Capital Punishment
and crime in general


Capital punishment is a complex and controversial issue, and this is by no means a complete examination of the subject.

Additional introductory remarks added 5/18/2019:
Execution is the most severe punishment inflicted by the U.S. government and its states and territories.  It only takes a moment to understand that the most severe punishment is reserved for the most ruthless, sadistic, and sociopathic criminals.

The reverse is also true, and serves as an illustration:  The Medal of Honor is reserved for only those rare members of the military services who exhibit the most conspicuous gallantry, usually in the face of grave danger and likely death.  It is awarded by the U.S. Congress and presented by the President himself.  Its rarity and the great formality of the presentation ceremony reflect the great honor given to America's finest.  The medal also sends a signal to everyone else, that high honors come to honorable men and women.

Now back to the other end of the spectrum:  There are some crimes that must be punished in such a way as to deter others from considering such behavior as one of life's options.  There are also some criminals who, through a series of their own faulty decisions, live a life of continual, habitual, and destructive criminal acts.  In the most severe cases of murder, treason, piracy, kidnapping, assassination, etc., usually after the convicted criminal has exhibited no remorse or penitence, the state brings that person's life of crime to an end.  This (as above) serves as a signal to everyone else, that bad things will happen to bad people.

The deterrent effect of executions is diminished greatly if the likelihood of detection and arrest is small, or if the punishment is delayed by years of imprisonment, due to endless appeals and a tiresome series of arguments about legal loopholes.

Subsections:
Capital punishment in general
Specific cases

On other nearby pages:
Crime and (no) punishment in general
The Death Of George Floyd and the unfair trial of Derek Chauvin
The use of 9-1-1 as a weapon
The use of 9-1-1 as a weapon
Snitch on your neighbor




Alabama judge approves experimental execution method, says inmate 'not guaranteed a painless death'.  An Alabama judge has determined that Kenneth Eugene Smith — a convicted murderer — will be the first human to face death by nitrogen hypoxia later this month, according to Fox News Digital.  Smith's legal team tried to stop the process, but they were unsuccessful.  Smith was sentenced to death in 2022 for the 1998 killing of a preacher's wife.  The preacher, Pastor Charles Sennett Sr., hired Smith and John Forrest Parker to murder his wife.  The two men carried out the killing after being promised $1,000 a piece from Sennett.  This is not the first time Smith has faced the death penalty.  In 2022, the state attempted to lethally inject Smith, but the operation was bungled.  The report noted that Smith's attorneys said in legal filings that putting him back into the state's execution chamber would constitute double jeopardy, and that to test out the new form of execution would violate his constitutional rights.

Never say never about executions.  Democrat Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro has said he would not sign any execution warrants while he was governor.  He even called for the Pennsylvania legislature to abolish the death penalty.  Never say never, Governor.  There are exceptions to every rule.  In this case, some people deserve the death penalty.  The responsibility of the government to determine who lives and who dies in capital crimes should never be taken lightly.  Innocent people have been imprisoned, and perhaps, executed.  However, the justice system in the United States, although it can move slowly, has lots of checks and balances and that allow for plenty of time for innocent people to win their innocence.  However, there are people on death row who deserve to be there.  Men and women with records showing they are unrepentant criminals who committed an act heinous enough that multiple courts and juries have decided that these people do not deserve to live.

Florida Lawmakers Move Forward With Death Penalty for Pedophiles.  Florida lawmakers are poised to pass a measure that would permit the death penalty for pedophiles who sexually assault children under 12 years old, a move that will likely trigger legal challenges and questions about its constitutionality.  The House will consider its version of the bill (HB 1297) on Thursday, while the Senate version (SB 1342) was cleared by the Rules Committee on Tuesday, paving the way for it to be presented to the full Senate.

Ohio senators introduce bipartisan bill to end death penalty.  The death penalty could be abolished in Ohio under upcoming bipartisan legislation announced Tuesday — the latest in what has been years of effort to end capital punishment in the state.  State senators from both sides of the aisle called for an end to the practice, citing the financial blow to taxpayers to keep an inmate on death row, the lack of lethal injection drugs that has led to an unofficial moratorium on executions in the state, the danger of executing an innocent person and questions over a state's right to end a life.

Idaho Becomes 5th State to Allow Firing Squad Option as Execution Method.  Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed legislation into law on Friday that added firing squads as an alternative method of execution for the state's death-row inmates.  The bill — dubbed House Bill 186 — stipulates that the form of capital punishment will only be used if the state is unable to obtain the drugs needed to perform lethal injections.  "I have not given up on the state's ability to require the chemicals," Little wrote in a transmittal letter after signing the bill.  "And, I believe the bill I signed into law last year helped expand options that would not have been available without it."

Pennsylvania's new governor blows it on the death penalty.  Democrat Pennsylvania governor Josh Shapiro has said he will not sign any execution warrants while he is governor.  He even called for the Pennsylvania Legislature to abolish the death penalty.  Never say never, governor.  There are exceptions to every rule.  In this case, some people deserve the death penalty.  The responsibility of the government to determine who lives and who dies in capital crimes should never be taken lightly.

In a last act of inverted morality, Oregon's outgoing governor commutes death sentences for criminals, but not babies.  Oregon is (currently) one of the handful of states in the country that allows abortion through all the months of pregnancy, and for any reason.  Democrats hold majorities in both legislative chambers, and the governor's seat, and with their lax approach towards the sacredness of humanity, one which results in "unrestricted" abortion, they're rightfully pinpointed and labeled as belonging to the "party of death" — but it turns out that's not entirely true.  More accurately, the Democrats should be noted as the "party of innocent death."

Dem Gov. Kate Brown Commutes all 17 of Oregon's Death Sentences.  Kate Brown, Oregon's Democratic governor, has commuted the sentences of the state's 17 death row inmates during her last month in office, changing the prisoner's sentences to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  This order, which takes effect on Wednesday, has angered the victims' families as well as government officials.  A prisoner has not been executed in Oregon since 1997.  In a statement, Brown explained the reasoning behind her new order.  She said, "I have long believed that justice is not advanced by taking a life, and the state should not be in the business of executing people — even if a terrible crime placed them in prison."

The Editor says...
[#1] Did you get that?  One of the leaders of the Abortion Party says, "justice is not advanced by taking a life."  [#2] Keep this in mind if you ever have to spend a week or two on jury duty in a capital murder trial:  Years from now, all your thought and deliberation could be thrown out the window by a left-wing governor.

Oregon Governor Commutes the Sentence of Every Death-Row Inmate in State.  Oregon governor Kate Brown said Tuesday that the state's 17 death-row inmates will be spared execution and will instead have their sentences downgraded to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  "I have long believed that justice is not advanced by taking a life, and the state should not be in the business of executing people — even if a terrible crime placed them in prison," the outgoing Democratic governor said in a statement.  She added: "This commutation is not based on any rehabilitative efforts by the individuals on death row.  Instead, it reflects the recognition that the death penalty is immoral.  It is an irreversible punishment that does not allow for correction."

The Editor says...
I'm not inclined to listen to one of the leaders of the Abortion Party as she pontificates about what's immoral.

Which States Have The Death Penalty?  According to the Death Penalty Information Center, capital punishment is on the books in 27 states but several don't actually carry it out. [...] [I]n seven states, governors or courts have officially halted executions.  While governor-imposed moratoriums are in place in Oregon, California and Pennsylvania, judges have halted executions in Nevada, Montana, Tennessee and South Carolina, mostly in response to controversy around new drugs used in executions by injection.  In the case of South Carolina, the state even reauthorized the use of the electric chair and the firing squad in response to growing scrutiny by pharmaceutical companies and the public around how execution drugs are sourced and used.  The change has now being challenged in court while executions are on hold.

South Carolina can now carry out firing-squad executions.  The South Carolina Department of Corrections said Friday that it can now carry out executions by firing squad in the state should death row inmates choose the method.  The department informed state Attorney General Alan Wilson on Friday that it had completed renovations on the death chamber at the Broad River Correctional Institution and had established protocols, making it able to conduct such executions, according to a news release.  There are currently no scheduled executions in South Carolina.  Executions there had been paused until the state was able to accommodate the firing squad option.

Are Republicans Changing Their Tune on the Death Penalty?  Are the days of capital punishment coming to an end?  It seems attitudes towards the death penalty, especially among conservatives, are changing.  While capital punishment has enjoyed overwhelming support from the right over the past few decades, many are rethinking their opinions on the practice. [...] In Utah, state Rep. V. Lowry Snow and state Sen. Daniel McCay introduced a proposal to abolish the state's death penalty and replace it with life imprisonment.  This week, it advanced out of the Rules Committee.  McCay told Deseret News why he believes capital punishment is not a desirable method of punishment.  "It sets a false expectation for society, sets a false expectation for the victims and their families," he said, "and increases the cost to the state of Utah and for states that still have capital punishment."

San Quentin death row is laid to rest: 670 killers moved to general population.  San Quentin death row — where California's most macabre and twisted killers were once caged — is being shuttered and converted into a 'positive, healing environment.'  The prison ward is seeped in dark history dating back to March 3, 1893 when the first of 215 prisoners was dropped to his death from a noose.  It has since housed crazed, bloodthirsty serial killers including Charles Manson and William Bonin, who murdered at least 21 young men and boys.  It's the place where Richard 'the night stalker' Ramirez was marched through in shackles after he was convicted of raping, torturing, and murdering at least 13 people in an unspeakable rein of terror that paralyzed Southern California with fear.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland orders halt on federal executions.  US Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered a halt on federal executions after telling officials that capital punishment is too arbitrary, disproportionately targets people of color, and risks wrongly killing innocent people.  Garland sent a memo to Department of Justice Officials Thursday sharing his 'serious concerns' over federal executions, including the 'troubling number of exonerations' for people sentenced to death.  The AG's statement added:  'The Department of Justice must ensure that everyone in the federal criminal justice system is not only afforded the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States but is also treated fairly and humanly.'

Support for the death penalty surges.  A new Pew Research poll finds that 60 percent of Americans favor the death penalty for people convicted of murder.  This result is a stunning turnaround.  Less than five years ago, Pew found that only 49 percent of Americans favored the death penalty for convicted murderers.  This was the lowest level of support in more than four decades.  The October 2016 poll showed 42 percent opposed to the death penalty.  The latest poll shows 39 percent opposed.  So we have moved from a narrow 7 percentage point favorability margin to a margin of 21 percentage points.  What accounts for the difference?  It must be the surge in violent crime, mustn't it?

House Democrats call on Biden to commute all federal death sentences.  A group of three dozen House Democrats signed a letter Friday asking President Joe Biden to commute the death sentences of all federal death row inmates and work to dismantle the form of punishment at the federal level.  The plea comes on the heels of 13 executions carried out by the Trump administration since July, a legacy the Democrats described as "one of carnage and unrestrained violence."

The Editor says...
One might examine the crimes committed by death row inmates to see actual examples of "carnage and unrestrained violence."

Capital Punishment Must Be Enforced to Be Effective.  [Scroll down]  The reason is that capital punishment can be a powerful deterrent only when it is actually enforced.  And death for murder can become the rule, rather than the extremely rare exception, only after the Supreme Court's death penalty jurisprudence has been swept away.  A constitutional amendment is the only practical means of doing that.  This would not involve repealing the Eighth Amendment's ban on "cruel and unusual punishments."  Rather, it would involve restoring the Eighth Amendment to its original meaning.  That's what I argued four years before Donald Trump was sworn into office.  That's what I have believed ever since.  Over the last four years, in a series of articles for American Greatness, I developed the theme.

New federal rule to allow other methods of execution besides lethal injection.  The Justice Department is changing its execution protocols, so that federal executions are no longer required to be done by lethal injection only.  The amended rule, as reported by the AP, allows the government to use lethal injection or "any other manner prescribed by the law of the state in which the sentence was imposed."  The rule was published in the Federal Register on Friday [11/27/2020].  Those other manners include "electrocution, inhaling nitrogen gas or death by firing squad."  The amended rule goes into effect on Dec. 24 and comes as the DOJ has scheduled five executions during this lame-duck period.

A Web of Lies:  China Promised to Stop Organ Harvesting.  Here's What It's Been Doing Behind Closed Doors.  In 2005, I was astounded to hear from a patient who was a candidate for a heart transplant, and who had been hospitalized for a year in my department at the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, that he had received an offer from his insurance company to fly to China and undergo the surgical procedure there, on a specified date within two weeks.  A necessary precondition for a heart transplant is the donor's demise on the day of the surgery, which obviously is not an event whose date is known weeks in advance.  My astonishment only increased when the patient did in fact make the trip to China and had the transplant on the promised day.  He was the first Israeli to have a heart transplant in this way.  Intrigued by the case, I started investigating the subject of organ transplants in China.  I discovered that as early as 1984 a secret law had been promulgated there allowing the organs of persons condemned to death to be harvested for transplants.  The law, whose existence gradually leaked out, is contrary to all international law and ethical procedures, which absolutely prohibit the use of organs of individuals who have been executed.  Indeed, even asking a condemned person to agree to become an organ donor after his or her death is forbidden.  Nevertheless, the law spawned a flourishing industry in China worth billions of dollars to the state and other players, involving tens of thousands of procedures a year, based on the sale to transplant tourists of organs of people sentenced to death.

Supreme Court refuses to allow federal executions carry on — for now.  The Supreme Court denied the Trump administration's request to override a district court ruling halting federal executions that were scheduled for this week.  The order, issued Friday, allows the litigation to carry on at the federal appeals court for now while the executions are stalled.

Supreme Court temporarily blocks Trump administration request to resume federal executions.  The Supreme Court on Friday [12/6/2019] blocked the Trump administration from resuming federal executions in an attempt to put to death four convicted murderers.  The executions were slated to begin next week.  The justices upheld a lower court ruling imposed last month after inmates claimed executions by lethal injection would violate federal law.  U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in Washington, D.C., had imposed a temporary injunction on executions, saying they would conflict with federal law.  That ruling was upheld Monday by a three-judge federal appeals court.

