death penalty

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Atlanta Suspect to Face Death Penalty, Hate Crime Charges

Grand jury returns indictment against Robert Aaron Long in four of the spa shootings

(Newser) - A man accused of killing eight people , six of them women of Asian descent, in shootings at three Atlanta-area massage businesses was indicted Tuesday on murder charges, and a prosecutor filed notice that she'll also seek hate crime charges and the death penalty. A Fulton County grand jury indicted...

He's an Example of Prison Redemption, Deserves to Live

Writer Suleika Jaouad makes her case for Texas death row inmate Quintin Phillippe Jones

(Newser) - Quintin Philippe Jones is scheduled to be executed in Texas on May 19, and writer Suleika Jaouad makes a plea to save his life in a New York Times essay. The 41-year-old Jones was convicted of murdering his great-aunt in 1999 to buy money for drugs, and Jaouad isn't...

Lawmakers Add Firing Squad to Execution Options

South Carolina has run short of lethal injection drugs

(Newser) - The South Carolina House voted Wednesday to add a firing squad to the state's execution methods during a lack of lethal injection drugs—a measure meant to restart executions in a state that once had one of the busiest death chambers in the nation. The bill, approved by a...

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...

Court May Reinstate Boston Bomber's Death Sentence

Supreme Court agrees to consider Dzhokhar Tsarnaev case

(Newser) - The Supreme Court said Monday it will consider reinstating the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev , presenting President Biden with an early test of his opposition to capital punishment. The justices agreed to hear an appeal filed by the Trump administration, which carried out executions of 13 federal...

Virginia to Become First Southern State to End Executions

Repeal bill is headed to governor's desk

(Newser) - State lawmakers gave final approval Monday to a bill that will end capital punishment in Virginia, a dramatic turnaround for a state that has executed more people in its history than any other. The legislation repealing the death penalty now heads to Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who has said he...

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,...

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...

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...

Good News for Only Woman on Death Row

Judge rules Lisa Montgomery's execution was set illegally, might get pushed to Biden administration

(Newser) - A federal judge said the Justice Department unlawfully rescheduled the execution of the only woman on federal death row, potentially setting up the Trump administration to schedule the execution after president-elect Joe Biden takes office. US District Court Judge Randolph Moss also vacated an order from the director of the...

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...

One of My 'Best Students' Was Sentenced to Die
One of My 'Best Students'
Was Sentenced to Die

One of My 'Best Students' Was Sentenced to Die

'Understanding our own humanity is a lifelong project,' Jennifer Lackey writes

(Newser) - "The death penalty is purportedly reserved for the 'worst of the worst' or those with 'irretrievably depraved characters.' But this is based on a myth." That's according to Jennifer Lackey, founder and director of the Northwestern Prison Education Program. It was through the program...

'Twitter Killer' Hears His Fate
'Twitter Killer' Hears His Fate

'Twitter Killer' Hears His Fate

Takahiro Shiraishi gets death after pleading guilty to murdering, dismembering 9 in Japan

(Newser) - The "Twitter Killer" of Japan has heard his fate, and he didn't react. Takahiro Shiraishi received the death penalty Tuesday after pleading guilty in September for the murder and dismemberment of nine people, and the judge who handed down the sentence had to ask if the "stone-faced"...

'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...

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...

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