not been found, but federal prosecutors believe that Brendt Christensen is responsible for her murder—and they announced Friday that, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' blessing, they will pursue the death penalty in their... More »

SCOTUS OKs Execution of Man Who Can't Remember Crime

Vernon Madison understands he was convicted of murder, high court rules

(Newser) - In 1985, Vernon Madison shot and killed Mobile, Ala., police officer Julius Schulte after Schulte responded to a domestic call involving Madison; prosecutors say he crept up on the officer as he sat in his police car and shot him twice in the back of the head, the AP reports.... More »

Neighbor Noticed Something Suspicious About NYC Suspect

He says Sayfullo Saipov drove around in a Home Depot truck that was empty

(Newser) - Court papers filed against New York City terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov Wednesday stated that he asked for an ISIS flag in his hospital room —news that outraged President Trump, among others. "NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room," Trump... More »

Fentanyl Will Be Used in Upcoming Nevada Execution

Along with two other drugs in an un-tested combination

(Newser) - "This is not actually science," anesthesiologist Joel Zivot tells the Marshall Project . "It’s not actually medicine. It is a grotesque impersonation of those things." Nevada officials announced in August the state will be carrying out an execution—its first in more than a decade—with... More »

Man to Be Executed in a Way Unlike Any Other US Inmate

Etomidate has never been used before in a lethal injection here

(Newser) - Florida hasn't put anyone to death since January 2016. That's slated to change Thursday, along with one other thing: the drug cocktail used to do so. Mark James Asay, 53, is scheduled to die by lethal injection, with the increasingly difficult to obtain anesthetic midazolam being replaced by... More »

DNA Evidence Saves Man From Execution With Hours to Spare

Missouri governor issues stay of execution for Marcellus Williams

(Newser) - With only hours to spare, the execution of a convicted murderer was stayed by the governor of Missouri, CNN reports. According to the Washington Post , 48-year-old Marcellus Williams was convicted in 2001 of the 1998 murder of Felicia Gayle, who was stabbed 43 times in her home. But attorneys for... More »

Woman Sentenced to Die for Locking Cousin in Box

10-year-old died of suffocation

(Newser) - A 29-year-old woman in Arizona has been sentenced to die for her role in the horrific death of her 10-year-old cousin. Prosecutors said Sammantha Allen and husband John Allen stuffed Ame Deal into a plastic storage bin and left her there overnight in triple-digit temperatures in July 2011 as punishment... More »

Child Killer's Last Words Were for His Victim

Ronald Phillips, 43, died by lethal injection in state's first execution since Jan. 2014

(Newser) - Ohio put a child killer to death Wednesday, carrying out the state's first execution after a 3.5-year delay and signaling the possible resumption of capital punishment in the state. Ronald Phillips, 43, was executed by lethal injection without any of the complications that marred the state's last... More »

Truck Deaths: Driver Says He Didn't Know He Carried People

James M. Bradley Jr. charged with transporting immigrants in US illegally

(Newser) - The tragedy is extreme—now 10 people dead after being contained in a stiflingly hot tractor-trailer parked at a San Antonio Walmart—and so too is the potential sentence for James M. Bradley Jr. In advance of his Monday appearance in federal court, the 60-year-old driver of the truck... More »

Inmate Serving Life Made Twisted Attempt to Get Death

Denver Simmons offers up a motive in AP interview

(Newser) - One by one, Denver Simmons recalled, he and his partner lured inmates into his cell. William Scruggs was promised cookies; Jimmy Ham thought he was coming to snort some crushed pills. Over the course of about a half-hour, four men accepted Simmons' hospitality. None of them made it out alive.... More »

World First: Death Penalty for Facebook Posts

30-year-old man in Pakistan is convicted of insulting Mohammed online

(Newser) - Pakistan just put a man on death row because of his Facebook posts. In what is believed to be the first death penalty sentence anywhere over social media content, a court convicted the 30-year-old of insulting the prophet Mohammed and his wives, reports Reuters . The details about Taimoor Raza's... 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 »

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 »

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