death penalty

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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 »

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 »

California's 737 Death Row Inmates Will Get a Reprieve

Governor set to announce moratorium

(Newser) - California's 737 death row inmates are set to get a reprieve Wednesday when Gov. Gavin Newsom makes the state's unofficial moratorium on executions official. "The intentional killing of another person is wrong and as governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual," the governor... More »

Experts Say Prosecutor Can't Seek Execution in 1973 Killing

After an arrest, district attorney said he could ask for the death penalty

(Newser) - A prosecutor has announced he might seek the death penalty in the case of an 11-year-old girl sexually assaulted and slain more than four decades ago, NBC reports. But Linda O'Keefe was killed in Newport Beach in 1973, in a period when California didn't have the death penalty—... 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 »

US Executed 25 People in 2018

Executions close to historic low

(Newser) - Three states resumed executions of death row inmates in 2018 after long breaks, but nationwide, executions remained near historic lows this year, according to an annual report on the death penalty released Friday. The report by the District of Columbia-based Death Penalty Information Center says 25 executions were carried out... More »

Khashoggi Case: Saudi Arabia Wants to Put 5 to Death

Country's top prosecutor says plan was put in motion 3 days before journalist's murder

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia's top prosecutor on Thursday said the country will seek the death penalty for five suspects accused of masterminding and facilitating journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder. In what Reuters describes as a "rare press conference," Saudi Al-Mojeb said the murder plot, which involved killing Khashoggi via... 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 »

Washington State Tosses Death Penalty

State Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional, strikes it down

(Newser) - Washington's Supreme Court struck down the state's death penalty Thursday, ruling that it had been used in an arbitrary and racially discriminatory manner, the AP reports. Washington has had a moratorium on executions since 2014, but the ruling makes it the 20th state to do away with capital... More »

Inmate Makes His Choice Ahead of Execution

Edmund Zagorski requests electric chair, 'lesser of two evils,' over lethal injection

(Newser) - A Tennessee inmate set to be executed this week is asking the state to allow him to die by electric chair over lethal injection because it's the "lesser of two evils." Attorney Kelley Henry confirmed that Edmund Zagorski made the request roughly two hours before the Tennessee... More »

In a First, Saudis May Behead Female Human-Rights Activist

Canada continues to push back

(Newser) - In the midst of a fight with Canada over female human-rights activists, Saudi Arabia plans to behead one. The country's public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty against five activists, including Israa al-Ghomgham of the Shia Muslim minority, who documented mass protests in the Eastern Province beginning in 2011,... More »

Closing of Curtains During Execution Raises Questions

Observers' view was blocked for 14 minutes

(Newser) - The Aug. 14 execution of Carey Dean Moore in Nebraska garnered national attention because authorities used a heretofore untested cocktail of four drugs to end the life of the convicted killer. But now, another aspect of the execution is attracting attention: the fact that authorities at Nebraska State Penitentiary closed... More »

Nebraska Uses Fentanyl to Kill Prisoner, a First

Carey Dean Moore was put to death Tuesday

(Newser) - For the first time, fentanyl has been used in the execution of a US prisoner. Carey Dean Moore was put to death via lethal injection at the Nebraska State Penitentiary Tuesday morning using a previously untested combination of four drugs: fentanyl citrate, the powerful synthetic opioid blamed for deadly overdoses... More »

Before His Execution: 'I'm Really Sorry. That's It'

Billy Ray Irick first person executed in Tennessee since 2009

(Newser) - Billy Ray Irick was executed with a lethal injection Thursday night, some 33 years after he raped and murdered Paula Dyer, a 7-year-old girl he was supposed to be babysitting. The 59-year-old was the first person executed in Tennessee since 2009 and the seventh since 1961, the Tennessean reports. "... More »

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