Sirhan Sirhan goes under the knife.  Earlier this year, [Governor Gavin] Newsom reprieved all 737 murderers on California's death row.  These were the worst of the worst, including Luis Bracamontes, who gunned down two police officers in Sacramento in 2014 and said he wished he'd killed more cops.  Also gaining a reprieve was "Tool Box Killer" Lawrence Bittaker, who raped and killed five teenage girls in 1979 after torturing them with pliers and screwdrivers.  Had Sirhan Sirhan been on death row, the Kennedy killer would also have gained a reprieve.  In California, any assassin can take the life of any innocent victim, including a presidential candidate, and be sure of keeping his or her own life.

Barr Promises Fast Track for Federal Death Penalty.  The Trump administration is pushing for legislation that would accelerate certain federal death penalty cases.  The new legislation is expected around Labor Day, according to Attorney General William P. Barr, and will specifically expedite the use of the death penalty for offenders who murder police officers or commit mass murders.

Trump pushes capital punishment in wake of shootings.  Buried in Paragraph 8 was the guts of his proposal.  It said, "The president also called for cultural changes, citing violent video games.  Further, Trump said he has directed the Justice Department to propose legislation ensuring that those commit hate crimes and mass murders 'face the death penalty and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively, and without years of needless delay.'"  Now we get to the specifics.  President Trump wants to empty death row the right way.  Executions work as a deterrent to crime only if they are swift.  20-year delays make a joke of such sentences.  He just made them an offer they cannot accept.  Any deal Democrats and their RINO friends want to make will have to include hanging killers.  The president tiptoed around Fake Conservatives who want him to cave on gun control.

Attorney General William Barr orders first federal executions in nearly two decades.  The federal government will resume executing death row inmates after nearly two decades without doing so, the Department of Justice announced Thursday [7/25/2019].  Attorney General William Barr directed the Bureau of Prisons to schedule the executions of five inmates convicted of murder and other crimes.  The executions have been scheduled for December 2019 and January 2020.  The department also announced a new execution protocol, replacing the three-drug cocktail previously used in federal executions with the single drug, pentobarbital.

Cotton Blasts Dem Nominees Over Death Penalty Criticism.  Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (Ar.) blasted presidential hopefuls Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Ma.) and South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg for their criticisms of the death penalty.  Warren and Buttigieg denounced the news that the DOJ would resume executing federal death row inmates, which marked an end to a 16-year gap during which no federal executions occurred.  "Our criminal justice system has a long history of mistakes when it comes to capital punishment — especially when it comes to Black and Brown people," Warren wrote on Twitter.  "We cannot let a broken system decide the fate of incarcerated Americans.  I oppose the death penalty."

The Editor says...
I'm opposed to putting people to death, too, but not as much as I'm opposed to feeding and housing murderers and other violent and habitual felons for decades after their crimes.  Assuming that's they're caught, convicted, and sent to death row, which is assuming a lot.

Justice Department says it will Resume federal capital punishment after nearly two-decade break.  he U.S. Justice Department has scheduled the execution of five death-row federal inmates, after Attorney General William Barr announced he has reinstated the federal government's use of capital punishment after a nearly two-decade hiatus.  'Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the people's representatives in both houses of Congress and signed by the President,' Barr said in a statement on Thursday [7/25/2019].

Do we want these people alive:  Re-instating the Federal Death Penalty.  Regardless of how you feel about the death penalty, it is hard to argue that it would be a better place if Timothy McVeigh was still breathing.  Even if behind bars.  Some may argue that life in a concrete and metal cell measured in feet is a far worse sentence.  The last person the federal government executed was Louis Jones, Jr., a US Army soldier who was killed following his conviction of rape and murder of Pvt. Tracie McBride, a soldier.  His lawyers argued that due to sexual abuse as a child and PTSD as a decorated war veteran, he was not responsible for his action.  This was in 2003 and under President George W. Bush.  (Should Louis Jones Die? — Newsweek)  But that is all about to change.

A Common-Sense Ruling on Death Penalty Drugs.  If there's one thing that tells you government in America is too big and unaccountable, it's when one branch of government stops another government from doing what it was set up to do, even if it's not the first agency's job.  Case in point:  Under President Barack Obama, the Food and Drug Administration stopped multiple states from carrying out executions because the agency had not approved the drugs they intended to use for lethal injection.  Really.  President Donald Trump's Department of Justice is changing that.

Texas to bar all chaplains from execution chambers.  Texas prisons have amended their policy to disallow all chaplains from the execution chamber following two controversial high-profile cases, according to the Texas Tribune.  Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court halted the execution of Patrick Murphy, who had been sentenced to death for his part in the 2000 murder of an Irving, Texas, police officer, because he had not been given access to a Buddhist chaplain.  Only prison employees are allowed in the chamber and the state only employs Christian and Muslim clerics as prison chaplains.  The high court ruled that this constituted religious discrimination and gave the state the option of allowing chaplains of all religions or banning them from the chamber entirely.

Gorsuch Death Penalty Decision Causes [Concern] On The Left.  Personally, I'm opposed to the death penalty.  That opposition is based on two things.  First, the time lag from conviction to execution is typically one or more decades.  That, to me, negates the deterrent or even the retributive aspects and reduces it to being mauled to death by DMV clerks.  Second, the bone-deep corruption in our justice system which routinely uncovers prosecutors knowingly convicting people on the most flimsy of evidence and elected prosecutors using tough sentencing as a campaign tool doesn't make me want to give this system the power to take a life.  Combine these two together and I'm basically against the idea.

The Editor says...
I disagree.  The delay between conviction and execution is almost entirely due to lawyers, who make their living by searching for loopholes and technicalities.  In China, the condemned inmate is taken away to his execution immediately upon conviction.  In a way, that's more humane, because one would spend a lot less time dreading the inevitable.  Whether one dies on Death Row from old age, from lethal injection, or at the hands of another inmate, one lives in certainty that escape is impossible.  Secondly, I find it difficult to believe that anyone in this century has been sentenced to death based upon flimsy evidence.  Most of the people who get the death penalty have lengthy criminal records and probably deserved execution long before they were finally sent to death row.

California executes a 'moratorium' on the death penalty.  During the past eight years, California voters have twice reiterated their support for the death penalty by defeating propositions seeking to overturn it.  If anyone was confused about Californians' understanding of the death penalty representing an important part of justice, in 2016 they even passed a proposition calling for the speeding up of executions by shortening the decades-long appeals process.  In other words, Californians want the death penalty, and they want to it happen faster and more often.

Gavin Newsom Doesn't Care about Crime Victims.  On March 13, California governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order granting a reprieve to all 737 convicted murderers awaiting execution in the Golden State. [...] All 737 reprieved death-row inmates had been found guilty of murder by a jury of their peers, beyond any reasonable doubt.  The convicted murderers had also exhausted all the possibilities of the appeal process, which in the California criminal justice system is quite extensive.  Gavin Newsom is not an attorney and not a judge.  The governor did not attend the trials and produced no new exculpatory evidence in any of the cases.  Those awaiting execution include Richard Allen Davis, who kidnapped and killed twelve-year-old Polly Klaas, and "Tool Box Killer" Lawrence Bittaker, who raped and killed five teen girls in 1979 after torturing them with pliers and screwdrivers.

Killing the Death Penalty via Edict.  To my conservative friends who like when chief executives push the envelope on "national emergencies" and executive orders, I offer you California Gov. Gavin Newsom.  Last week, he grabbed national headlines for his decision to grant reprieves to all 737 prisoners on California's death row based on his own personal feelings: [...] Governors have the power to pardon people and give reprieves.  But just as advocates for limited government believe that presidents should let Congress take the lead on spending matters, they too should prefer that governors stick to the spirit and not just the letter of the law.  Such reprieves are meant for particular cases — not as a means to change public policy.

Kamala Harris Says She Would Not Execute Someone for Committing Treason Against the United States.  In an interview broadcast yesterday by National Public Radio, Sen. Kamala Harris (D.-Calif.) said that she would not impose the death penalty on someone who committed treason against the United States.  Harris takes the position that the death penalty should never be used as punishment for any crime.

Governor's reprieve may not be the news Death Row inmates want to hear.  One should stay out of prison, but if you have to serve a long sentence, California's Death Row is not a bad option, compared to the main line in the 35 institutions run by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  That's why Gov. Gavin Newsom's reprieve for the 723 men and 22 women on Death Row is not the news the condemned may want to hear.

Gov. Newsom to order halt to California's death penalty.  Gov. Gavin Newsom is suspending the death penalty in California, calling it discriminatory and immoral, and is granting reprieves to the 737 condemned inmates on the nation's largest Death Row.  "I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people," Newsom said in a statement accompanying an executive order, to be issued Wednesday [3/13/2019], declaring a moratorium on capital punishment in the state.  "The death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian."

Lethal injection or gas?  Alabama's death row gets to choose.  Some say inhaling nitrogen gas would be like dying on a plane that depressurizes in flight, swiftly killing all aboard.  Now more than a quarter of Alabama's death row inmates have signed statements saying they would prefer that gas over lethal injection or the electric chair when facing execution.

Pope Francis Is Woefully Wrong about the Death Penalty.  Pope Francis has amended the Catechism of the Catholic Church to reject the death penalty.  Whether this is an appropriate Catholic stance is for Catholics to decide.  But the complete elimination of the death penalty would undermine the social order of modern states, in my view.  The Hebrew Bible prescribes the death penalty for murder and — unlike most pre-modern societies and many Muslim countries today — prohibits the payment of wergild.  An eye and a tooth can be requited by monetary compensation (that was the meaning of "an eye for an eye"), but not a life.  The rabbis of the Second Temple period set an extremely high hurdle for the death penalty and declared that a court that ordered a single execution in a hundred years should be considered cruel.

Pope Francis Rewrites Catholicism ... and the Bible.  Pope Francis, the product of Latin American liberation theology — along with many other Catholic religious and lay leaders — is remaking Catholicism in the image of leftism, just as mainstream Protestant leaders have been rendering much of mainstream Protestantism a branch of leftism, and non-Orthodox Jewish clergy and lay leaders have been rendering most non-Orthodox synagogues and lay institutions left-wing organizations.  The notion that it is immoral to execute any murderer — no matter how heinous the murder, no matter how many innocents he has murdered, no matter how incontrovertible the proof of guilt — is an expression of emotion, not of reason or natural law or Christian theology or biblical theology.  Regarding the latter, the biblical commandment to put premeditated murderers to death is unique.  First, it is fundamental to biblical morality.

Cuomo Invokes Pope in Advancing Legislation to Abolish Death Penalty.  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D.) announced this week he would advance a bill to abolish the death penalty in the state "in solidarity with Pope Francis."  Pope Francis decreed on Thursday [8/2/2018] that the death penalty was "inadmissible" in all cases, and the Catholic Church would work "with determination" to see the practice ended around the world.  Church doctrine formerly accepted the death penalty in some instances if was "the only practicable way" to defend life.  Cuomo, who penned an op-ed against capital punishment in 2004 for the New York Times, tweeted out a story about the Vatican's decision along with his own announcement.

Pope Francis and Capital Punishment.  In a move that should surprise no one, Pope Francis has once again appeared to contradict two millennia of clear and consistent scriptural and Catholic teaching. [...] There has always been disagreement among Catholics about whether capital punishment is, in practice, the morally best way to uphold justice and social order.  However, the Church has always taught, clearly and consistently, that the death penalty is in principle consistent with both natural law and the Gospel.  This is taught throughout scripture — from Genesis 9 to Romans 13 and many points in between — and the Church maintains that scripture cannot teach moral error. [...] If capital punishment is wrong in principle, then the Church has for two millennia consistently taught grave moral error and badly misinterpreted scripture.

Catholic Church changes teaching to oppose death penalty in all cases.  The Roman Catholic Church formally changed its teaching on Thursday to declare the death penalty inadmissible whatever the circumstance, a move likely to be criticized in countries where capital punishment is legal.

CNN's Cuomo Lectures Conservatives on What It Means to Be Pro-Life.  Conservatives vary greatly on the issue of the death penalty.  While there are many conservatives that put stock in the death penalty, there's a growing number who do not.

Unabomber's Brother, NAACP Call for End to Death Penalty.  A representative from the NAACP joined other activists to advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, referring to capital punishment as "state-sponsored violence."  "This is a modern-day human rights issue that felt really solvable as a law student, like, we can just get rid of this, right?  We don't need this.  Let's move forward and get rid of this and move on to some other human rights issues — that's kind of how I found myself representing people who are on death row," Ngozi Ndulue, senior director of criminal justice programs at the NAACP, said during a vigil to abolish the death penalty recently organized by Death Penalty Action at the Supreme Court.

Poll: Most Americans favor the death penalty.  The Pew Research Center has released a poll showing that 54 percent of Americans favor the death penalty for people convicted of murder.  That's up from 49 percent two years ago.  (As Kent Scheidegger has explained, this number understates opposition to abolishing the death penalty, but I'm focused here on the trend).  The death penalty has always had the support of a plurality of Americans.  However, that support declined dramatically in the past 20 years.  In 1996, 78 percent of Americans supported it compared to only 18 who opposed it.  Today, the split is 54-39.

A Leftist Core Belief:  Denying Evil.  With thousands of black people being shot in leftist-run cities, leftists act as though the killings aren't the work of a few evil men and hence should be addressed not by vigorous law enforcement, but by gun control and telling blacks their situation is all due to white racism.  This despite the fact that the average black resident of the Democrat-created ghettos is an honest person who doesn't go around shooting people.  Leftists also believe that we're too hard on criminals.  Leftists are constantly advocating for criminals' "rights" and support the idea that letting obviously guilty criminals loose based on legal technicalities that throw out irrefutable evidence of guilt is a good thing.  Leftists have a bizarre attitude toward murderers, rapists, and drug-dealers because leftists believe that criminals aren't really evil or responsible for their actions.  Rather, leftists argue that societal pressures, poor upbringing, etc. are the cause of crime — even though this flies in the face of the reality that most people who suffer from the problems that leftists cite as causing crime don't become criminals.

