Experts say a number of factors have prompted a steep decline in executions in the U.S. since the late 1990s, including challenges based on DNA evidence, litigation over the drugs used in executions, and increased use of life without parole as a sentencing option.
Next Monday, Arkansas is scheduled to begin executing seven men over an 11-day run as it races against the expiration date of its supply of midazolam, a controversial drug used in the execution process. In an analysis for the Washington Post, experts suggest that at least one of the executions will be botched.
State Attorney Aramis Ayala declares that, “Punishment is most effective when it happens consistently and swiftly. Neither describe the death penalty in this state.” Gov. Rick Scott removes her from the case of Markeith Loyd, charged with killing a police officer.
Arthur Lee Giles in Alabama has been waiting nearly four decades for a possible execution. His glacial march to the death chamber exposes a conundrum at the heart of U.S. death penalty. Condemned prisoners often spend decades on death row before being executed—if the execution ever happens at all. About 40 percent of the 2,739 people on death row have spent at least 20 years there.
Alabama is the only state that permits judges to overrule a jury’s recommendation and sentence a defendant to death, a practice sharply criticized by the Equal Justice Initiative, an advocacy group based in the state. After gaining bipartisan approval by a House committee, a proposal to end the overrides moves on to broader legislative consideration.
All pending capital murder trials and executions in Delaware have been halted until the state supreme court determines the constitutionality of the state’s death penalty law, reports the Wilmington News Journal. The stay, issued by President Judge Jan Jurden on Monday, is expected to affect at least four death penalty cases that were scheduled to […]
Georgia today executed the oldest man on death row, Brandon Astor Jones. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says Jones, 10 days shy of his 73rd birthday, died at 12:46 a.m., ending a decades-long journey for the daughter and widow of the man he murdered in 1979. Jones fought death. His eyes closed within a minute of the […]
Florida’s highest court today hears a case that may determine the fate of 390 people on death row, NPR reports. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Florida’s system for imposing the death penalty unconstitutional. Florida has an execution set for next week. The state court must decide whether it can go forward. The case […]