death penalty

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Judge Halts Federal Executions

4 men were set to be executed in Indiana in December and January

(Newser) - The cases of four men set to be put to death in Indiana over the next couple of months have spurred a nationwide reprieve. On Wednesday, District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan halted those executions, effectively stopping all federal executions across the US, Politico reports. A fifth execution in Indiana set... More »

Supporters Turn to Governor and Courts as Execution Nears

Rodney Reed's team builds case that Stacey Stites' fiance killed her

(Newser) - The legal wheels are turning as Rodney Reed sits in a Texas prison, less than two weeks from his scheduled execution. New witnesses, he says, implicate the victim's fiance, Jimmy Fennell, in the rape and killing of Stacey Stites in 1996. An inmate says in an affidavit that Fennell... 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 »

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 »

Mom Who Allegedly Drowned Son Is Eligible for Death Penalty

Sherri Telnas is charged with 4 counts

(Newser) - The son she tried to kill 11 years ago is dead and her other son is in a coma . It's possible she could be put on death row if convicted of the crime. The Visalia Times-Delta outlines Tulare County prosecutors' options in the case of Sherri Telnas, who was... 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 »

Saudi Arabia Executes Man, Then Crucifies Him

Kingdom accused of using 'political tool' to 'crush dissent'

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia crucified a man on Tuesday, but he didn't suffer on the cross: The punishment, reserved for what the kingdom sees as the most serious crimes, took place after the man had already been executed, the BBC reports. Saudi authorities said a total of 37 people were executed... More »

Alabama Halts Execution of Man Who Killed Pastor

SCOTUS ruling came after death warrant expired

(Newser) - An Alabama inmate convicted in the 1991 sword-and-dagger slaying of a pastor during a home robbery was spared from a scheduled lethal injection after the state was unable to lift a last-minute stay in time to carry out his execution Thursday evening. A federal judge on Thursday stayed the execution... More »

Prosecutors Want Death Penalty for Alleged Serial Killer

Golden State Killer suspect accused of murders in 5 California counties

(Newser) - Prosecutors want the Golden State to kill the Golden State Killer. Prosecutors from four California counties—Sacramento, Orange, Ventura, and Santa Barbara—announced Wednesday that they will seek the death penalty for alleged serial killer Joseph James DeAngelo, the Sacramento Bee reports. The 73-year-old ex-cop is accused of 12 murders... More »

SCOTUS Rules Against Man Whose Blood Could Kill Him

Russell Bucklew wanted to be put to death using nitrogen gas

(Newser) - The death penalty does not violate the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment—but the Supreme Court on Monday expressed that death-row inmates are not guaranteed a "painless death," ruling 5-4 along ideological lines in a case brought by Russell Bucklew. The 50-year-old is scheduled... More »

SCOTUS: Buddhist Minister Should Be Present at Execution

Texas inmate wins last-minute reprieve

(Newser) - A member of the "Texas 7" gang of escaped prisoners won a reprieve Thursday night from execution for the fatal shooting of a suburban Dallas police officer after claiming his religious freedom would be violated if his Buddhist spiritual adviser wasn't allowed to be in the death chamber... More »

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