Democrats demand death penalty for cops who commit assault, murder.  Several House Democrats have introduced legislation that would subject state and local police to the death penalty if they are found guilty or assault or murder.  The Police Accountability Act, from Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., is one of the Democrats' answers to the police brutality that they say still plagues black Americans around the country.  His bill would subject police to the death penalty when cops commit certain crimes that already trigger the death penalty in other circumstances.  Johnson, who has introduced this bill in prior Congresses, said it's needed because police cannot be put above the law.

Authoritarianism, Crime, and Freedom.  In January, I took up Donald Trump's extraordinary promise to bring the crime and violence we know today to a quick end.  I argued that this seemingly impossible vow can be fulfilled, but only by dramatically increasing the speed and certainty with which murderers are put to death.

DoJ Releases First Estimate of Number of Foreigners Held in Federal Prisons:  Over 45,000.  This is the first time we've troubled ourselves to attempt a first-pass count — we count everything in this country.  We have whole sections of government devoting to counting every thing in America — air conditioners, cars, gay and transgender students at risk, etc.  The only things we don't count are the things the Ruling Class doesn't want the public to know the numbers on.

Housing Illegal Aliens in America's Jails Costs $1.2 Billion.  Nearly a quarter of the inmates in federal prisons were born outside the U.S., and more than half of those have final deportation orders, the Department of Justice said Tuesday [5/2/2017].

DOJ: One in Four Federal Inmates Is Foreign-Born.  The Justice Department published statistics on the prison population to comply with directives in President Donald Trump's January executive order overhauling the immigration system.  The foreign-born prison population as of March 25 totals 45,493, or 24 percent of all federal inmates.  Of that group, 3,939 now are American citizens.  That leaves 41,554 inmates who remain citizens of foreign countries.  Some 22,541 of them, or 54.4 percent, have final orders to be deported once they've completed their sentences.  Another 33.4 percent, 13,886, are under investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for possible deportation.

Federal judge backs firing squads, guillotine for executions.  A controversial federal judge thinks firing squads and guillotines should come back in style as the debate over executions in Arkansas rages on.  Ninth Circuit Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski, in an interview with CBS News' "60 Minutes" set to air Sunday, said conducting lethal injections is a sham that masks that fact that people are getting killed.

Death-Penalty Opponents Are Being Dishonest in Their Arguments.  Consider the April 17 broadcast of Fox News Channel's Special Report with Bret Baier.  Casey Stegall reported on the legal battle in Arkansas, where officials want to execute eight death-row inmates in eleven days before their supply of midazolam expires.  This is one of the drugs used to carry out lethal injections.  Stegall did his legwork.  He talked to Susan Khani, the daughter of the woman murdered, execution-style, by Don Davis in 1990.  She told Stegall the last quarter century has been agony for her, adding:  "He is just a very cruel person.  He needs to be put to death."  Stegall then talked to the usual death-penalty opponents.

Death Penalty Opponents are Being Dishonest in Their Arguments.  Casey Stegall reported on the legal battle in Arkansas, where officials want to execute eight death row inmates in 11 days before their supply of midazolam expires.  This is one of the drugs used to carry out lethal injections.  Stegall did his legwork.  He talked to Susan Khani, the daughter of the woman murdered, execution-style, by Don Davis in 1990. She told Stegall the last quarter century has been agony for her, adding, "He is just a very cruel person.  He needs to be put to death."

Gorsuch Casts First Major Tie-Breaking Vote Allowing Arkansas Executions To Proceed.  In what will undoubtedly be a memorable first major tie-breaking vote as a Supreme Court Judge, Neil Gorsuch cast the deciding vote last night to allow Arkansas to begin executing a group of 8 death-row inmates.  The decision came after attorneys for the State of Arkansas sought an expedited process to allow for the executions to proceed before their lethal-injection drugs expire at the end of April.

Judge halted execution plan, then participated in death-penalty protest.  An Arkansas judge who barred the state from hurriedly executing eight inmates attended a death-penalty rally just hours later — even posing as a condemned man as part of the protest.

Arkansas Supreme Court bars judge who joined protests from hearing death penalty cases.  A state judge who railed against the death penalty at protest rallies while he blocked executions in his courtroom ran afoul of the Arkansas Supreme Court on Monday [4/17/2017] as the legal fight over a planned spate of executions continued into the night.  The state high court barred Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen from hearing cases involving executions, capital punishment and the state's lethal injection protocol, then referred him to the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission.  Judge Griffen lost the battle, but he may have won the war:  The Arkansas high court also granted stays of execution to the two convicted murderers scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Monday, Bruce Ward and Don Davis.

AR Supreme Court Bars Judge Wendell Griffen from Death Penalty Cases.  The Arkansas Supreme Court is taking action against Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen.  The high court ruled early Monday afternoon that Judge Griffen be barred from hearing any death penalty, execution or drug protocol cases.  The decision follows Griffen's protest Friday outside the Governor's Mansion against the scheduled executions.

Arkansas' multiple execution plan unravels after rulings.  Arkansas' plan to execute eight men by the end of the month appeared to be unraveling on Friday, with a judge blocking a lethal injection drug use and the state's highest court granting a stay to one of the first inmates who had been scheduled for execution.  Judge Wendell Griffen of the Pulaski County Circuit issued a temporary ruling that prohibits Arkansas from using its supply of vecuronium bromide after a company said it had sold the drug to the state for medical purposes, not capital punishment.

The Supreme Court Plays Fast and Loose with the Eighth Amendment.  To honor the human dignity of those who refuse to honor the human dignity of others is an absurdity than destroys the very concept of human dignity.  Civil society is grounded in the mutual recognition of the human dignity of fellow citizens.  To use the language of the Declaration:  all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Those who fail to honor the obligation to recognize the humanity of others — their rights and liberties — have voluntarily withdrawn from the social compact that constitutes civil society.  Once they have demonstrated they no longer have obligations to society, society no longer has obligations to them, except that American society has pledged always to extend due process rights and protection from cruel and unusual punishment.

George Soros-backed prosecutor yanked after refusing to seek death penalty for cop killer.  A Florida prosecutor elected with $1 million from liberal billionaire George Soros has been removed from all first-degree murder cases after refusing to seek the death penalty for any suspect, including an accused cop killer.  State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who won an upset victory in November after receiving $1.38 million from the Soros-backed Florida Safety & Justice PAC, had 21 first-degree murder cases in Orange and Osceola counties reassigned Monday to other prosecutors by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican.  His executive order came after she announced she would not seek the death penalty against Markeith Loyd, who has been charged in the murders of his pregnant ex-girlfriend Sade Dixon in December and Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton in January, or any other defendants.

Rick Scott takes 21 murder cases from Orlando prosecutor who won't seek death penalty.  Gov. Rick Scott took 21 first-degree murder cases away from Orlando-area State Attorney Aramis Ayala after she said she would not seek the death penalty in any cases.  "Each of these cases I am reassigning represents a horrific loss of life," Scott said in a statement Monday.  "The families who tragically lost someone deserve a state attorney who will take the time to review every individual fact and circumstance before making such an impactful decision."

State Attorney Aramis Ayala won't seek death penalty while in office.  While discussing the Markeith Loyd case Thursday [3/16/2017], State Attorney Aramis Ayala said she will not seek the death penalty during her administration.  Ayala said she made the decision after conducting a review.  The most visible case immediately affected by Ayala's decision is Loyd's, who is charged with killing Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton and his pregnant ex-girlfriend.  Ayala's statement was made during a news conference she called to discuss her decision not to seek the death penalty in the Loyd case.

Arkansas plans to execute 8 men over 10 days.  Eight men are scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in Arkansas in the space of just 10 days, according to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's office.  The state — which has not put anyone to death for 11 years — plans to execute the men in pairs between April 17 and April 27.  So many executions in such a short amount of time is "unprecedented" in the United States, said a spokesman for a group that monitors US executions.

Bring back the firing squads.  Liberals pushed us away from hangings and firing squads to the electric chair, which they then said was cruel, to gas chambers, which they then said was cruel, to lethal injections, which they then said was cruel and whose chemicals are no longer sold.  Mississippi wants to bring back firing squads.  Good.

Mississippi may become fourth state to revamp execution method.  Mississippi lawmakers want to bring back the firing squad, electric chair and gas chamber as execution methods, a step three other states have taken recently, but for a different reason.  Oklahoma reintroduced the gas chamber, Utah the firing squad and Tennessee the electric chair in response to a nationwide scarcity of lethal injection drugs for death row inmates.  Mississippi legislator Andy Gipson said he introduced House Bill 638 in response to lawsuits filed by "liberal, left-wing radicals" challenging the use of lethal injection drugs as cruel and unusual punishment.

Sheriff Clarke:  All Cop Killers Should Get the Death Penalty.  Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says that every murder of a law enforcement officer should be classified as a capital crime punishable by death. [...] Sheriff Clarke argued that every cop killer should receive the death penalty, even in states that don't have capital punishment.

Backward-looking "Progressives".  Murderers may in some cases have had unhappy childhoods, but there is absolutely nothing that anybody can do to change their childhoods after they are adults.  The most that can be done is to keep murderers from committing more murders, and to deter others from committing murder.  People on the left who want to give murderers "another chance" are gambling with the lives of innocent people.  That is one of many other examples of the cruel consequences of seemingly compassionate decisions and policies.  Ironically, people on the left who are preoccupied with the presumably unhappy childhoods of murderers, which they can do nothing about, seldom show similar concern about the present and future unhappy childhoods of the orphans of people who have been murdered.  Such inconsistencies are not peculiar to our time, though they seem to be more pervasive today.  But the left has been trying, for more than 200 years, to mitigate or eliminate punishments in general, and capital punishment in particular.

The 7 Ugliest Propositions on the California Ballot.  [For example,] Prop. 62 — The death penalty for the death penalty.  This is as straightforward as it sounds.  If you think California shouldn't have a death penalty for those who commit the most heinous acts of premeditated violence, often with deadly outcomes, then vote yes.  If you believe, as I do, that these worst-of-the-worst criminals should have to pay the ultimate price for their acts, then vote no.

Governor to seek reinstatement of death penalty in New Mexico.  Gov. Susana Martinez said Wednesday she intends to seek reinstatement of New Mexico's death penalty.  Martinez's announcement comes in the aftermath of Friday's shooting death of Hatch police Officer Jose Chavez.  Chavez, 33, was killed during a traffic stop.  The state of New Mexico has charged Jesse Denver Hanes, 38, of Columbus, Ohio, with killing Chavez.  If convicted of murder in the state case, Hanes faces life in prison.  Hanes also faces charges at the federal level, but those charges wouldn't warrant the death penalty, Elizabeth Martinez with the U.S. Attorney's Office told KVIA.  Hanes is also wanted in Ohio in connection to the July shooting death of 62-year-old Theodore Timmons.  Ohio does have the death penalty.

Delaware's Death Penalty Law Struck Down by State Supreme Court.  Delaware's highest court declared the state's death penalty law unconstitutional Tuesday, ruling that it violates the Constitution's guarantee of a fair trial.

Pharmaceutical Giant Just Declared War on the Death Penalty.  U.S. firm Pfizer officially withdrew from the lethal injection trade on Friday, announcing it will no longer supply medicines for use in death row executions.  The global giant announced its commitment to block all sales for that purpose in a move reflecting growing opposition to the death penalty in the U.S. [...] Fewer states sentence people to death now, and those that still do are doing so less often.  In total, 19 states have abolished the primitive act, and it's no secret the European-led boycott of medical drugs — used by U.S. corrections departments to execute prisoners — has had a startling impact.

Pfizer says it's blocking use of drugs for lethal injections.  Pharmaceutical company Pfizer said Friday [5/13/2016] it was blocking use of its drugs in lethal injections, which means all federally-approved drugmakers whose medications could be used for executions have now put them off limits.

A Death Sentence in Louisiana Rarely Means You'll be Executed.  Four out of five death sentences in Louisiana since 1976 have been reversed.  And for every three executions the state carried out, one death row prisoner was exonerated.  These statistics are among the most notable in an analysis of the death penalty in Louisiana, published this week by Tim Lyman, an independent researcher, and Frank Baumgartner, a political scientist at the University of North Carolina who has crunched similar numbers in Florida, Ohio, and Missouri.

Pope Francis calls for global abolition of the death penalty saying 'Thou shalt not kill' applies to the guilty as well as the innocent'.  Pope Francis has called on Catholic leaders to seek a ban on the death penalty exclaiming that 'Thou shall not kill applies to the guilty as well as the innocent'.  Speaking to thousands at St. Peter's Square, in the Vatican, the Pontiff asked politicians around the world to make 'a courageous and exemplary gesture' during the Church's current Holy Year.

Pope Francis calls on Christians to abolish death penalty.  Pope Francis on Sunday urged Catholic leaders to show "exemplary" courage by not allowing executions this year, while expressing hope that eventually the death penalty will be abolished worldwide.

Lawmakers strike political compromise to fix Florida's death penalty law.  In an effort to keep Florida's death penalty from a barrage of legal attacks after a Supreme Court decision halted executions, state lawmakers have reached a compromise that would allow the Sunshine State to continue executions.  The Supreme Court ruled in January that the state's method of sentencing people to death was unconstitutional because it weighed power too heavily toward judges over juries.  The nation's highest court found the state's sentencing procedure was flawed because juries play only an advisory role, while the judge makes the key decisions and can find differently from the jury.

