death penalty

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Parents of Boston Boy: Don't Kill Tsarnaev

Martin Richard's family says it will only prolong their pain

(Newser) - Few know the devastation of the Boston Marathon bombings better than Bill and Denise Richard—their 8-year-old son, Martin, was killed and their daughter, Jane, lost a leg. In the Boston Globe today, however, the Richards make a plea that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev be spared the death penalty . The Richards ask... More »

Don't Execute Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Why some think the death penalty is misguided in this case

(Newser) - If jurors agree that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deserves the death penalty when the sentencing phase of his trial begins next week , he shouldn't hold out hope of a reprieve from the governor. Charlie Baker supports execution in this case, reports MassLive . "To this day, I continue to be amazed... More »

US Pharmacists: Don't Sell Death-Penalty Drugs

The American Pharmacists Association takes a stand

(Newser) - The American Pharmacists Association today adopted a policy that discourages its members from providing death-penalty drugs. The new guidelines could make it tough for death penalty states, like Texas, that have been looking at made-to-order execution drugs from compounding pharmacies as the answer to a nationwide shortage of execution drugs.... More »

During Botched Execution, Inmate Tried to Help

Tulsa World investigates all that went wrong in Clayton Lockett's lethal injection

(Newser) - At the end of the night of April 29, 2014, convicted murderer Clayton Lockett lay dead on a gurney, which is the outcome the state of Oklahoma sought. But the botched execution was a "procedural disaster" from the get-go, according to an investigation in the Tulsa World , based on... More »

Utah Lawmakers OK Return of Firing Squads

It's not clear whether governor will sign 'backup method' bill

(Newser) - Under a bill passed by Utah's state Senate yesterday, the state's executioners won't have to worry about a shortage of lethal injection drugs unless there's also a shortage of bullets. The bill, introduced by its Republican sponsor as a "backup," allows the use of... More »

Opening Statements Will Likely Portray 2 Tsarnaevs

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: active participant or easily influenced younger brother?

(Newser) - Two dramatically different portraits of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are expected to emerge when prosecutors and Tsarnaev's lawyers give their opening statements today at his federal death penalty trial. Was he a submissive, adoring younger brother who only followed directions given by his older, radicalized brother? Or... More »

Georgia to Execute First Woman Since 1945

Kelly Gissendaner lost clemency appeal

(Newser) - Georgia is preparing to execute a woman for the first time since 1945. Kelly Renee Gissendaner, 46, is scheduled to be put to death tonight, an event that would make her the 16th woman to be executed since 1976, the AP reports; that's when the Supreme Court ended a... More »

3 Executions on Hold Until Supreme Court Hears Case

Unless Oklahoma comes up with an alternative to controversial drug

(Newser) - Three death-row inmates in Oklahoma now have a much better chance of living long enough to see whether their court challenge to lethal injection is successful. The Supreme Court today ordered Oklahoma to put the executions on hold until the court hears their case in late April, reports NBC News... More »

First US Execution of 2015: Vietnam Vet With PTSD

Andrew Brannan, 66, was convicted of 1998 murder of sheriff's deputy

(Newser) - A man who fatally shot a sheriff's deputy who stopped him for speeding on a Georgia interstate was put to death yesterday for the 1998 killing, which was captured on the patrol car's video camera. Andrew Howard Brannan, 66, was pronounced dead at 8:33pm after a single-drug... More »

Executions Hit Lowest Number in 20 Years

And new death sentences reach 40-year low, according to nonprofit's report

(Newser) - Executions and new death sentences dropped to their lowest numbers in decades in 2014, an anti-death penalty group said in a new report. The Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit organization that opposes executions and tracks the issue, said 35 inmates were executed this year and 71 have so far... More »

Teen Executed 18 Years Ago Cleared of Murder

Another person confessed in 2005 to China crime

(Newser) - Eighteen years ago, an 18-year-old was put to death after reportedly confessing to the rape and murder of a woman. In 2005, another man admitted to the crime—but only today was the teenager's conviction ruled wrongful, Reuters reports. The teen, named Huugjilt, made his confession after 48 hours... More »

China to Stop Using Organs From Executed Prisoners

But new supply may be hard to find

(Newser) - China says that on Jan. 1, in response to human rights concerns, it will cease transplanting organs taken from executed prisoners, although uncertainties linger over where a replacement supply will come from, state media reported today. China had previously said it would phase out the practice by sometime in early... More »

2nd Inmate Freed in Crazy Chicago Death-Row Case

Crime figures in why Illinois scrapped the death penalty

(Newser) - A man wrongly convicted in a 1982 double murder in Chicago is being set free after 15 years, reports CBS Chicago . But this is not your typical case of this variety: Alstory Simon is actually the second person to be freed after a murder conviction for the crime, which is... More »

China's Pimps May No Longer Face Death

Death penalty could be dropped for 9 non-violent offenses

(Newser) - Good news for China's pimps, counterfeiters, and ammunition smugglers: Their crimes are among those that the government plans to stop punishing with death. A plan put before the National People's Congress yesterday eliminates the death penalty for nine non-violent offenses but still leaves 46 capital crimes on the... More »

Prosecutors Call for Ferry Captain's Death

Lee Joon-seok 'supplied the cause,' they say

(Newser) - Prosecutors want the captain of a South Korean ferry that sank in April and killed 300 people, mostly schoolchildren, put to death. Prosecutors concluded their case today against Lee Joon-seok by saying he "supplied the cause" that sunk the Sewol, and therefore "has the heaviest responsibility for the... More »

Pope Francis: Let's Abolish Life Sentences

They are nothing more than a 'hidden death penalty,' he says

(Newser) - That Pope Francis spoke out today against capital punishment is no big surprise. But he made headlines by coming out against life sentences as well, reports the Guardian . In a speech to the International Association of Penal Law, the pope urged all "people of good will" to fight for... More »

Iran to Hang Woman for Killing Would-Be Rapist

Rayhaneh Jabbari maintains her act of self-defense didn't kill the man

(Newser) - It appears Rayhaneh Jabbari will not die today, but the 26-year-old Iranian woman's plight continues to grab international headlines. Jabbari has been sentenced to death for the 2007 killing of a would-be rapist, and Fox News yesterday reported that she managed to place a phone call to her mother... More »

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 »

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