death penalty

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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 »

He Was Executed in 1995. China Now Says He Was Innocent

Nie Shubin was made a suspect 'without a shred of evidence,' court finds

(Newser) - In August 1994, a Chinese man was named a suspect in the rape and murder of Kang Juhua, whose body was found in the northern Hebei province. He was allegedly beaten into a confession, subjected to a trial his parents couldn't attend, and executed by gunshot without their knowledge... More »

Now in California: Streamlined Executions

Opponents of the newly passed Proposition 66 say it's unconstitutional

(Newser) - The Election Day count is finally complete, and California voters have approved a measure aimed at speeding up executions for those on death row, the Los Angeles Times reports. Proposition 66 is designed to make the legal process more efficient by providing a bigger pool of lawyers to handle cases,... More »

Nebraska Votes to Bring Back Death Penalty

Lawmakers repealed penalty last year

(Newser) - The death penalty is back from the dead in Nebraska: Voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot measure to restore the penalty, which was abolished by state lawmakers last year , reports the AP . Around 61% of voters chose to "repeal the repeal" in the state, which had 10 people on death... More »

With Her Love on Death Row, Woman Goes Back to School

Yancy Escobar Balderas is becoming a lawyer to help her husband, others

(Newser) - "I cried so much my nose was bleeding." Yancy Escobar Balderas, 29, was in the courtroom—as she had been every day during the two-month trial—when her now-husband Juan Balderas was sentenced to death for a murder she says he didn't commit. This month—two years... More »

Saudi Arabia Just Executed a Prince

Prince Turki fatally shot a friend in 2012

(Newser) - Being a royal won't save your life in Saudi Arabia if you're convicted of murder. Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir, who fatally shot a friend in a "group quarrel" at a desert camp in December 2012, was executed in Riyadh on Tuesday, state media reports, per CNN... More »

In Poll on Death Penalty, a 45-Year First

Supporters no longer in majority: Pew

(Newser) - For the first time in 45 years, Americans who support the death penalty can't count themselves among the majority. Just 49% of Americans polled from late August to early September said they supported capital punishment for people guilty of murder, while 42% said they opposed it, according to the... More »

Ohio Resuming Executions After 3-Year Moratorium

State will use a new 3-drug combination

(Newser) - Ohio plans to resume executions in January with a new three-drug combination after an unofficial three-year moratorium blamed on shortages of lethal drugs, an attorney representing the state told a federal judge Monday. Thomas Madden with the Ohio attorney general's office said the state will use the drugs midazolam,... More »

Delaware Death Penalty Ruled Unconstitutional

Final decision in capital cases rested with judge, not jury

(Newser) - Delaware's death penalty law is unconstitutional in light of a US Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, the state's high court ruled Tuesday. In a 148-page opinion, a majority of Delaware Supreme Court justices said the state law violates the US Constitution because it allows a judge to... More »

Dylann Roof: Death Penalty Is 'Cruel,' 'Unconstitutional'

Capital punishment violates Fifth, Eighth Amendments, and his lawyers want it taken off the table

(Newser) - Defense attorneys say they will challenge the Justice Department's decision to pursue the death penalty for Dylann Roof , accused of killing nine people at a black church in Charleston, SC. "The facts of this case are indisputably grave," they say, per CNN . "But if, as we... More »

14% of Death Row Inmates Are There Because of Just 5 Prosecutors

Report argues overzealous DAs are making the death penalty arbitrary

(Newser) - Just five prosecutors representing less than 0.2% of US counties are responsible for 14% of all people currently on death row and 5% of people sentenced to death in the past 40 years. That's according to a recently released report from Harvard Law School's Fair Punishment Project.... More »

Jurors Vote for Death Sentence for 'Grim Sleeper'

Lonnie Franklin Jr. will be formally sentenced later

(Newser) - A jury has returned a death sentence for a serial killer known as the "Grim Sleeper," who murdered nine women and a teenage girl over several decades in South Los Angeles, the AP reports. The verdict Monday came nearly a month after 63-year-old Lonnie Franklin Jr. was convicted... More »

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