Some Reading for Conservatives Who Oppose the Death Penalty.  Does the death penalty bring about justice?  To many citizens, the answer is yes, absolutely.  When someone takes the life of another or several others in a wanton, cruel, and malicious way, nothing less than the forfeiture of the killer's life brings justice.  Life for a life (or many lives) taken.  Does the death penalty bring about safety?  Yes, for sure.  Executed killers will never claim new victims.  They are completely incapacitated, something life without parole cannot guarantee.  And executions, beyond a doubt, deter others from committing murder.  How many depends on a variety of circumstances, but to claim there is no (zero) deterrence brought about via execution of the guilty is completely absurd.

Oklahoma delays executions until at least 2016.  No executions will be scheduled in Oklahoma until at least next year as the attorney general's office investigates why the state used the wrong drug during a lethal injection in January and nearly did so again last month, the office said Friday [10/16/2015].

Supreme Court Justice Argues World Opinion Matters on the Death Penalty.  Should the Supreme Court care that other countries have abolished the death penalty?

Connecticut's highest court BANS death penalty in the state — sparing the lives of 11 men.  Connecticut's highest court has overturned the state's death penalty — meaning the two men convicted in the brutal murders of the Petit family will no longer be executed for their crimes.  In a 4-3 ruling on Thursday [8/13/2015], Connecticut Supreme Court declared that the death penalty was unconstitutional, sparing the lives of the 11 men currently on death row in the town of Somers.

The case for the death penalty.  [Scroll down]  Those who would eliminate the death penalty also might reflect on notorious mass murderer Richard Speck, who viciously raped and murdered eight student nurses in Chicago in 1966.  His death sentence was overturned, and he ended up with a life sentence.  Years later he admitted to a journalist that he enjoyed getting high in prison, and later a videotape would turn up that showed Speck using drugs, having sex with another inmate and displaying $100 bills.  He said, "If they only knew how much fun I was having, they'd turn me loose."  He also described strangling the nurses and joked, "It just wasn't their night."  He would die of a heart attack after 25 years in prison, a stint he seemed to have enjoyed.

The Butchers of Planned Parenthood.  Mitchelle Blair, not knowing what to do with the bodies of two of her children, whom she had murdered, stuffed them in her freezer.  She'd tortured them for months first — strangling them, suffocating them with plastic bags until they passed out, starving them, burning them with boiling water.  She said she killed her son by accident; she'd intended to torture him further.  Her daughter she killed on purpose.  "If I had the chance to do it again, I would," the mother said.  Pleading guilty, she asked the court to impose the death penalty on her.  Prosecutors regretfully informed her that Michigan has no death penalty.

Supreme Court upholds use of drug implicated in botched executions.  The Supreme Court upheld the use of a controversial drug in lethal injection executions Monday [6/29/2015], as two dissenting justices said for the first time that they think it's "highly likely" that the death penalty itself is unconstitutional.  The justices voted 5-4 in a case from Oklahoma that the sedative midazolam can be used in executions without violating the Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

The Battle for Death Penalty Transparency.  Americans may shudder at the barbarity depicted in videos showing public executions by the governments of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China, but the fact remains that alone among all Western countries, the United States is a death penalty country.  Though the death penalty is legal in the majority of American states, only a handful of them actually carry out executions, numbering in the few dozens annually.  Part of the reason the American public maintains a steadfast support of its government killing convicted murderers is due to the cloak of secrecy covering executions and the fact that the most common form of execution, lethal injection, is sold to the public as a medical procedure, akin to putting a sick animal to sleep.

Nebraska senators override governor's veto, repeal death penalty.  Nebraska has repealed the death penalty following a dramatic vote Wednesday [5/27/2015] by state lawmakers to override the governor's veto.  The high-stakes vote to override the veto of Legislative Bill 268 was 30-19.  It requires at least 30 of 49 senators to overturn a gubernatorial veto.

Republican stance on death penalty appears to be shifting.  Nebraska's Republican-dominated Legislature is making a concerted push to do away with the state's death penalty, the latest sign of cracks in conservatives' once-bedrock support for capital punishment.  When lawmakers voted 30-13 vote [sic] to repeal the state's death penalty last week, Republicans delivered 17 of the votes in favor of the measure, outnumbering the 13 votes Republicans cast against it, according to The Wall Street Journal.  GOP Gov. Pete Ricketts has vowed to veto the bill.

Utah gov signs bill allowing firing squad.  Utah became the only state to allow firing squads for executions Monday when Gov. Gary Herbert signed a law approving the controversial method's use when no lethal-injection drugs are available.

Why Brain Injury Matters In Death Row Cases.  Cecil Clayton was executed Tuesday [3/17/2015] by the state of Missouri.  At 74 years old, Clayton was the state's oldest death row inmate.  He landed on death row after he murdered a police officer, Christopher Castetter, who was dispatched to a house where Clayton had broken in, back in 1996. [...] Three different medical doctors declared Clayton incompetent after he was sentenced to death.  This is problematic, as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 (Atkins v Virginia) that it was unconstitutional to execute an intellectually disabled individual by the Eighth Amendment, prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Texas now down to last dose of lethal injection after executing Mexican Mafia enforcer.  A Mexican Mafia hit man convicted of beating and strangling a San Antonio woman because she didn't pay the gang's 10 per cent tax on her illegal drug sales was executed Wednesday evening [3/11/2015].

Firing squad bill passes the Senate, heads to governor for signature.  The [Utah] Senate passed a bill that would bring back the firing squad in Utah as a method of execution.  In an 18-10 vote, the Senate approved House Bill 11, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, which would bring the firing squad back as a backup method of execution, should the primary method of lethal injection be unavailable.

Attorney General Eric Holder calls for states to stop death penalty until Supreme Court decides.  Attorney General Eric Holder called on states to temporarily pause death penalty executions on Tuesday [2/17/2015], until the Supreme Court decides a case about the controversial drug cocktails used for lethal injects in some states.

Pennsylvania Stops Using the Death Penalty.  Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Friday [2/13/2015] that the state has effectively put a moratorium on the death penalty.  While Wolf awaits a report from a task force on the state's use of capital punishment, he will grant temporary reprieves for all death row inmates whose executions are scheduled.

Oklahoma considers nitrogen gas chamber to execute death row inmates.  Following the state's botched lethal injection last spring, in which the inmate groaned and writhed on the gurney before a problem was discovered, the state is exploring using a nitrogen gas chamber which would make the execution painless.  Breathing the gas would cause hypoxia, similar to what happens to pilots at high altitudes.

Ohio to delay 7 executions while searching for new drugs.  Ohio will delay the executions of seven death row inmates while searching for an adequate supply of drugs that complies with its new execution protocol, the state's Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said Friday [1/30/2015].  That means the state will not carry out any executions in 2015, the agency said in a press release.

U.S. Supreme Court to review Oklahoma execution procedure.  The Supreme Court on Friday [1/23/2015] agreed to review Oklahoma's controversial method of execution by lethal injection, taking up a case brought by three death row inmates who accuse the state of violating the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

California AG Kamala Harris to appeal ruling against death penalty.  A federal judge's "flawed" decision declaring California's enforcement of the death penalty unconstitutional will be appealed, state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris announced Thursday [8/21/2014].  Harris will ask the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn last month's ruling by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney, who said decades-long delays and uncertainty about whether inmates will be executed violated the Constitution's ban on cruel or unusual punishment.  Harris personally opposes the death penalty but promised voters she would enforce it.

How does the U.S. compare to other countries?
Saudi Arabia has beheaded 19 people in one month.  Human Rights Watch reports that Saudi Arabia has beheaded 19 people since the beginning of August.  Some confessions may have been gained under torture and one poor defendant was found guilty of sorcery.  Yep, sorcery.  That might sound archaic, but we are talking about a regime so very concerned about offending God that it has even banned certain names for being "blasphemous".

Executions should be by firing squad, federal appeals court judge says.  Days before an Arizona murderer gasped and snorted for more than 90 minutes and died nearly two hours after his execution began, a conservative federal appeals judge called for replacing lethal injection with firing squads, saying the public must acknowledge that executions are "brutal, savage events."  "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 beautiful — like something any one of us might experience in our final moments," U.S. 9th Circuit Court Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in a dissent in the Arizona death penalty case of Joseph Rudolph Wood III.

California Death Penalty Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Says.  A federal judge ruled Wednesday [7/16/2014] that California's death penalty system is so arbitrary and plagued with delay that it is unconstitutional, a decision that is expected to inspire similar arguments in death penalty appeals around the country.  The state has placed hundreds of people on death row, but has not executed a prisoner since 2006. [...] About 40 percent of California's 748 death row inmates have been there more than 19 years.

Federal judge rules California's death penalty unconstitutional.  A federal judge declared California's death penalty unconstitutional Wednesday, saying delays of 25 years or more in deciding appeals and carrying out occasional executions have created an arbitrary and irrational system that serves no legitimate purpose.  The ruling by U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney of Santa Ana was limited to a single case and had no immediate impact on executions statewide, which have been halted by federal courts since 2006 because of multiple problems in lethal injection procedures.

The Editor says...
I'm no expert, but this might be the first time that the 8th Amendment has been used in this manner.  The judge appears to say that the anxiety caused by the long and variable delay between conviction and execution is cruel and unusual.  This problem is very easy to fix:  Execute all condemned criminals within 30 days.  In China, they don't even wait that long!

Judges [sic] Orders Temporary Halt to Ohio Executions.  Ohio executions have been put on hold for 2 1/2 months after a federal judge said [5/27/2014] he wanted to hear arguments over the state's new lethal injection procedures.

Tennessee brings back electric chair.  Tennessee has decided how it will respond to a nationwide scarcity of lethal injection drugs for death-row inmates:  with the electric chair.

Lawmaker wants to bring back 'humane' firing squad executions.  In the wake of a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma last month, a Utah lawmaker says he believes a firing squad is a more humane form of execution.

Execute Cleanly or Not at All.  The guillotine, which was invented specifically to eliminate foul-ups from the executioner's lack of skill and/or sobriety, is about the only existing execution method that will get it right every time.  Nobody knows, however, whether the severed head can sense the trauma before consciousness is lost.  This suggests a need for a method that is known to be so painless and trauma-free that it is among the most deadly workplace hazards:  asphyxiation in an oxygen-deficient atmosphere.  It is deadly precisely because it is painless and trauma-free; the victim doesn't know what is happening to him before it is too late.

Appeals court overturns ruling on execution drugs.  A federal appeals court on Wednesday threw out a ruling requiring the Texas prison system to disclose more information about where it gets lethal-injection drugs, reversing a judge who had halted an upcoming execution.

US Supreme Court won't stop Texas execution over state refusal to name lethal drug supplier.  The U.S. Supreme Court won't stop the execution of a Texas serial killer whose attorneys want the state to release information about where it gets its lethal injection drug.

Attorney General Says Tennessee Can Lawfully Electrocute Inmates.  The State Attorney General says Tennessee can lawfully use the electric chair on death row inmates if drugs used for lethal injection are not available.

'Ground zero' for the death penalty.  Missouri executed its fourth inmate in as many months early Wednesday [2/26/2014], even as the issue of capital punishment has sparked a new and reshaped political debate in the state and across the country.  The Midwestern state has become a key battleground:  As lethal-injection drug supplies have been disrupted, states have been scrambling to adapt, and Missouri lawmakers from both sides of the aisle aren't happy with what they say is excessive secrecy about the process and questions about whether the sentences are being competently carried out.

Federal judge temporarily blocks Okla. pharmacy from selling drug to Missouri for execution.  A federal judge agreed late Wednesday to temporarily block an Oklahoma pharmacy from providing an execution drug to the Missouri Department of Corrections for use in an upcoming lethal injection.

The Editor says...
Why do pharmacies have lethal drugs on hand?

Oklahoma Pharmacy Won't Give Drug for Missouri Execution.  An Oklahoma pharmacy has agreed not to provide Missouri with a made-to-order drug for an inmate's execution scheduled for later this month, according to court documents filed Monday [2/17/2014].

The Editor says...
Oh, I see.  The drug is "made to order."  (Now I'm a little more concerned about my doctor's handwriting.)  Is there not one pharmacist in Missouri who can make it?

States Consider Reviving Old-Fashioned Executions.  With lethal-injection drugs in short supply and new questions looming about their effectiveness, lawmakers in some death penalty states are considering bringing back relics of a more gruesome past:  firing squads, electrocutions and gas chambers.

Louisiana will change protocol, adopt Ohio lethal injection drugs one week before scheduled execution.  With just more than one week to go before convicted killer Christopher Sepulvado is scheduled to die by lethal injection, Louisiana will alter its execution protocol and swap out a one-drug recipe for the same two-drug cocktail used in Ohio executions.

Wyo. lawmaker proposes firing squads for executions.  A Wyoming lawmaker is pushing to allow use of firing squads to execute condemned state inmates if constitutional problems or other issues ever prevented the state from using lethal injection.

Dem Bill Would End Death Penalty for Espionage, Treason, Assasinations.  The Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act.  (HR 3741) would "end the death penalty for assassination or kidnapping that results in the death of the president or vice president, and also ends it for the murder of a member of Congress."  The list goes on:  "using a weapon of mass destruction, or murder done via torture, child abuse, war crimes, aircraft hijackings, sexual abuse, bank robberies or the willful wrecking of a train."  And there is even more [...]

California will no longer pursue three-drug lethal injections.  California has dropped its legal efforts to win approval of a three-drug method of lethal injection and will instead propose single-drug executions, a prisons spokesman said Wednesday [7/10/2013]. [...] Any new method of execution will be subject to public comment and review by a federal court.  The process could take years.

The ECHR says it's 'inhuman' for murderers to get whole-life sentences.  Judges in Strasbourg have opened a new front by ruling that Britain is in breach of Article 3 of the European convention on human rights by imprisoning some the worst imaginable killers for whole-life terms.  The Grand Chamber of the European Court has ruled in three test cases that their sentences must be reviewed after 25 years.

The Editor says...
A murderer is still a murderer after 25 years.  The purpose of a life sentence — and capital punishment, to some extent — is to take murderers and the most egregiously violent criminals off the steets.  Permanently.

