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Prison News | Executions & the Death Penalty

Recent events concerning the corrections industry and the topic of Executions & the Death Penalty. Comments, suggestions and contributions (below) appreciated.

  • A new, unusual twist in death-penalty fight
    When condemned fugitive Joseph Kindler was returned to Philadelphia in 1991 after two escapes, three years on the lam in Canada and four fighting extradition, the news was grim....[more]

  • Court says Oregon woman to remain on death row
    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The only woman on Oregon's death row will remain there. The Oregon Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the conviction and sentence of Angela McAnulty, who tortured and killed her teenage daughter in 2009....[more]

  • Inmate freed in landmark Illinois case
    CHICAGO (AP) — A prisoner whose confession helped free a death row inmate in a case that was instrumental to ending capital punishment in Illinois was released Thursday after he recanted, and a prosecutor said there was powerful evidence that the other man was responsible....[more]

  • Number of Executions in US Reduces Due to Problems With Lethal Injections
    MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) - The number of executions is likely to total about 35 in the United States this year. The US has executed more people in every year since 1994, when 31 inmates were put to death, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which monitors capital punishment. There were 39 executions in the country in 2013....[more]

  • In Texas, the Death Penalty Is Slowly Dying Out -- The Lone Star State carried out its fewest executions since 1996 this year.
    On Tuesday night, the state of Texas executed Miguel Paredes by lethal injection for murdering three members of a rival gang* sixteen years ago. With no executions scheduled by the state department of criminal justice for November or December, Paredes' death marks the tenth and final execution for Texas this year—the fewest in almost two decades.

    ...[more]


  • Court in Va. examines death row isolation policy
    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia's practice of automatically holding death row inmates in solitary confinement will be reviewed by a federal appeals court in a case that experts say could have repercussions beyond the state's borders....[more]

  • News outlets sue for lethal injection information
    The lawsuit follows the July 23 execution of inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood. It took Wood nearly two hours and 15 dosages of lethal injection drugs before he died....[more]

  • Amnesty International slams US in death penalty report for executing mentally disabled prisoners
    Human rights group Amnesty International has published a report criticizing nations, including the United States, for allowing inmates with mental or intellectual disabilities to be executed — a violation of international standards, the group wrote.

    The report, released on this year’s World Day against the Death Penalty, said nations that flout international law must reorient - if not outright abolish - capital punishment laws to protect vulnerable inmates....[more]


  • Oklahoma prison officials unveil fancy newly renovated $100,000 death chamber
    MCALESTER, Okla. — Prison officials unveiled the renovated execution chamber inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary on Thursday and expressed confidence that the agency would be ready for the state’s next scheduled execution in November.

    The $71,000 reconstruction of the death chamber and adjacent witness rooms gives executioners more space in which to operate. Department of Corrections also spent about $34,000 on new medical equipment, including $12,500 for a surgical table and $6,000 for an ultrasound machine to help locate veins....[more]


  • Federal suit seeks to block Alabama execution
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama death row inmate has filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the state's new lethal injection drug combination has never been tried on any prisoner in the United States and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

    Boston attorney Aaron Katz filed the suit Wednesday night in Mobile on behalf of inmate Christopher Lee Price....[more]


  • Oklahoma prepares to have executions resume
    Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Prison officials have renovated the death chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, ordered backup medical equipment, and developed new procedures for carrying out executions since a lethal injection went awry in the spring.

    The state hopes to avoid a repeat of the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett, who clenched his teeth, moaned and writhed on a gurney before a doctor noticed a problem with the intravenous line and the execution was called off before Lockett died anyway....[more]


  • Oklahoma Unveils New Execution Procedures
    Oklahoma prison officials unveiled new execution procedures Tuesday to replace those used in April when an inmate writhed and moaned before being declared dead 43 minutes after his lethal injection began — a situation that renewed debate over what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

    ...[more]


  • State Supreme Court postpones Irick execution
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A death row inmate has been granted a reprieve from an Oct. 7 execution date.

    On Thursday, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that Billy Ray Irick's (EYE'-riks) execution should be put on hold pending a legal challenge to the state's lethal injection and electrocution procedures....[more]


  • Gruesome Buddies: ISIS Beheadings And the American Death Penalty
    We are going to war again in Iraq and expanding the bombing to Syria, the seventh country in the Middle East to be graced with American bombings since 2001 (not including Gaza-Palestine, where American bombs are piloted by Israeli largesse). We’re doing this why? Because two Americans and a Brit were beheaded and American media whipped public opinion into a frenzy over it. The same media shrugged when 200,000 Syrians were butchered over the past three years, most of them by the same guy to whom the U.S. Air Force is about to give aid and comfort. The same media chest-thumped and encouraged the butchery of 2,000 Palestinians in July, about a q...[more]

  • Death row inmate’s lawyers urge court to halt execution, cite drug question
    ST. LOUIS

    Attorneys for a condemned Missouri inmate have asked a federal court to postpone his lethal injection, claiming two top officials with the Department of Corrections lied under oath about use of the sedative midazolam in executions....[more]


