capital punishment

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Court Halts Execution in High-Profile Case

Lawyer says that will give time for new evidence to be considered in Rodney Reed's case

(Newser) - Texas’ top appeals court on Friday halted the scheduled execution of inmate Rodney Reed, whose conviction is being questioned by new evidence that his supporters say raises serious doubt about his guilt. The stay of execution issued Friday afternoon by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals came just hours after... More »

Celebrities Go to Bat for Man Sentenced to Die

Kim Kardashian West, others ask Texas governor to stop execution of Rodney Reed

(Newser) - Kim Kardashian West has been spending a lot of time fighting for criminal justice reform , and the latest prisoner she's advocating for has a lot of other celebrities on his side, too. Rodney Reed is on death row in Texas after being convicted of the 1996 rape and murder... More »

Inmate Uses Last Words to Forgive Victim's Family

Donnivan Schaeffer's parents say they weren't expecting an apology anyway

(Newser) - There was no apology given nor remorse shown before Charles Rhines was put to death in South Dakota Monday night for murdering Donnivan Schaeffer in 1992—but with his last words, Rhines did "forgive" Schaeffer's family, the Rapid City Journal reports. "Ed and Peggy Schaeffer, I forgive... More »

Nation's Law Would Bring Death Penalty for Gay Sex

Critics say revived bill in Uganda will 'fire up more hatred'

(Newser) - Africa is known for having some of the most rigid laws against homosexuality in the world, with Uganda now vying for one of the top spots on that front. Reuters reports a bill is in the works there that would resurrect a long-dormant one, with a dire punishment for gay... More »

Blood-Filled Tumors Weren't Enough to Stop His Execution

Russell Bucklew executed after Missouri Gov. Mike Parson denies clemency request

(Newser) - Missouri executed Russell Bucklew Tuesday, despite concerns that the 51-year-old inmate's rare medical condition could have resulted in what his attorneys feared would be a gruesome death. Gov. Mike Parson earlier Tuesday denied a clemency request, and the US Supreme Court in April gave the go-ahead for Bucklew to... More »

Texas Executes Inmate Who Stabbed 2 Stepsons

Robert Sparks also killed wife in 2007 attack

(Newser) - A Texas inmate who claimed he was intellectually disabled was executed Wednesday for fatally stabbing his two stepsons during a 2007 attack in which his wife also died. Robert Sparks received a lethal injection for the slayings of 9-year-old Harold Sublet and 10-year-old Raekwon Agnew in their Dallas home, the... More »

'Lord Forgive 'Em': Texas Executes Larry Swearingen

Inmate claimed science proved his innocence

(Newser) - Texas inmate Larry Swearingen claimed he was innocent right up until his execution—and even beyond. "Today the state of Texas executed an innocent man," the 48-year-old said in a statement released after he received a lethal injection Wednesday. Swearingen, sentenced to die for the 1998 abduction, rape,... More »

Under the Banner of Heaven Killer Closer to Firing Squad

Ronald Watson Lafferty lost his latest appeal Monday

(Newser) - A Utah death row inmate featured in the popular book Under the Banner of Heaven after killing his sister-in-law and her child for resisting his polygamist beliefs inched closer to becoming the first American to be executed by firing squad in nearly a decade after losing his latest appeal Monday.... More »

First Federal Executions in 16 Years Are Set

'We owe it to the victims,' says AG Barr

(Newser) - Federal executions will resume later this year after a 16-year hiatus, on the orders of Attorney General William Barr. The Bureau of Prisons has scheduled the executions of five men convicted of murdering children for December and January at Indiana's US Penitentiary Terre Haute, reports CNBC . "We owe... More »

Country Hires 2 Hangmen, Says Executions Will Happen

Sri Lanka last put a man to death in 1976

(Newser) - Sri Lankan prison authorities have recruited two hangmen ahead of planned executions that would end a 43-year-old moratorium on the death penalty, an official said Monday. The recruitment of the two hangmen comes as prison authorities are preparing to carry out an order by Sri Lanka president Maithripala Sirisena, who... More »