Barbarism in Philadelphia.  Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who is on trial in Philadelphia for doping one patient to death and killing seven fetuses born alive.  He doubtless seems a worthy candidate for death row.  Dr. Gosnell, after all, is a monster. [...] Dr. Gosnell was merciless killer, willing to perform abortions at any stage of pregnancy.  He routinely induced labor in women more than six months pregnant and then cut the spines of their breathing newborns.  This was Gosnell's "standard procedure," according to the grand jury report.  "These killings became so routine," in fact, "that no one could put an exact number on them."

The death penalty does not serve as a deterrent if it's not on the books.
After bombings, a push to restore the death penalty.  Democratic leaders today put a quick stop to a move to reinstate the death penalty in Massachusetts, rejecting a House budget amendment containing a death penalty measure first proposed by former Gov. Mitt Romney in 2005.  The House voted 119-38 to send the amendment to further study in a committee, a move that eliminated the amendment from immediate consideration as part of the budget bill under debate in the House this week.  Massachusetts abolished the death penalty in 1984.

The Boston Bomber Should Face The Possibility Of The Death Penalty.  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother murdered three people at the Boston Marathon, and grossly mutilated dozens more.  The brother was killed in a shootout with police.  The question is what justice Dzhokhar should face.  The answer, as the Justice Department apparently understands, is a jury empowered to consider the death penalty.

Why Don Opposes Capital Rape.  It's pretty easy to see that I am not applying a double standard in opposing abortion and supporting the death penalty.  An unborn child is not the same thing as a convicted murderer.  In fact, no unborn child has ever committed murder. [...] And nothing deters like capital punishment.  No executed man has ever become a recidivist.

Death and Life in Maryland.  Respect for human life should mean a murderer ought to forfeit his or her own life as payment for the life taken.  Life in prison is unequal punishment.  It is not fair to the victim, to the victim's family or even to the killer who has not received his or her "just deserts."  In the case of abortion, obviously there can be no sentence of death or life in prison for the "murderer."  But that doesn't mean that Maryland cannot exercise an equivalent respect for life through laws that restrict abortion.  Shouldn't the lives of the unborn also be spared a death sentence?

Maryland lawmakers vote to repeal death penalty.  Maryland lawmakers approved a measure abolishing the death penalty on Friday [3/15/2013] and sent the bill to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who has long supported banning capital punishment.

The Cruel and Unusual Eighth Amendment.  To date the Court has not ruled that the death penalty per se violates the Eighth Amendment; however, it has created certain procedures and exceptions governing the request of the death penalty, for instance requiring a criminal defendant to have in fact killed or attempted to kill a victim.  The Court also held in Atkins v. Virginia (2002) that the mentally retarded, as a class, are exempt from the death penalty.

Defend the Second Amendment by Restoring the Eighth.  States find it cheaper to feed, clothe, house, and guard a murderer to the end of his days, and nurse him through the diseases of old age, than to jump through the endless legal hoops of proving to the most soft-headed appellate court in the land not only that he committed the crime, but that he deserves to die for it.  Those hoops were invented by the United States Supreme Court, in blatant disregard of the original meaning of the Eighth Amendment.  That amendment's ban on "cruel and unusual punishments" applied only to the federal government in the first place, and it referred only to torturous executions such as crucifixion, burning, boiling, drawing and quartering, etc.  It did not prohibit strangulation by hanging, which was the common practice of every jurisdiction involved in the amendment's adoption and ratification.

The death penalty... Lord Tebbit and our readers call for its return.  Angry calls for the reinstatement of hanging for killers of police officers were growing last night [9/19/2012] following the double atrocity in Manchester.  Led by Tory grandee Lord Tebbit, politicians and victims of crime said there was now enough evidence for the UK to re-examine the issue.

A return to capital punishment? It is time we thought once more about the deterrent effect.  The murder of two unarmed women police officers is bound to re-ignite the debate over whether our police officers should be armed as a matter of routine and whether there should be a return to capital punishment for limited categories of murder, such as that of a police officer, or more generally.  The first option of arming police officers would be allowed by our masters in Brussels and Strasbourg even though it might lead to cases of summary execution of the innocent; the second would not.

The death penalty is not what it used to be.  Seventeenth-century England, whence comes so much of our law and culture, hanged evildoers with the enthusiasm of modern Texas.  There's the story of the shipwrecked sailor of the time who was washed up on a distant shore after a storm at sea.  He opened his eyes the next morning, and the first thing he saw, on a hill far away, was a gallows.  "Thank God!" he cried.  "I'm in a Christian country."

Gun crimes don't happen because of 'weak' laws.  By combining data from the Census Bureau and the FBI, we see that in states with the death penalty for murder, the murder rate in 2010 was 25 percent higher than in non-death-penalty states.

Tyrants and Human Nature.  Though the law of demand is not rocket science, liberals and progressives sometimes pretend it doesn't exist.  Suppose one wants to reduce the number of rapes, robberies and homicides.  Should we raise or lower the cost of committing such acts?  Though the death penalty exacts a high cost for a homicide conviction, most liberals and progressives are against it.  Some liberals and progressives don't hold criminals responsible, because they believe that poverty and discrimination are the cause of crime and that it's society that must be cured.  Others think that soft sentences and rehabilitation programs reduce criminal behavior.  Both visions lower the cost to criminals of committing a crime.

Convicted Killers Often Live a Life of Leisure, Professor Says.  Most people imagine prison life for convicted murderers as being harsh, brutal, and isolated, a real-life "Shawshank Redemption."  So when convicted killer Danny Robbie Hembree Jr., 50, wrote a letter in January to the Gaston Gazette in North Carolina, gloating about his comfortable life on death row, it got plenty of attention.

Crucifixion as policy.  Benjamin Franklin wrote to M. Benjamin Vaughn Esq. to explain a point of law.  Franklin quoted Judge Bernet, who adjudicated a capital punishment case for horse theft.  The problem was whether it was right to hang a horse thief for the crime committed.  Bernet said: ... "man, thou art not being hanged only for stealing a horse; but that horses may not be stolen."

Mumia's The Word.  For decades, liberals tried persuading Americans to abolish the death penalty, using their usual argument:  hysterical sobbing. ... Fifty-nine percent of Americans now believe that an innocent man has been executed in the last five years.  There is more credible evidence that space aliens have walked among us than that an innocent person has been executed in this country in the past 60 years, much less the past five years.  But unless members of the public are going to personally review trial transcripts in every death penalty case, they have no way of knowing the truth.  The media certainly won't tell them.

California Lawmakers Advance Bill To End Death Penalty.  A bill that seeks to abolish California's death penalty has advanced after its first legislative hearing.

Justice Department Pursues 'Strange' Probe of Execution Drug.  The Obama administration has launched a quiet campaign over the past two months to seize from local officials a key drug used in lethal injections — part of a spreading investigation that has contributed to a de facto death penalty freeze in several states.

The Death Penalty Does Not Deter Liberals.  Put simply, the abolitionist wants to get rid of the death penalty regardless of guilt and regardless of process.  And the impact of these endless appeals is predictable:  It undermines the deterrent capacity of the death penalty.  If the liberal reader cannot understand why a fifteen year delay between crime and punishment undermines deterrence then just try this little two-step experiment:  1) The next time your fifteen-year old breaks a rule tell him he will be grounded when he turns thirty.  2) See if you can count to ten before he decides to recidivate.

Opponents of capital punishment have blood on their hands.  Opponents of capital punishment give us names of innocents who would have been killed by the state had their convictions stood and they been actually executed, and a few executed convicts whom they believe might have been innocent.  But proponents can name men and women who really were — not might have been — murdered by convicted murderers while in prison.  The murdered include prison guards, fellow inmates, and innocent men and women outside of prison.

Execution Drug Halt Raises Ire of Doctors.  Doctors and pharmacists are criticizing a U.S. drug company's decision to permanently halt production of an anesthetic used in carrying out the death penalty, saying the drug was still needed for some surgical procedures.

They shoot horses, don't they?
For executions, Texas switches to drug used on animals.  Texas, the state that executes more inmates than any other, said on Wednesday it will follow Oklahoma and switch one of its lethal injection drugs to a sedative often used to euthanize animals.  "It has been used by Oklahoma in their execution process, so there is a precedent there," said Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  "Its use was upheld by the courts, so we're confident it would be upheld by courts for use in Texas."

US executions on hold due to lethal injection drug shortage.  The lethal injection method is used by 35 states and several of those do not have enough sodium thiopental, an anaesthetic which is used to render condemned prisoners unconscious shortly before their death.  Steve Beshear, the Kentucky governor, has had to postpone signing two death warrants, for killers Ralph Baze and Robert Foley, whose appeals are exhausted.

The Editor says...
Nonsense!  Every hospital in America has a large stock of sufficiently lethal painkillers.  But do executions have to be completely painless?  Did anyone on death row commit a completely painless crime?

California Buys Execution Drug From U.K.  California has purchased a large supply of a drug used in executions from a British pharmaceutical company, according to a spokeswoman with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  The state ordered the drug before the U.K. last month said it planned to limits exports of the drug, thiopental sodium, because of the U.K.'s "moral opposition to the death penalty."

Texas thinks it can find enough drugs for April executions.  Texas' prison director says he's optimistic the state can find the drug sodium thiopental or an alternative to carry out executions after Texas' supply expires at the end of March.

The Editor says...
Why can't they use expired drugs?  Are they unsafe?  The condemned inmate might suffer some adverse side effects?  If a condemned prisoner caused someone else to suffer a horrible death, do we really owe that criminal a painless departure?

The Deaths That Save Lives.  Critics of capital punishment argue that it does not act as a deterrent.  The facts speak for themselves:  Over the past twenty-five years, the murder rate in the U.S. has been cut almost in half.

Common Sense on Capital Punishment:  The reliable two-thirds of Americans who have always supported the death penalty probably wouldn't be surprised to find out that study after study has shown that the death penalty deters murders. … Most studies have concluded that some number of murders between three and 18 are prevented for every application of capital punishment.

Another Argument for Capital Punishment.  The most common objection opponents offer against capital punishment is that innocents may be executed.  My answer has always been that this is so rare (I do not know of a proved case of mistaken execution in America in the last 50 years) that society must be prepared to pay that terrible price.  Why?  Among other reasons, because more innocents will be killed by murderers who are not executed (in prison, or once released or if they escape) than will be killed by the state in erroneous executions.

Why Would Anyone Support the Death Penalty? (Part I).  Once we comprehend this distinction between murder and all other crimes (which can be restituted for), it should be clear that retribution not only justifies execution, it requires it.  Execution is the only correct penalty-in-kind for murder, and retribution is the only value so far analyzed which justifies taking this most precious of payments from someone.

Red Herring Politics.  [Scroll down]  One appointment by Governor Jerry Brown ought to tell us a lot about his ideology.  His most famous — or infamous — appointment was making Rose Bird chief justice of the California supreme court.  She over-ruled 64 consecutive death penalty verdicts and upheld none.  Apparently no judge or jury could ever give a murderer a trial perfect enough to suit Rose Bird.  To hear Rose Bird and her supporters tell it, she was just "upholding the law."  But, fortunately, the California voters saw right through that pretense, and realized that she was doing just the opposite — imposing her own personal opposition to the death penalty in the guise of interpreting the law.

U.S. executions hit 1,000.  A man who went on a 1992 Christmas killing spree that left six people dead, including an 18-year-old mother gunned down at a pay phone, was put to death Tuesday.  It marked the state's second execution in just over a week and the 1,000th in the U.S. since capital punishment resumed in 1976.

Gruesome details  of the crimes committed by various condemned criminals.

Sotomayor Vs. The Death Penalty.  A recently unearthed memo not disclosed on the questionnaire filed with the Senate Judiciary Committee shows that the empathy that the Supreme Court nominee feels is more for the predators among us than their victims.  It also shows that some of the reasons this self-proclaimed "wise Latina" has for opposing capital punishment are bogus and flawed.

Democide:  When liberals in the late 1950s decided to tackle crime, how did they go about it?  Through the strange means of decriminalizing criminals.  Lowering prison sentences, emphasizing rehabilitation over punishment, community action over policing.  A series of Supreme Court decisions followed — Mapp, Escebedo, Miranda — disrupting the criminal justice system and effectively evening the odds between criminals and the public.  And the result?  Beginning in 1964 — the year of the Escebedo decision — the murder rate shot up as if strapped to a rocket.

Cheapening the death penalty:  On Feb. 15, 1933, a naturalized citizen named Giuseppe Zangara, in attempting to assassinate President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was giving a speech in the back of a car in Miami, shot five people, including Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak.  Zangara promptly — within days — pleaded guity to four counts of attempted murder and was sentenced to 80 years in prison.  When Mayor Cermak died 19 days after the shootings, on March 6, 1933, two days after Roosevelt's inauguration (the date has since changed to Jan. 20), Zangara was promptly indicted for first-degree murder.  Because he had intended to commit murder, it was irrelevant that his intended target was not the man he ultimately killed.  Zangara pleaded guilty to the additional murder charge, and on March 20, 1933 — 33 days after the shooting and after spending only 10 days on Death Row, Zangara was executed.

Capital-punishment propaganda.  When the Maryland General Assembly meets next month, Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to push to repeal the state's capital-punishment law.  Since the current death-penalty statute was enacted in 1978, five men have been executed, the most recent being Wesley Baker on Dec. 5, 2005, for murdering a woman in front of her grandchildren during a 1991 robbery in Baltimore County.  In each of his first two years as governor, Mr. O'Malley tried unsuccessfully to end capital punishment in Maryland, and he's determined not to lose a third time.

Doctors' board bans work on death row.  An American doctors organisation has quietly decided to revoke the certification of any member who participates in executing a prisoner by lethal injection.

Oldest death-row inmate in U.S. dies in Florence prison.  The oldest death-row inmate in the United States, who spent most of his life behind bars, has died of natural causes at age 94.

