Convicted of the horrific murder of a Cincinnati man, Robert Van Hook died by lethal injection in Ohio’s first execution in more than 10 months. Van Hook, 58, served a violence-plagued 32 years in prison after a death-penalty conviction for what now could be considered a hate crime.
Before his execution Tuesday, convicted murderer Chris Young targeted Texas’ secretive clemency process. He had sued the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, charging that it rejected his clemency petition because he is black.
Where 20 years ago a paper submission and calls to the governor were the best options for reprieve, today prisoners can garner support through Change.org petitions, Facebook campaigns, emailed calls to action, and painstakingly produced footage.
A report six years in the making evaluates the pros and cons of the Pennsylvania death penalty law. Gov. Tom Wolf imposed a moratorium on executions in 2015. It wasn’t immediately clear how the new study might affect that.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed a bill Thursday that would have abolished the state’s death penalty, saying that the state has an obligation to support law enforcement and deliver justice for victims. The state has only one inmate on death row, a man who killed a police officer in 2006.