capital punishment

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After 2-Year Hiatus, Japan Resumes 'Abhorrent' Practice

3 death-row inmates executed amid continued controversy over how death penalty is carried out

(Newser) - For two years, Japan hasn't carried out any executions. That changed Tuesday with the hanging of three death-row inmates, reviving outcry from human rights activists on the controversial way in which the country carries out capital punishment. At a presser, Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa cited the "extremely brutal"...

He Escaped Execution in 2018. 3 Years Later, He's Dead

Doyle Lee Hamm, 64, died of natural causes, with complications from lymphoma, per his lawyer

(Newser) - Update: An Alabama man put on death row for killing a motel clerk in 1987 lived through what his lawyer called a "botched" execution attempt in 2018. A private settlement was reached so that the state wouldn't try to execute Doyle Lee Hamm again, but his reprieve, it...

Man Who Tortured Family for 8 Hours Put to Death

David Neal Cox killed his estranged wife and sexually assaulted her daughter

(Newser) - A man who pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting her young daughter as her mother lay dying was put to death Wednesday evening, becoming the first inmate executed in Mississippi in nine years. David Neal Cox, 50, abandoned all appeals and filed court papers calling himself...

Sister Prejean: Let Inmate Have Final Human Touch

John Henry Ramirez deserves to have pastor present at Texas execution, she writes

(Newser) - Sister Helen Prejean, the Catholic nun made famous by the book and movie Dead Man Walking, is making a public appeal on behalf of a death row inmate in Texas. In a New York Times essay, Prejean argues that the state should grant the request of John Henry Ramirez that...

At Oklahoma Execution, a Rare Occurrence

John Marion Grant vomited, convulsed as he was being put to death

(Newser) - Oklahoma administered the death penalty Thursday on a man who convulsed and vomited as he was executed for the 1998 slaying of a prison cafeteria worker, ending a six-year execution moratorium brought on by concerns over its execution methods, the AP reports. John Marion Grant, 60, who was strapped to...

2 Oklahoma Death Row Inmates Get Reprieve

Federal appeals court granted stays of execution Wednesday

(Newser) - A federal appeals court granted stays of execution on Wednesday for two Oklahoma inmates who were scheduled to receive lethal injections in the coming weeks, the AP reports. A three-member panel of the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals issued the stays for death row inmates John Marion Grant, who...

Convicted Arsonists Are Executed En Masse in Syria

Human rights activists 'shocked' that 24 were put to death for 2020 wildfires

(Newser) - Wildfires that swept through Syria last year were intentionally lit, and now 24 individuals linked to setting them have been executed, per the country's Ministry of Justice. Al Jazeera notes that while executions aren't uncommon in Syria, so many being killed at once is unusual. It's not...

Alabama Execution Cancelled at Last Minute
After a Brief Reprieve,
Alabama Inmate Executed

After a Brief Reprieve, Alabama Inmate Executed

Willie B. Smith III was convicted of killing Sharma Ruth Johnson

(Newser) - Update: An Alabama man who avoided execution in February was put to death Thursday for the 1991 killing of a woman who was abducted during a robbery and then shot in a cemetery. Willie B. Smith III, 52, received a lethal injection at a prison in southwest Alabama, the AP...

Death Row Inmate Gets Hope From Parole Board

Oklahoma panel recommends governor commute death sentence of Julius Jones

(Newser) - Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board on Monday recommended the governor commute the death sentence of convicted killer Julius Jones, who has maintained his innocence in a case that has garnered national attention, per the AP . The board voted 3-1 to recommend Jones’ sentence be commuted to either life or...

Death Row Inmate Suing for a Final Touch Gets Reprieve

Supreme Court blocks John Henry Ramirez's execution

(Newser) - A Texas death row inmate won a reprieve Wednesday evening from execution for killing a convenience store worker during a 2004 robbery that garnered $1.25 after claiming the state was violating his religious freedom by not letting his pastor lay hands on him at the time of his lethal...

After Wave of 13 Federal Executions, a Halt

Department of Justice reviewing policies

(Newser) - After the Trump administration restarted federal executions following a 17-year hiatus, Donald Trump oversaw 13 executions —more than any US president since the 1800s, Reuters reports. (Those executions also included the first woman put to death by the federal government in almost seven decades.) On Thursday, US Attorney...

Inmate's Last Words: 'I Truly Regret Killing My Family'

Texas executes John Hummel, who killed wife, daughter, and father-in-law

(Newser) - A Texas inmate was executed Wednesday evening for an attack that killed his pregnant wife, 5-year-old daughter, and father-in-law more than a decade ago. John Hummel received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the December 2009 killings, per the AP . Authorities say Hummel stabbed his wife,...

SC's Top Court Blocks 2 Electric Chair Executions

Justices say men should also be offered option of firing squad

(Newser) - The South Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked two executions that had been set for this month under the state’s recently revised capital punishment law. The high court halted the planned executions of inmates Brad Sigmon and Freddie Owens. The executions had been scheduled less than a month after...

Longest Serving Death Row Inmate Is Resentenced

Raymond Riles is now serving a life sentence

(Newser) - Raymond Riles has been on death row for more than 45 years—longer than anyone else in the US. But no longer: On Wednesday, the 71-year-old Texas man was resentenced to life in prison, CBS DFW reports. Riles, who shot and killed used car dealer John Thomas Henry at a...

South Carolina Judge Won't Block 2 Controversial Executions

They're scheduled for June 18 and June 25

(Newser) - A South Carolina judge on Tuesday refused to block two executions set for later this month as she considers a lawsuit over the state’s new capital punishment law, which effectively forces condemned prisoners to choose to die by either the electric chair or firing squad. State Circuit Judge Jocelyn...

SCOTUS Rejects Request for Firing Squad Execution

Missouri cleared to execute Ernest Johnson with lethal injection

(Newser) - The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from a condemned Missouri inmate who is seeking to be executed by firing squad instead of lethal injection. Lawyers for Ernest Lee Johnson—whose execution was stayed by the top court in 2015—argued that brain damage from tumor surgery would...

Texas Executes Quintin Jones Without Media Witnesses Present

Oversight will never happen again, agency spokesperson says

(Newser) - A Texas man convicted of fatally beating his 83-year-old great aunt more than two decades ago was executed Wednesday evening without media witnesses present because prison agency officials neglected to notify reporters it was time to carry out the punishment, the AP reports. Quintin Jones received the lethal injection at...

4 Years After His Execution, New Evidence Raises Doubt

Profile of unknown male found at murder scene in Ledell Lee case

(Newser) - Ledell Lee maintained his innocence even up to the day of his execution in Arkansas in 2017. Now, new tests on DNA evidence from the 1993 murder scene lends support to those still trying to clear his name, reports Complex :
  • The tests turned up the profile of an unknown male

Convicted Killer Wants Firing Squad Considered

Nevada inmate's lawyers say 3-drug combo state wants to use is cruel and unusual

(Newser) - A convicted killer who is fighting a possible June execution date that would make him the first person put to death in Nevada in 15 years is calling for the state to consider the firing squad as an option, a rare method in the United States. Attorneys for Zane Michael...

Virginia Outlaws Death Penalty
Virginia Outlaws Death Penalty

Virginia Outlaws Death Penalty

It's the 23rd state to do so, and the first in the South

(Newser) - Virginia's governor signed legislation Wednesday making it the 23rd state to abolish the death penalty, a dramatic shift for the commonwealth, which had the second-highest number of executions in the US. The bills were the culmination of a yearslong battle by Democrats who argued the death penalty has been...

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