Judge:  No allergy risk proven for Ohio execution.  An inmate scheduled to die next week for raping and strangling a 16-year-old girl has failed to present enough evidence of an allergy to anesthesia that could affect the execution, a federal judge ruled Friday [4/16/2010].

The Editor says...
If he would prefer an alternative, let him hang.  Really, since when are condemned prisoners entitled to painless executions?  You may be interested to know that Mr. Durr had a trial by jury and was convicted of aggravated murder; kidnapping; aggravated robbery and rape.*

Support for Capital Punishment is Higher than Surveys Indicate.  Polling agencies seldom take into account specific murder cases.  When they do, support for executions is shown to be significantly higher than in generic polls.

Jury can't consider execution cost in Connecticut death penalty case: judge.  A judge has ruled that a Connecticut man convicted of a deadly home invasion cannot bring up the cost of executions when jurors consider whether to impose the death penalty.

The Editor says...
What about the cost of several decades of maximum-security incarceration?

State has enough sodium thiopental to execute four.  In a padlocked refrigerator behind San Quentin State Prison's death chamber, 12 grams of scarce sodium thiopental is available to carry out up to four executions.  How the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation acquired the drug is both a mystery and an apparent impediment to its use.  Legal analysts and human rights advocates contend that the state must have gotten the drug from a foreign producer...

US rejects UN call to abolish death penalty.  The United States dismissed international calls Tuesday [11/9/2010]to abolish the death penalty as friends and foes alike delivered their recommendations on how Washington can improve its human rights record.

Texas Must Disclose Source of Execution Drug.  Texas must disclose the source of a controversial drug used in capital punishments, according to the state attorney general, in a move that could prompt other states to be more transparent about their drug supplies.

Federal Judge Rules Florida Death Penalty Law Unconstitutional.  A South Florida federal judge has ruled that based on the current sentencing statute, Florida's death penalty is unconstitutional.  The decision came in ruling in a 20-year-old murder case from Indian River County on Florida's Treasure Coast.

Perry Delivers on Texas Death Penalty.  As Texas governor, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry has presided over 234 executions.  It's a record number, which, The Washington Post reported last week, bestows on Perry "a law-and-order credential that none of his competitors can match — even if they wanted to."  Watch how pundits will try to turn that statistic into a political negative — and paint Perry as the governor with blood on his spurs — even though American voters overwhelmingly support the death penalty.

Government policy now grants murderers immunity from punishment for new crimes.
Crime Without Punishment.  Death penalty opponents endlessly moralize that "no civilized society can execute human beings."  But how can a society that considers itself civilized tolerate being governed by power-abusing officials who confer on the most violent and depraved, precisely because they are the most violent and depraved, the right to commit additional murders and other barbaric crimes without fear of any punishment at all?

What, Exactly, Does NC's 'Racial Justice Act' Mean? We'll Know Soon.  A judge in Fayetteville, N.C., on Wednesday [2/15/2012] heard closing arguments in the first case heard under the new law, which allows an inmate off death row if race is found to have been a "significant factor" in the sentence. ... The decision, which should come in the next few weeks, will likely set a precedent for what happens with the state's other death-row inmates.  Nearly all of North Carolina's 157 death-row inmates, including roughly 60 white inmates, have challenged their death sentences on racial-bias grounds.

If You're Ever Murdered, Here's an Idea.  Opponents of capital punishment for murderers argue that the state has no right to take a murderer's life.  Apparently, one fact that abolitionists forget or overlook is that the state is acting on behalf of the murdered person and the murdered person's family, not only on behalf of society.  In order to make this as clear as possible, here is my proposal:  Americans should be able to declare what they want the state to do on their behalf if they are murdered. ... Just as I have a pink "donor" circle on my driver's license signifying that in case I die, I wish to provide my organs to help keep some person alive, I wish to make it known that if I am murdered, I do not want my murderer kept alive a day longer than legally necessary.

Hang 'em high, Canadians say.  Dust off that hood, John Radclive.  It's been 50 years since the last criminal hangings took place in Canada, and Radclive was the nation's first professional executioner, delivering about 150 final sentences. ... In fact, only 37% of people now think death for violent offenders is a bad idea.

Federal judge bars import of execution drug.  In a win for death penalty opponents, a federal judge in Washington today [3/27/2012] barred the use of sodium thiopental — one of three drugs used in executions in Texas until a year ago — on grounds that its importation violates federal drug laws.

Californians to vote on abolishing death penalty.  California voters will soon get a chance to decide whether to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Mugshots of Florida Death Row Inmates.  What a fine looking bunch.  Each photo is accompanied by an extremely brief biography, and it appears to me that most of these people have been on death row for more than 20 years.

California man faces death penalty.  [Scroll down]  Capital punishment has been a hotly contested issue in California.  In November, California voters will vote on a ballot measure that would replace capital punishment with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.  If the ballot measure passes, it would commute the sentences of more than 700 inmates on death row to life in prison without possibility of parole — to become the state's most severe form of criminal punishment.

W.Va. delegate fighting to reinstate death penalty.  With neighboring Maryland about to be-come the sixth state in as many years to abolish the death penalty, one West Virginia delegate is on a quixotic quest to resume executions in his state for the first time in a half-century.  This year marks the 27th in a row that Republican Delegate John Overington has introduced a bill to reinstate capital punishment.

Texas prison system running out of execution drug.  The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Thursday [8/1/2013] that its remaining supply of pentobarbital expires in September and that no alternatives have been found.

Texas refuses to give back lethal drugs, proceeds with execution.  A Texas man convicted of killing his parents was executed as planned Wednesday night despite a growing controversy over the drug used to carry out the punishment.  Last week, state prison officials refused a request from the compounding pharmacy that created and sold Texas the pentobarbital — a single-dose drug used in executions — to return the drug.

Missouri to Return Execution Drug After European Objections.  The state of Missouri said on Wednesday it will return an anesthetic it planned to use for executions after the German manufacturer voiced concerns that using it for lethal injections could lead to the European Union to ban export of the drug to the United States.

Reuters Editor at Large Likens U.S. Death Penalty to ISIS Beheaders.  While promoting a book of news photography on CBS This Morning on Saturday [9/6/2014], Sir Harold Evans, editor at large of the Reuters news agency, called the electric chair a "monstrosity" and said seeing a picture of one was "almost as appalling, in its sense, as these barbarians who have taken the heads off journalists in the desert."  Of course, the imposition of the death penalty in the U.S. is reserved for the worst murderers, after lengthy trials and appeals, while the ISIS executioners beheaded innocent journalists as a way to terrorize the civilized world.

Arizona to change drugs used in executions.  Arizona officials will no longer administer the two-drug combination used in the nearly two-hour execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood this year.


Specific cases:

Maryland man who once sat on death row gets two life sentences at resentencing.  The last Marylander to face the death penalty has been resentenced to life in prison for hi role the 2002 kidnapping and murder of a D.C. police lieutenant's son, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland said.  Kenneth J. Lighty, 41, no longer faces the possibility of execution after the U.S. Attorney's Office said last month it would not seek the death penalty again.  A judge threw out Lighty's death sentence last year and resentenced him Thursday to two consecutive life sentences, the office said.  Lighty was the last Maryland resident on federal death row before his sentence was vacated, according to death penalty databases and his lawyers.  He continued to face the death penalty in the federal system even after Maryland abolished executions for state crimes in 2013.  Lighty was 23 years old when a federal jury recommended the death penalty for him in 2006.

State of Missouri carries out execution of David Hosier by lethal injection.  David Hosier, a 69-year-old veteran convicted of killing a former lover, was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday evening in Missouri.  He was pronounced dead at 6:11 p.m.  Central time at Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre, about an hour south of St.  Louis. [...] In 2013, Hosier was sentenced to death for the murder of Angela Gilpin, 45. She and her husband, Rodney Gilpin, 61, were found dead Sept. 28, 2009, in the hallway of her Jefferson City apartment building.  Angela Gilpin and Hosier had been in a relationship before she ended up reconciling with her husband.

Missouri inmate facing execution next month is hospitalized with heart problem.  A Missouri inmate who is due to be executed next month has been hospitalized because of a "medical emergency," a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Corrections said.  David Hosier, 69, is scheduled to be put to death June 11 for killing a Jefferson City couple, Angela and Rodney Gilpin, in 2009.  His attorney, Jeremy Weis, said a prison doctor diagnosed Hosier with heart failure this week.  Hosier's sister, Barbara Morrill, said he has atrial fibrillation, which causes an irregular heartbeat.

The Editor says...
Why does a condemned prisoner need to be in good health to undergo execution?  The way I see it, this fellow is about 14 years overdue for execution, and his heart problems are probably the result of his poor dietary choices while in prison.

Alabama Supreme Court Green Lights Nitrogen Gas Execution for Convict Who Survived Lethal Injection.  The Alabama Supreme Court has authorized the execution of a death row inmate who previously survived after being given a lethal injection.  The convict, Alan Eugene Miller, will now receive execution by nitrogen gas, the Washington Examiner reported.  Alabama's high court authorized the method in a decision Thursday.  Republican Gov. Kay Ivey has not set the date for Miller's execution.  Once it's carried out, Miller will become the second death row inmate to die by nitrogen gas in the state.

Missouri death row inmate executed despite widespread calls for clemency.  Brian Dorsey, who was convicted of murdering his cousin and her husband in 2006, was executed in Missouri's Bonne Terre state prison Tuesday despite an extraordinary effort by corrections officials and his appeals judge to have his capital sentence commuted.  Prison officials confirmed that Dorsey had been put to death by lethal injection.  They said he had been pronounced dead at 6.11pm.  Legal avenues for Dorsey's life to be spared had been closed down Tuesday, first when Missouri governor Mike Parson denied a last-minute appeal to stay Dorsey's execution and then when the US supreme court declined to intervene.

If this were true, the jury would have said so at his trial.  Instead, they sent him to death row.
Oklahoma judge rules death row inmate not competent to be executed.  An Oklahoma judge ruled Thursday that a death row inmate is not competent to be executed for his role in the 1999 slayings of a mother and son.  Pittsburg County Judge Michael Hogan issued an order in the case involving 61-year-old James Ryder in that county.  "The court could go on ad nauseum discussing the irrational thought processes of Mr. Ryder, but this is not needed," Hogan wrote in his order.  "To be clear, the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence, Mr. Ryder is not competent to be executed" under state law.

Illegal Immigrant Indicted in Brutal Murder of 16-Year-Old Cheerleader, Could Face Death Penalty.  A 23-year-old man who was in the country illegally and had a prior conviction has been indicted on a capital murder charge in the death of a 16-year-old Texas girl.  Rafael Govea Romero, 23, was indicted Monday by a Jackson County grand jury on capital murder charges in the Dec. 5 homicide of Lizbeth Medina, according to Crossroads Today.  Romero is in the Jackson County Jail with a $2 million bond.  Although the indictment allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty, no announcement has been made if it will be sought when the case goes to trial.

The Editor says...
Is this crime not sufficiently serious to warrant the death penalty?  Why is an overwhelming stigma associated with capital punishment, but not murder?

Alabama's 'Nitrogen Hypoxia' Execution Is Longer and Uglier Than Promised.  [Scroll down]  I don't have a great deal of sympathy for Smith.  I hope he used his three decades on death row to legitimately prepare himself for his death, an opportunity that was not afforded to his victim.  The terror he experienced was a small reparation for what Elizabeth Sennett went through.  That said, changing capital punishment from an expression of sovereign justice to a medical procedure does nothing to increase respect for the law.  Likewise, dragging out the punishment for a very open-and-shut murder for 35 years makes the law a laughingstock.

Alabama executes Kenneth Smith with nitrogen gas.  The State of Alabama executed Kenneth Eugene Smith with nitrogen gas Thursday night, making him not only the first U.S. inmate to be put to death this year but the first person to ever die by the untested and controversial execution method.  Smith, 58, was executed Thursday for killing 45-year-old Elizabeth Sennet in March of 1988 in a murder-for-hire scheme that earned him $1,000.  The 1996 trial jury had voted 11-to-1 in recommendation that Smith be sentenced to life in prison, but the judge gave him death in a judicial move that has since been outlawed in the state.

The Editor says...
What's controversial about it?  And why does the UPI writer think it was "untested?"

Serial killer on death row for 40 years named suspect in 1974 cold case murder as he fights for clemency.  A serial killer who has been on death row for nearly 40 years was implicated in a decades-old cold case slaying Wednesday [1/24/2024] by California authorities as a parole board in Idaho deliberates whether he should still be executed.  Convicted murderer Thomas Creech was fingered as a suspect Wednesday in the 1974 fatal shooting of Daniel Walker who was gunned down in his van alongside Interstate 40 in California.  The passenger with Walker, 21, was able to escape and flag down a passing car but Walker did not survive his wounds.  The crack in the cold case by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office comes after investigators struggled to "develop any workable leads" over several years when they would review the case, authorities said.  The sheriff's cold case unit resumed its investigation last November, obtaining more intel into the murder that led them to Creech, who was sitting in an Idaho prison after he was already found guilty of five other murders, the agency said.

Nitrogen hypoxia:  Why Alabama's execution of Kenneth Smith stirs ethical controversy.  Alabama was set to carry out the first-ever execution by nitrogen hypoxia on death row inmate Kenneth Eugene Smith on Thursday.  The planned execution raises heated questions about the ethics of using the untried method to execute Smith, who has been through one previous execution attempt.  If the execution is carried out, nitrogen hypoxia would be the first new method of execution since 1982, when the lethal injection was introduced.  Nitrogen hypoxia is a form of execution in which an inmate is deprived of oxygen until they breath only nitrogen, causing asphyxiation.

Supreme Court rejects Alabama death row inmate's lethal gas claim.  The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an Alabama death row inmate's last-minute request for a stay of execution, moving him a step closer to being put to death using an untested method: nitrogen gas.  Kenneth Smith, sentenced to death for murdering Elizabeth Sennett in 1988, objected to being executed by nitrogen hypoxia because of the potential for the state to botch the procedure.  He alleged it would violate his right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.  He is scheduled to be executed on Thursday [1/25/2024].

