death penalty

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End of Road for Frenchman Set to Die in Indonesia

Court denies Serge Atlaoui's final appeal; execution planned after July 17

(Newser) - An Indonesian court today denied the final appeal of a French citizen who faces execution for drug offenses, setting the stage for diplomatic retaliation by France after executions of other foreigners strained relations with Australia and Brazil. Eight people were executed in April; Serge Atlaoui , 51, wasn't part of... More »

Those Who Believe in Pure Evil Tend to Support This

And the issue becomes more black-and-white

(Newser) - As Nebraska becomes the 19th state to abolish capital punishment, researchers out of Kansas State University have been investigating just what makes some Americans more fervently in favor of the death penalty than others. One clear factor, they report in the journal Personality and Individual Differences , is whether someone believes... More »

Texas May Have Executed an Innocent Man

Witnesses say Lester Bower did not commit the crime

(Newser) - Earlier this month, Texas executed Lester Bower for the 1983 murders of four men in an airplane hangar. Questions of his guilt lingered—and Bower maintained his innocence—until the end, and a Politico exposé suggests that he may have been telling the truth. Journalist Tim Madigan followed Bower’s... More »

The 'Untold Story' of That Very Botched Execution

Jeffrey E. Stern explores the death of Clayton Lockett in 9K words

(Newser) - June's issue of the Atlantic packages Jeffrey E. Stern's 9,000-word piece on Clayton Lockett's botched April 2014 execution in Oklahoma as the "untold story" of what happened. And while many of the details have surfaced elsewhere—a September report by the Oklahoma Office of Public... More »

Nebraska Veto Override Abolishes Death Penalty

Lawmakers get just enough votes to overturn governor's decision

(Newser) - Nebraska no longer has the death penalty. State lawmakers today overrode the governor's veto of legislation to abolish it by a vote of 30-19, getting the precise number of votes necessary to do so, reports the Omaha World-Herald . The move to defy Gov. Pete Ricketts makes Nebraska "the... More »

Nebraska Gov. Uses Pen to Keep Death Penalty Alive

Pete Ricketts vetoes repeal bill

(Newser) - Gov. Pete Ricketts has vetoed a bill to repeal the death penalty in Nebraska, saying it would send a message to criminals that the state is "soft on crime." State lawmakers voted 32-15 last week against capital punishment, the Omaha World-Herald reports. It will take 30 votes to... More »

Suspect in UVa Killing Faces Death Penalty

Charges are upgraded against Jesse Matthew

(Newser) - The man accused of abducting and murdering a University of Virginia sophomore will now face the death penalty. Prosecutors today announced a charge of capital murder against 33-year-old Jesse Matthew in the death of Hannah Graham last year, reports the Daily Progress . Prosecutors initially didn't seek the death penalty,... More »

'Burned Alive': Court Has Heated Debate on Execution

Alito blasts 'guerrilla war' by opponents of death penalty

(Newser) - Things got about as nasty as they get in the Supreme Court chambers as the justices today debated the constitutionality of a lethal-injection drug. Samuel Alito, for example, accused opponents of the death penalty of engaging in a "guerrilla war" to stop it, while Elena Kagan likened the execution... More »

3 Hours Before Execution, Texas Killer Gets Stay

New DNA test to focus on metal shank used to kill prison guard

(Newser) - A Texas inmate on death row had his execution stayed yesterday just three hours before it was scheduled to be carried out. Robert Pruett, initially sentenced to 99 years in prison as an accomplice to a 1995 murder when he was 15, was then sentenced to death in 2002 over... More »

8 Inmates Refused Blindfolds, Sang at Firing Squad

Pastor says the scene was 'breathtaking'

(Newser) - "Breathtaking" is probably not a word you'd usually associate with the executions of eight people , but that's exactly how a pastor describes the scene in Indonesia just after midnight local time. Seven foreigners and a local man refused blindfolds as they stood in front of a firing... More »

Ambulances Reach Indonesia Prison —Hauling Coffins

Executions of 9 inmates loom, despite international pressure

(Newser) - The pleas for mercy weren't enough, apparently. Despite uproar from several foreign governments, Indonesia is readying for the executions of eight foreigners and one local man convicted of drug trafficking. A dozen ambulances—nine of which were carrying coffins—boarded a ferry to Besi prison on Nusakambangan Island today,... More »

Indonesia to 9 Foreigners: State Your Last Wish

Outcry as execution of convicted drug traffickers nears

(Newser) - The execution of 10 convicted drug traffickers is imminent in Indonesia, with the country this weekend issuing a 72-hour notice for the nine foreigners and one local man; the Guardian reports that means they could be put in front of a firing squad as soon as midnight Tuesday, local time.... More »

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 »

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