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South Carolina Senators Want to Bring Back Firing Squads

Bill would make electric chair the default method

(Newser) - Firing squads will make a comeback in South Carolina if a bill being considered by the state's Senate becomes law. Under current South Carolina law, condemned inmates have the choice between lethal injection or the electric chair, and the state can't force them to die by electrocution if...

Pharaoh Who Risked His Life 'to Liberate Egypt' Died Horribly

Study suggests a bound Seqenenre Tao was attacked on all sides

(Newser) - The death of Seqenenre Tao is said to have indirectly led to the reunification of ancient Egypt, which was divided during the pharaoh's lifetime in the 16th century BC. Only now do we know what exactly that death entailed. Researchers studying the mummy of the pharaoh, first discovered in...

AP: Executioners' Accounts Didn't Sync With What We Saw

It weighs in on the 13 federal executions it witnessed as a member of the media

(Newser) - Executioners who put 13 inmates to death in the last months of the Trump administration likened the process of dying by lethal injection to falling asleep and called gurneys "beds" and final breaths "snores." But those tranquil accounts are at odds with reports by the AP and...

Inmate on Death Row Gets Last-Minute Reprieve

Willie B. Smith III's execution cancelled

(Newser) - An Alabama inmate on Thursday won a reprieve from a scheduled lethal injection after the US Supreme Court said the state could not proceed without his pastor in the death chamber. The state prison system said the execution of Willie B. Smith III, planned for Thursday evening, would not proceed...

Alabama Wants to Carry Out 2021's First State Execution

Appeals court says pastor needs to be allowed in execution chamber

(Newser) - Alabama is seeking to carry out what would be the first execution by a state in 2021, that of a 51-year-old inmate convicted of the shotgun slaying of a police detective's sister decades ago. The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay blocking the Thursday night execution,...

Final Federal Execution Under Trump the 13th Since July
Execution Ends

Execution Ends 'Unprecedented Run'

Dustin Higgs was the last federal inmate put to death under the Trump administration

(Newser) - The Trump administration early Saturday carried out its 13th federal execution since July, an unprecedented run that concluded just five days before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden—an opponent of the federal death penalty. Dustin Higgs, convicted of ordering the killings of three women in a Maryland wildlife refuge...

12th Federal Execution Under Trump Takes Place

Corey Johnson put to death in Indiana Thursday night

(Newser) - The US government executed a drug trafficker Thursday for his involvement in a series of slayings in Virginia’s capital city in 1992, despite claims by his lawyers that the lethal injection would cause excruciating pain due to lung damage from his recent COVID-19 infection. Corey Johnson's lawyers have...

Woman Executed by the US for the First Time Since 1953

After much legal back-and-forth, Supreme Court clears way for Lisa Montgomery's execution

(Newser) - After hours of legal back-and-forth, Lisa Montgomery was executed early Wednesday at a federal prison complex in Indiana. The Kansas 52-year-old is the first female put to death in the US since 1953, the AP reports. An appeals court had granted a stay of execution for Montgomery on Tuesday, but...

Judge Halts Last 2 Executions of Trump's Term

Both inmates tested positive for COVID

(Newser) - COVID-19 has killed more than 375,000 Americans—but it may have saved the lives of two federal inmates. A federal judge has halted the executions of Corey Johnson and Dustin Higgs because they have tested positive for the virus, the Hill reports. In what would have been the final...

First Execution of a US Woman in 67 Years Halted

Judge grants stay of execution for Lisa Montgomery

(Newser) - A judge has granted a stay in what was slated to be the US government's first execution of a female inmate in nearly seven decades—a Kansas woman who killed an expectant mother in Missouri, cut the baby from her womb, and passed off the newborn as her own,...

Attorneys for Woman Set to Be Executed Ask Trump to Intervene

Commute Lisa Montgomery's sentence, her lawyers ask POTUS

(Newser) - The only woman on federal death row is set to be executed Tuesday—but her lawyers are hoping the president will intervene. Lisa Montgomery's defense team filed a petition for clemency Tuesday, USA Today reports. "We're asking now that President Trump to please hear our plea,"...

Bad News for Only Woman on Federal Death Row

Lisa Montgomery could now be executed before Joe Biden takes office

(Newser) - A federal appeals court has cleared the way for the only woman on federal death row to be executed before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, the AP reports. The ruling, handed down Friday by a three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, concluded...

Dustin Higgs Asks Trump Not to Put Him to Death

His lawyers call the sentencing 'arbitrary and inequitable'

(Newser) - A federal death row inmate who is due to die on Jan. 15 has petitioned President Trump for clemency. The Guardian explains the case Dustin Higgs is trying to make: Essentially that it was "arbitrary and inequitable" to sentence the man who murdered three woman who had been abducted...

'Brandon's Execution Is a Stain'
'Brandon's Execution Is a Stain'

'Brandon's Execution Is a Stain'

Brandon Bernard put to death in Indiana despite outcry over his case

(Newser) - For the ninth time this year, a federal execution has been carried out. Brandon Bernard was put to death in Indiana Thursday despite celebrities and politicians intervening on his behalf. After the Supreme Court denied a request to delay the execution for two weeks and President Trump did not act...

Lawyer: Client's Execution Delay 'Unprecedented'

SC officials say they can't obtain drugs needed to put Richard Bernard Moore to death by Friday

(Newser) - South Carolina prison officials say they have to delay an execution scheduled for Friday because they won't be able to obtain the necessary lethal injection drugs. An attorney for the state Department of Corrections wrote in a letter to the South Carolina Supreme Court last week that the agency...

DOJ to Allow for Federal Execution by Firing Squad

Change is one of several to come before Trump's term is up

(Newser) - Death by firing squad could be the fate of federal death row inmates in the US under a new rule from the Justice Department. For decades, federal executions have been carried out by lethal injection. But a new rule to be published Friday in the Federal Register, and take effect...

Whitmer Kidnapping Plot Was Actually Plan C

Plan A was to televise executions of public officials at Capitol: authorities

(Newser) - The 14 men who allegedly plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had initially planned to take over the state capitol building and execute public officials on TV, according to state officials. Allegations of the group's "Plan A" were contained in an October court filing obtained by the...

Her Lawyers Got COVID. Now an Execution Reprieve

Federal judge orders Lisa Montgomery not be put to death before 2021

(Newser) - Lisa Montgomery is getting a bit of a break. Montgomery was set to be executed on Dec. 8 in Terre Haute, Ind., which would make her the first woman put to death by the federal government in nearly seven decades. But two of her attorneys last week requested a delay...

Feds Execute Man Who Buried Texas Teen Alive

Orlando Hall is 8th federal inmate executed this year

(Newser) - Orlando Hall got stiffed on a drug deal and went to a Texas apartment looking for the two brothers who took his money. They weren't home, but their 16-year-old sister was. Late Thursday, Hall was put to death for abducting and killing the teenager, Lisa Rene. His was the...

Feds Plan 3 Executions During Transition Period

They will be the last for at least 4 years

(Newser) - The Justice Department plans to go ahead with three executions during the presidential transition period, including one scheduled for Thursday, despite President-elect Joe Biden's opposition to the death penalty. A federal appeals court cleared the way Wednesday for the Thursday execution of 49-year-old Orlando Hall, who raped and murdered...

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