Supreme Court Agrees to Take Up Major Death Penalty Case.  The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up a major capital punishment case out of Oklahoma.  The court will hear the case of Richard Glossip, who has been on death row since 1998 after he was convicted of murder.  Glossip has maintained his innocence from the beginning.  Later, major holes in the prosecution's case were discovered, casting doubt on Glossip's guilt.  Nevertheless, he remains in prison awaiting his execution, which has sparked controversy in the overall discussion on capital punishment.  The Supreme Court, however, is set to make a significant ruling in this case either way.

Cheering for Mass Murder.  In 1862, Dakota Indians went on a mass murder spree, butchering more than 600 innocent whites, mostly women and children.  The Indians murdered babies, beating their brains out and nailing them to trees.  They tortured children.  They engaged in gang rape on a mass scale.  Their rampage was enabled by the fact that many Minnesota men were away, fighting in the Civil War.  That slaughter was the worst massacre by either whites or Indians from 1492 to the present. [...] Several thousand Indians were captured and many were tried by a military court.  Initially, several hundred were sentenced to death.  If the local whites had their way, they all would have been hanged.  But President Lincoln intervened.  He ordered that the trial transcripts should be carefully reviewed, and only those against whom there was clear evidence of either murder (not killing in battle) or rape could be executed.  The others must be let free.

Child-killer executed in Texas.  A previously convicted sex offender who kidnapped and murdered a 5-year-old girl more than 22 years ago was executed Thursday by lethal injection, according to the Texas Department of Corrections.  David Renteria, 53, became the eighth Texas inmate to be executed this year, despite last minute attempts by his legal team.  Less than three hours before the scheduled time of death, his attorneys attempted to stay the execution, according to the Associated Press.  The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected the stay request without further comment, while the Supreme Court rejected yet another appeal to halt the execution.

Florida set to execute Michael Zack for killings in 1996 crime spree.  Michael Duane Zack is scheduled to become the sixth death row inmate to be executed in Florida on Tuesday evening after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stop the planned lethal injection.  Zack, 54, is set to die by lethal injection after he was convicted for murder in the death of Ravonne Smith in Escambia County during a deadly crime spree that also claimed the life of Laura Rosillo in Okaloosa County.

U.S. Supreme Court [has been] Asked To Halt Execution Of Florida Death Row Inmate.  Attorneys for convicted killer Michael Duane Zack on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block his planned Oct. 3 execution, after Florida courts rejected arguments that he should be spared because of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  The attorneys filed a request for a stay of execution and an accompanying petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the issues in the case.  The move came after the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday refused to halt Zack's execution for the 1996 murder of a woman in Escambia County.

Murderer Who Preyed On Older Women Killed By Cellmate In Texas Prison.  On Tuesday morning, a man accused of murdering nearly two dozen older women and who had been convicted last year in the deaths of two of them was killed by his cellmate in a Texas prison, officials said.  Billy Chemirmir, 50, was discovered deceased in his cell, Hannah Haney, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said.  Haney confirmed that Chemirmir's cellmate, who is currently serving a sentence for murder, was identified as the perpetrator.  However, she refrained from disclosing the cellmate's identity or providing details about the method used to kill Chemirmir.

The Editor says...
Hats off to the inmate who did what the State of Texas and at least one jury didn't have the backbone to do.  If I were unfortunate (or guilty) enough to find myself in the Joint, and they put a remorseless serial killer (with nothing to lose) in the cell with me, I would be inclined to preserve my life before the other guy killed me just for sport.

Texas Serial Killer Who Murdered Dozens of Elderly White Women Killed by Prison Cellmate Weeks After DA Refused to Seek Death Penalty.  A Texas serial killer who murdered dozens of elderly white women was killed in prison by his cellmate on Tuesday morning.Billy Chemirmir murdered 23 elderly caucasian women in Dallas and Collin Counties, stole their jewelry, and sold it for cash.  According to the Associated Press, the first trial of Chemirmir for the murder of Lu Thi Harris, 81, ended in a mistrial.  A single juror refused to vote guilty despite overwhelming evidence.

[A] Federal Judge [has been] Asked To Halt Oct. 3 Execution Of Florida Death Row Inmate Michael Duane Zack.  Attorneys for Florida inmate Michael Duane Zack asked a federal judge this week to block his scheduled Oct. 3 execution, contending that a state clemency process was flawed.  Zack's attorneys filed the federal case and asked for a stay of execution as they also pursue a separate appeal at the Florida Supreme Court.  Gov. Ron DeSantis on Aug. 17 signed a death warrant for Zack in the 1996 Escambia County murder of Ravonne Smith during a crime spree that also included killing another woman.

Why is the 'greatest serial murder ever in American history' being covered up?!  Not sure if you've noticed, but our culture has become rather apathetic when it comes to death.  It seems we can't even begin to process a tragedy before the next one strikes ... and then the next one.  "We have this culture of death," says Daniel Horowitz.  "We become mind-numb robots at a time of the internet where we should know more than ever," and yet "we know less than ever; we care about less than ever."  "We're gonna talk about a story that should be the greatest crime story of our lifetime, and I'm not exaggerating," he says — a story that is "probably the greatest serial murder ever in American history."  What's perhaps most disturbing, however, is the fact that so few people know about this story.  Between the years of 2016 and 2018, Kenyan national Billy Chemirmir was accused of smothering 22 elderly women to death and stealing their jewelry in several different senior centers across the Dallas metroplex.

Texas prosecutor says he will not seek death penalty for man in slayings of 2 elderly women.  A Texas prosecutor says he will not seek the death penalty for a man convicted of killing two elderly women and suspected of killing nearly two dozen total.  "Billy Chemirmir is an evil person who preyed upon our most vulnerable citizens," Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis said in a statement Thursday.  "Although he is certainly deserving of a death sentence, my decision ... is informed by the fact that he has already been tried three times in another county and he will never be a free man again," Willis said.

Florida Death Row Inmate Executed 35 Years After He Raped, Brutally Murdered Woman.  More than 35 years after he raped and murdered a woman in her Melbourne condominium, James Phillip Barnes was executed Thursday evening at Florida State Prison.  Barnes, 61, was pronounced dead at 6:13 p.m., becoming the fifth Florida inmate to die by lethal injection this year.  In a somewhat unusual move, Barnes did not pursue last-ditch legal appeals to try to prevent the execution after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a death warrant on June 22.  Kayla McLaughlin, communications director for the Florida Department of Corrections, said Barnes did not request a last meal and did not have any visitors before the execution.  He did not make a final statement while strapped to a gurney.

Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed, who says he's innocent, asked for a new trial.  A court said no.  An appeals court on Wednesday denied a new trial request from longtime Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed, whose supporters say there is evidence to back his claims of innocence.  The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals accepted a 2021 recommendation from a lower court judge, who had ruled against several claims made by Reed, including that he's not guilty.

Does the electric chair have a different voltage setting for females?
ACLU Is Upset That a Child Rapist and Double Murderer Was Executed as a Man.  The transgender issue makes everyone crazy.  That's the only explanation I can give for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) berating the state of Florida for executing Duane Owen, who was convicted of raping and murdering a 14-year-old babysitter and a 38-year-old mother of two.  Indeed, the ACLU is strongly opposed to capital punishment.  But the organization only made passing reference to their opposition to the death penalty.  Instead, they were livid with Florida for executing Duane Owen because the state refused to allow Owen to "transition" to female.

Florida Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty For 'Demonic' MS-13 Gang Member Who Decapitated Uber Eats Driver.  Florida prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a 'demonic' MS-13 gang member who decapitated an Uber Eats driver.  A convicted felon affiliated with MS-13, a street gang formed by Salvadoran immigrants, murdered, decapitated and dismembered a Florida Uber eats driver while he was making a delivery last month.  Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said the remains of the delivery driver were found in trash bags inside of the MS-13 gang member's home.

Cargo theft, led by food and beverage, is surging across the U.S..  Food and beverage coming into port or in a warehouse is No. 1 on the list of products being targeted by freight thieves who are increasing their criminal activity across the national supply chain.  It's a sign of the economic times, and adding further pressure to the high prices faced by consumers during an elevated inflation environment.  "During the financial downturn in 2008, we saw a theft shift towards food and beverage where it stayed in that spot until the end of 2019," says Scott Cornell, transportation lead and crime and theft specialist at insurance provider Travelers.  "In 2020, we saw the target move to household goods, because we were all at home.  In 2021, electronic theft was high due to some shortages as a result of all the working and schooling from home."  Food inflation has moderated, but remains up almost 10% year over year, according to the latest CPI data from February, released earlier this month.

States Having The Highest Rates Of Violent And Property Crimes.  Arizona, Colorado, and Washington states have much higher rates of violence when compared to other large states.  Arizona, Colorado, California, Indiana, Texas, and Washington have much higher rates of property crimes when compared to other large states.  Arizona, Indiana, Tennessee, and Washington have much higher rates of burglary when compared to other large states.

Oklahoma executes Scott Eizember.  For the first time in 2023 and the eighth time in eight years, Oklahoma has executed a death row inmate.  Scott Dean Eizember was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 10:15 a.m.  Thursday morning [1/12/2023].  He's the eighth death row inmate to be killed since the state resumed capital punishment in October 2021 after a six-year moratorium.  He was 62.  Eizember was convicted in the 2003 beating death of 76-year-old A.J. Cantrell.  He was also sentenced to 150 years in prison for the shooting death of 70-year-old Patsy Cantrell.  After killing the Cantrells, Eizember went on a lengthy crime spree, which included kidnapping and beating multiple people, and shooting and wounding a 16-year-old boy.

US may execute its first openly transgender woman.  Unless Missouri Gov. Mike Parson grants clemency, Amber McLaughlin, 49, will become the first transgender woman executed in the U.S.  She [sic] is scheduled to die by injection Tuesday for killing a former girlfriend in 2003.  McLaughlin's attorney, Larry Komp, said there are no court appeals pending.  The clemency request focuses on several issues, including McLaughlin's traumatic childhood and mental health issues, which the jury never heard in her [sic] trial.

Missouri executes Kevin Johnson, convicted for murdering Police Officer William McEntee.  A Missouri man convicted of killing a Kirkwood police officer in a fit of rage in 2005 was put to death by lethal injection on Tuesday.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Kevin Johnson was executed Tuesday night [11/29/2022].  Johnson was found guilty of killing Kirkwood Officer William McEntee during a fit of rage over Johnson's brother's death.  Johnson blamed the death on police, according to court documents.

'Execution Survivor' Won't Be Subjected to Lethal Injection Again.  Alabama won't seek another lethal injection date for an inmate whose Sept. 22 execution had been halted because of problems establishing an intravenous line, according to the terms of a settlement agreement approved by US District Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr. on Tuesday.  The state agreed to never use lethal injection again as an execution method to put Alan Eugene Miller to death.  Any future effort to execute him will be done by nitrogen hypoxia, an execution method authorized in Alabama but one that has never been used to carry out a death sentence in the US.  There is currently no protocol in place for using nitrogen hypoxia, reports the AP.

California correctional officers shoot, kill 2 inmates who were stabbing fellow prisoner.  Correctional officers at a Northern California prison shot and killed two inmates who were stabbing a fellow prisoner with makeshift weapons, authorities said Wednesday [11/30/2022].  The attack happened around 11 a.m. Tuesday at the High Desert State Prison in Susanville, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement.  The alleged attackers, Raul Cuen and Frank Nanez, refused to follow verbal orders from prison staff to stop attacking Anthony Aguilera, the statement said.

Alabama fails to execute condemned inmate for third time in recent years.  The state of Alabama this week failed for the third time in recent years in an attempt to execute a condemned inmate in Montgomery.  Officials late on Thursday [11/17/2022] were unable to resolve problems with the intravenous drug lines intended to administer a lethal injection to condemned murderer Kenneth Eugene Smith.  It's the third such failure in the state in the past four years.  The state in September of this year called off the execution of Alan Miller, who was convicted in 1999 of killing three men; in 2018 it also nixed the execution of Doyle Hamm.  In both cases issues with the intravenous lines prevented the execution.  Miller is still alive and attempting to negotiate a settlement with Alabama; Hamm died of natural causes in prison.

Ketanji Brown Jackson sides with death row inmate in first Supreme Court opinion.  Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson sided with a death row inmate in Ohio in her first written opinion since joining the Supreme Court this summer.  Jackson, who was joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, wrote a dissenting opinion objecting to the Supreme Court's decision to reject an appeal from Davel Chinn, the death row inmate, who was convicted of a 1989 murder in Dayton.  Chinn's lawyers had petitioned the court to take his case, arguing that the prosecution withheld evidence that a key witness who identified him as the shooter was mentally disabled.

Misplaced Compassion Puts Lives in Jeopardy.  The shooter, Nestor Hernandez, was there to visit his girlfriend, who had just given birth to his child.  Hernandez is a 30-year-old lifelong criminal with a rap sheet going back to his teens.  He had been in and out of the Dallas criminal justice system for such charges as robbery and felony assault before he was twenty, and he earned his first serious jail time — an eight-year sentence — after a violent burglary in which he and his accomplice repeatedly beat up a woman to gain access to her apartment and car.  For that one, Nestor Hernandez pled guilty in September 2015 to "aggravated robbery," which could have won him anywhere from five to 99 years in jail.  They gave him eight.  Only they didn't.  If he'd served the full eight years, he'd still have been in jail.  He wouldn't have been free to acquire a girlfriend, get her pregnant, visit her at the hospital, beat her up, and kill two hospital employees.  So what happened?  The system decided to show "compassion" to this model prisoner with a violent history, a rap sheet going back to his childhood, and gang tattoos on his face and neck.  They didn't even make him stay the full eight years but let him out of jail on October 20, 2021, after just six years.  They installed an ankle bracelet and called it "parole."  It was this choice that enabled him to put this girlfriend in a position where he could visit her hospital room and start killing innocent bystanders on October 22, just a year after he was freed.