  • Death penalty debate isn’t simple for families of victims
    Botched executions in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona and continuing problems with lethal-injection drugs have put the death penalty back in the news. After a brief moratorium following Oklahoma’s debacle, my state, Missouri, has resumed executing its death-row prisoners. One of the condemned men there murdered the wife of the man I would later marry....[more]

  • Arizona Loose With Its Rules in Executions, Records Show
    PHOENIX — In an execution in 2010 in Arizona, the presiding doctor was supposed to connect the intravenous line to the convict’s arm — a procedure written into the state’s lethal injection protocol and considered by many doctors as the easiest and best way to attach a line. Instead he chose to use a vein in an upper thigh, near the groin....[more]

  • Death row odds: innocents executed
    An estimated 4.1 percent of all death row inmates are innocent, according to a study published in the April Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers Samuel Gross, Barbara O'Brien, Chen Hu, and Edward H Kennedy, from the University of Michigan Law School, the Michigan State University College of Law, the American College of Radiology Clinical Research Center, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, respectively, came up with this stunning figure by using the exoneration rate on death row and extending it to inmates whose capital punishment has been replaced by life imprisonment, at which point efforts to exon...[more]

  • Slow executions could affect Nevada cases
    The cases could be used to pile on to the ever-growing number of legal challenges to capital punishment in the Silver State, adding the argument that the use of lethal injection should be considered a cruel and unusual form of punishment, said Clark County Deputy Public Defender Scott Coffee....[more]

  • History Of Lethal Injection Problems In US Executions
    Since Texas became the first state to use lethal injection as its execution method on Dec. 7, 1982, some problems have been reported during the process nationwide. Those include delays in finding suitable veins, needles becoming clogged or disengaged, and reactions from inmates who appeared to be under stress. Some examples:

    • July 23, 2014. Joseph Rudolph Wood gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half after his execution began in Arizona......[more]


  • Appeals Judge Says Guillotine 'Probably Best' for Executions
    A federal appeals judge issued a blistering dissent in a death-row case on Monday, declaring that an execution system that relies on drugs is doomed and the guillotine would be better.

    "Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and peaceful — like something any one of us might experience in our final moments," Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote....[more]


  • EX-ILLINOIS GOVERNOR EMERGES, TALKS DEATH PENALTY
    In this July 3, 2014 photo, former Illinois Gov. George Ryan speaks at his home in Kankakee, Ill. Ryan, who served a five federal prison term for corruption, a year of home confinement, and has just completed another year of supervision, is eager to pick up where he left off when he left politics for prison in 2006 - campaigning for the end of the death penalty in the U.S. While in office Ryan put a moratorium on the death penalty after numerous cases were overturned exonerating inmates who collectively spend decades in prison. Ryan spoke extensively about the current state of Illinois and national politics, the death penalty and about the cr...[more]

  • Areli Escobar seeking new trial
    Lawyers for death row inmate Areli Escobar are seeking to overturn his conviction, contending that one of the jurors who sentenced him in May 2011 hid the fact that he had once worked with the defendant before his murder trial....[more]

  • 3 inmates set to die; previous execution botched
    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Convicted killers in three states were facing executions within a 24-hour period starting Tuesday night, potentially the first lethal injections in the nation since a botched execution in Oklahoma seven weeks ago....[more]

  • Death penalty’s decline Society increasingly aware of shortcomings
    Article I, Section 18 of the state constitution declares: “The penal code shall be founded on the principles of reformation, and not of vindictive justice.”

    Is the death penalty reformative or vindictive? It’s a question that has been debated since the state reinstated capital punishment in 1977. What’s more vexing is state law ...[more]


  • Ex-inmates testify in Hawaii death penalty case
    HONOLULU (AP) - Two former inmates who spent time with a man facing a death sentence for killing his 5-year-old daughter said Tuesday he avoided trouble while behind bars in Honolulu....[more]

  • Ohio high court to hear arguments from condemned killer against 2nd execution attempt
    COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio's top court has agreed to hear arguments that the country's only survivor of a botched lethal injection would face cruel and unusual punishment and double jeopardy if the state again attempts to put him to death....[more]

  • A Humane Execution - Supreme Court test of protocol seems likely.
    Problems with obtaining drugs for lethal injection, lawsuits over state secrecy surrounding the drugs being used and a botched execution last month in Oklahoma may be diminishing the ­confidence that some lawmakers and judges have expressed in that execution method, some death penalty experts say....[more]

  • Tennessee brings back the electric chair
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As the rest of the nation debates the feasibility and humanity of lethal injections against a backdrop of scarce drugs and botched executions, Tennessee has come up with an alternative: the electric chair....[more]

  • Judge: Dispute of execution drug to go to trial
    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A judge has upheld most of the changes Montana corrections officials made to execution methods after a legal challenge by two death-row inmates, but he said a dispute over one of the drugs used in lethal injections should be decided at trial....[more]


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