A majority of lawmakers in New Hampshire voted on Thursday in support of abolishing the death penalty, but fell two votes shy of overriding Governor Chris Sununu’s veto of a repeal bill. Despite the outcome, observers and abolitionists say support for the cause is at a new high in the state, and continues to gain traction around the country.
In a new legal challenge to Tennessee’s execution process, death row inmates say using a firing squad would be more humane than the state’s current lethal injection method. The federal lawsuit says the state tortured Billy Ray Irick to death when he was injected with toxic chemicals.
Nebraska resumed capital punishment on Tuesday after a 21-year de facto moratorium. Carey Dean Moore, who had seven previous execution dates set aside in his 38 years on death row, was put to death for the 1979 murders of two cab drivers.
The execution of Carey Dean Moore went forward on Tuesday after a federal appeals court denied a drug company’s request to halt the lethal injection over concerns about whether the drugs were obtained improperly by the state.
A federal judge in Nebraska refused to block Tuesday’s execution of Carey Dean Moore, rejecting the Fresenius Kabi pharmaceutical company’s claims that using its drugs in a lethal injection will harm its business interests. The company is asking an appeals court to halt the execution.
Murderer Billy Ray Irick was put to death in Tennessee after the Supreme Court refused to stop the execution. Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the U.S. had “stopped being a civilized nation and accepted barbarism.”
Catholic Gov. Pete Ricketts, who helped fund a drive to restore capital punishment in his state, says he will proceed with the execution of Carey Dean Moore on Aug. 14 despite the pope’s opposition to capital punishment.
Michael Graczyk is retiring as an Associated Press correspondent but will continue to observe executions. After writing about 429 in Texas, the AP says, “his reporting has shaped how lawyers, politicians and citizens think about the death penalty.”
The ruling by Judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle is a blow to 33 death row inmates who had challenged the state’s lethal injection protocol, saying it led to cruel and unusual punishment forbidden by the U.S. Constitution. Billy Ray Irick’s execution is scheduled Aug. 9.