Last Words Before Landmark Execution: 'Death Can't Stop It'

Marion Wilson Jr. is 1,500th person executed since death penalty reinstated

(Newser) - On Thursday night, Marion Wilson Jr. was executed by the state of Georgia for his role in a 1996 murder. Wilson—who CNN notes was sentenced to death in 1997 for killing Donovan Corey Parks after Parks gave him a ride from an Atlanta Walmart—was put to death by... More »

Father Who Killed His 5 Kids Is Sentenced

Jurors sentence Timothy Jones Jr. to death

(Newser) - A South Carolina father was sentenced to death Thursday for killing his five children with his own hands, the AP reports. After they were dead, he drove around with their bodies for nine days before dumping them in garbage bags on the side of an Alabama dirt road. Timothy Jones... More »

Lawmakers Overrule Governor, Outlaw Death Penalty

New Hampshire is now the 21st state without capital punishment

(Newser) - First the New Hampshire state Senate passed legislation to repeal the death penalty in the state; then Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed that legislation; now the state Senate has overriden that veto. After what the Concord Monitor calls "unusually brisk debate" Thursday, the Senate voted 16-8 to pass the override... More »

He Left 10 Bodies in His Wake. Today, His Own Death

Serial killer Bobby Joe Long set to be executed in Florida Thursday

(Newser) - A serial killer is facing execution Thursday for a murderous spree that claimed 10 women's lives and terrorized Florida's Tampa Bay area in 1984. Bobby Joe Long, 65, is set to receive a lethal injection at Florida State Prison in Starke, per the AP . Artiss Ann Wick was... More »

Inmate Declines Special Last Meal, Wants to Feed Homeless

Donnie Johnson turns down $20 meal, asks supporters to feed the homeless instead

(Newser) - Donnie Edward Johnson declined to choose a special last meal, and will eat what the general prison population eats before his 7pm execution Thursday. But the convicted murderer is calling for his supporters to buy a meal for a homeless person, the Tennessean reports. Johnson's lawyer says he was... More »

After SCOTUS Ruling, Texas Bans Clergy From Executions

Court said Buddhist inmate's spiritual adviser should be allowed in death chamber

(Newser) - Texas prisons will no longer allow clergy in the death chamber after the US Supreme Court blocked the scheduled execution of a man who argued his religious freedom would be violated if his Buddhist spiritual adviser couldn't accompany him. Effective immediately, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice will only... More »

Death Row Inmate Wants Buddhist Minister With Him at Execution

Patrick Murphy is seeking a stay of execution over the issue

(Newser) - Attorneys for a Texas death row inmate have asked the US Supreme Court to stay his lethal injection until a Buddhist minister can be present with him in the execution chamber, the AP reports. Patrick Murphy's lawyers argue that executing the 57-year-old "Texas 7" member without his spiritual... More »

Appeals Court Blocks Muslim Man's Execution Over Imam Issue

Alabama inmate wants imam present at his execution

(Newser) - Alabama may be violating the religious rights of a Muslim inmate set for execution by refusing to allow an imam at his death, a federal court said Wednesday in blocking the lethal injection. The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals granted an indefinite stay for Dominique Ray, 42, a day... More »

Maker of Electric Chair This Man Will Die in Is Concerned

Edmund Zagorski is scheduled to die Thursday in Tennessee

(Newser) - Edmund Zagorski is officially on death watch in Tennessee ahead of his planned Thursday execution. He'll be under surveillance for 24 hours in a cell next to the execution chamber as he awaits his death by electric chair , reports the AP . But there's one hiccup in terms of... More »

His Brother Was Executed in 2000. He Shared That Fate

Rodney Berget just the 4th man to be executed in South Dakota since 1979

(Newser) - Rodney Berget, 56, was put to death by lethal injection Monday night for the 2011 murder of a South Dakota prison guard, marking the state's fourth execution since it reinstated the death penalty in 1979. The last execution took place in 2012. The execution had been slated for 1:... More »

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