Felon Accused Of Fatal Shooting At Dallas Hospital Was Out Of Prison Early Despite Violent History.  The man accused of fatally shooting two medical workers at Methodist Dallas Medical Center in Texas on Saturday was on parole after being released from prison years early despite his long criminal history.  The arrest warrant affidavit for Nestor Oswaldo Hernandez, 30, states that during his girlfriend's labor, he became erratic and accused her of cheating on him.  He then hit her with a handgun before opening fire on the first two medical workers who walked into the room.  A Methodist Health System (MHS) police officer who responded to the scene shot and wounded Hernandez.  It was then that Hernandez was transported to another hospital for treatment.  The Dallas Police Department and MHSPD later announced they arrested Hernandez for capital murder.

They're reserving the death penalty for a REALLY serious crime someday.
Parkland school shooting: Jury recommends life in prison without parole for gunman, rejects the death penalty.  A jury has recommended that Nikolas Cruz be sentenced to life in prison without parole in the massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.  The 12-person jury's verdict was read in a packed courtroom Thursday before visibly distraught family members and the shooter, who remained blank-faced throughout.  The jury reached its decision after over a day of deliberations in the trial that kicked off July 18.  The trial was to decide whether to sentence him to life in prison or the death penalty.  Prosecutors had sought the death penalty, while the defense had asked for life in prison.  The jury had to reach a unanimous decision for the death sentence.

Transgender woman who impregnated 2 inmates removed from N.J.'s female prison.  A transgender inmate who impregnated two women while incarcerated at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women has been moved to a new facility, according to the Department of Corrections.  Demi Minor, 27, was transferred to Garden State Youth Correctional Facility, a prison for young adult offenders in Burlington County, last month, Dan Sperrazza, a Department of Corrections spokesman, said.  He said the DOC moved Minor to the vulnerable unit at the facility and that she is currently the only woman prisoner on the site.  Sperrazza said he could not comment on the DOC's specific housing actions in Minor's case because of policies around privacy.

Supreme Court rules in favor of Georgia death row inmate hoping to die by firing squad.  The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 5-4 in favor of a Georgia death row inmate pursuing a legal effort to change his execution method from lethal injection to death by firing squad.  The issue in the case was procedural in nature, but the underlying dispute concerned inmate Michael Nance's claim that subjecting him to lethal injection would violate the Constitution's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.  Nance, who was sentenced to death in 2002 for fatally shooting a bystander during a bank robbery, argued that his longtime prescription back pain drug may cause the sedative to fail to work properly.  He also argued that his "severely compromised" veins may "blow," "leading to the leakage of the lethal injection drug into the surrounding tissue" and thereby causing "intense pain and burning."

The Editor says...
I'm not sure how the firing squad could be considered cruel and unusual if the condemned prisoner is asking for it specifically.

Psychiatric Failure in Confronting Mass Murderers.  [Scroll down]  The American Psychological Association this year argues that "prior research suggests that approximately two-thirds of public mass shooters exhibit signs of mental illness... and that even the most 'mentally healthy' perpetrators could be recoded as having signs of mental illness or suicidality..."  None of these "signs" is anything but behaviors, not physical symptoms of disease.  Regardless, mental health and mental illness remain most of current liberal and conservatives' go-to explanations for virtually all impossible-to-stop anti-social phenomena.  This is mainly due to frustration; what if there is no way to lessen the criminal population, especially in violent cities?  Yet, regarding mass murders, surprising as it may be, the generally psychiatrically focused left has a few — just a few — dissenters.  The Psychiatric Times wrote unambiguously, "The fact of the matter is that ideology, racism, and perceived injustice trump mental illness in many of these cases.  To put it bluntly, racism is not mental illness."  This incongruous admission is no doubt due to the Left's unwillingness to excuse perceived racism, which it finds everywhere.

Disarming Victims Is a Dumb Way to Fight Crime.  Democrats and the establishment media have pushed defunding the police for several years now.  The result has been a sobering spike in violent crime.  Left-wing D.A.s routinely offer low-bail or no-bail bonds for violent criminals, who go on to commit more violence.  Police are often fearful of being accused of racism — by the left and the media — if they act on credible warnings of serious and deviant threats before the disturbed person attacks.  This is a big part of why we find that so many of these killers had been on the radar of law enforcement for months or even years without any preventive action.  Police had known for years how dangerous the Parkland School shooter was — and did nothing.  The FBI was warned a year in advance by the Russian government of the radicalism of the Boston Marathon bombers — but did nothing, not even warn Boston police.  The man who drove his SUV into a Waukesha Christmas Parade, killing five and injuring 40, was out on bond for allegedly running over his girlfriend a few weeks earlier with the same SUV.

America's 'Car of State' Is Running Off the Road.  There are dozens of district attorneys in large cities who ignore the laws they've been entrusted to defend.  They choose to impose their will on local judicial systems by ignoring laws, reducing sentences, and dismissing cases.  A child-molester in Los Angeles was given a sentence so light that the criminal couldn't believe his good fortune.  In a taped phone call, the criminal seemed amazed at the light sentence provided by George Gascon, the Los Angeles district attorney.  Former U.S. attorney general Bill Barr recently told a Fraternal Order of Police audience in New Orleans, "the emergence in some of our large cities of district attorneys that style themselves as 'social justice' reformers, who spend their time undercutting the police, letting criminals off the hook, and refusing to enforce the law is demoralizing to law enforcement and dangerous to public safety."  The great cities of the United States are mired in a crime wave.

Pick Your Poison: South Carolina Death Row Inmate Chooses Method For His Execution.  The last time the state of South Carolina executed an inmate was over ten years ago, when Jeffrey Motts was put to death in 2011 for the crime of having strangled a fellow inmate while serving a life sentence for another murder.  But in less than two weeks, another convict in the Palmetto State may be put to death for his crimes, and we now know the method that will be used.  Richard Bernard Moore is set to be executed on April 29th, and per South Carolina law he has been given the option to choose between the electric chair and firing squad for his mode of death.  Moore has opted to die by firing squad, which means he'll face a team of three prison guards armed with rifles pointed at his heart.  Moore would be only the fourth American to die by firing squad since 1976.

First Execution Scheduled in South Carolina with Firing Squad as an Option.  South Carolina has set a date for its first death row execution since renovating its Death Chamber to accommodate inmates who choose execution by firing squad.  The state's Department of Corrections (SCDC) announced Thursday that Richard Bernard Moore, 57, is scheduled to be executed on April 29, which would be the state's first execution in over ten years.  Moore was convicted of killing James Mahoney, a convenience store clerk, in Spartenburg and has spent over 20 years on death row, the Associated Press (AP) reported.  He will choose between the available execution methods of either death by electric chair or death by firing squad.

Florida Man Sentenced to Death for Killing Police Officer.  A judge on Thursday [3/3/2022] sentenced a Florida man to death for fatally shooting an Orlando police officer while he was on the run for killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend.  Jurors in November found Markeith Loyd, 46, guilty in the January 2017 death of Lt. Debra Clayton, and unanimously recommended a death sentence during a hearing in December.  Circuit Judge Leticia Marques announced her decision during a brief hearing Thursday morning.  Loyd is already serving a life sentence for killing Sade Dixon, his former girlfriend, a month before Clayton was killed.

Video shows man stealing 10 steaks from NYC Trader Joe's.  A man was caught on [New York] Post video allegedly brazenly swiping about a dozen steaks from a Manhattan Trader Joe's on Tuesday morning [2/8/2022].  The suspect — now wanted by cops — was at the grocery store's East 14th Street location around 8:30 a.m. when he was caught on footage strolling out the door with 10 packages of meat piled up in his arms.  Two helpless Trader Joe's staffers had followed the man up an escalator leading to the store's exit but only stopped him from taking a shopping basket outside — not the meat, the video shows.  "They basically just tell us not to do anything, just let them go," a Trader Joe's worker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, later explained to The Post.

Map from executed killer leads to likely remains of sister-in-law in Mississippi.  The Mississippi inmate who admitted to killing his sister-in-law just before his execution also left behind a map for investigators — leading to the discovery of human remains, prosecutors said.  The likely remains of Felicia Cox, who disappeared in 2007, were found Sunday in Pontotoc County using a map drawn by her brother-in-law, David Neal Cox.  The 50-year-old man told his attorneys he killed her before he was executed on Nov. 17 for killing his estranged wife in 2010.

Over 110 Defendants Charged with Capital Murder are Let Loose in Houston, Thanks to Democrat Judges.  In Harris County, Tex., where the city of Houston is located, at least 113 defendants charged with capital murder have been freed and let loose on the streets thanks to criminal justice reform.  Fox 26 Houston reported the shocking news, which they claim is part of "more than 50,000 accused felons [benefiting] from the "catch and release" philosophy of "criminal justice" perpetrated by the current crop of democratic "reform" judges."

Oklahoma Gov Commutes Julius Jones' Death Sentence.  Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt just halted the execution of death-row inmate Julius Jones, shortly before he was to be put to death for a murder he was tried and convicted for 22 years ago.

Only the Rich and Powerful Can Thrive in Lawless San Francisco.  In "progressive" San Francisco, safety is for the rich.  That's the reality of what's happening in the San Francisco Bay Area as bad policy and anti-police attitudes have created a haven for criminality.  Like many other urban parts of America, the Bay Area has been hit with a historic surge in violent crime in the last few years.  However, unlike many other parts of the country, the Bay Area has also been hit by a huge uptick in car theft, property crimes, and shoplifting.  One would think that this would necessitate a massive response by city leaders and the police department to counter the crime surge.  Instead, San Francisco attempted to defund the police following the death of George Floyd in May of last year.  Unsurprisingly, it now has a major deficit of police personnel and can't find replacements for a department where over a third of its officers have retired.  I wonder why?  Truly, a mystery.  On top of that, San Francisco has a district attorney, Chesa Boudin, whose plan for "radical change" and equality has been mostly to release criminals and not prosecute repeat offenders of serious crimes.

Don't they all?
Oklahoma inmate has adverse reaction during execution.  An Oklahoma man began vomiting and convulsing during his execution Thursday, ending a nearly seven-year moratorium on the death penalty in the state.  According to the Associated Press, 60-year-old John Marion Grant was executed for the slaying of a prison cafeteria worker in 1998. Grant began convulsing after the sedative midazolam was administered.  Death penalty experts say this type of reaction is extremely rare, raising questions as to what caused such behavior.  "I've never heard of or seen that," said the executive director of the nonpartisan Death Penalty Information Center Robert Durham.  "That is notable and unusual."

Parkland Shooter Nikolas Cruz May Still Get Death Sentence Despite Expected Guilty Plea.  The suspected gunman in the 2018 Parkland mass shooting is reportedly planning to enter a guilty plea and will inform a judge of his decision at a hearing in Florida on Friday [10/15/2021].  Florida's WSVN-7 reported on Thursday that the 23-year-old Nikolas Cruz will announce his intention to enter a guilty plea at a status hearing before Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer.  In August 2018, he confessed to killing students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  The Broward County Public Defender's Office did not confirm or deny that Cruz would plead guilty on Thursday.  Cruz could still be sentenced to death for the shootings despite a guilty plea.

Missouri governor denies clemency to death row inmate.  Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Monday [10/4/2021] declined to grant clemency to death row inmate Ernest Johnson, despite requests for mercy from the pope, two federal lawmakers and thousands of petition signers.  Johnson, 61, was convicted of killing three convenience store workers during a closing-time robbery in 1994.  He is scheduled to die by injection at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the state prison in Bonne Terre, about 50 miles south of St. Louis.

Cori Bush demands death row inmate be granted clemency because execution perpetuates cycle of 'slavery and lynching'.  Cori Bush has demanded Missouri Governor Mike Parson grant a last-minute clemency to a death row inmate who killed three people in a 1994 convenience store robbery, saying that executions perpetuates the cycle of slavery and lynching.  On Friday, Bush and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II petitioned for Parson (R) to halt the execution of 61-year-old Ernest Lee Johnson.  Johnson, who is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the state prison in Bonne Terre, was sentenced to death for killing three people while robbing a Columbia, Missouri convenience store in 1994.

The Obscenity of Paroling Sirhan Sirhan, Assassin of Robert F. Kennedy.  Last week, a California parole board voted to allow the release of Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian immigrant to shot and killed Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY) immediately after he won the state's crucial presidential primary in June 1968.  The decision to accept the parole board's recommendation now goes to the governor — who could be Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), or a replacement, if Newsom loses the Sep. 14 recall election and does not decide on the parole before he leaves.

Robert F. Kennedy Assassin Sirhan Sirhan Granted Parole In California.  Sirhan Sirhan is the man who shot and killed Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968.  He was tried and sentenced to death for the crime.  Some years later, his sentence was commuted to life in prison.  Now, after going up for parole 16 times, he has been granted parole.  This is craziness.  If Lee Harvey Oswald was alive today, would he get parole too?

Robert Kennedy's assassin Sirhan Sirhan granted parole by California board.  Robert F. Kennedy's assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, was granted parole by a California board Friday after spending more than 50 years in prison after two of his sons said they support his release, a decision that still needs to be approved by the governor.  Sirhan gunned down Kennedy, then a Democratic U.S. senator from New York and brother of President John F. Kennedy, in 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles moments after Kennedy delivered a victory speech in the pivotal California primary.  Sirhan was convicted of first-degree murder.  Sirhan, a Christian Palestinian from Jordan, has said he was angry at Kennedy for his support of Israel.  This was his 16th appearance before the parole board.

Man sentenced to 25 years for murdering sister's rapist in prison.  A Washington state inmate was sentenced to another 25 years in prison for murdering his cellmate — a convicted child sex offender who raped his sister.  Shane Goldsby, 26, was sentenced this week after he beat to death his 70-year-old cellmate Robert Munger in June 2020.  Munger was reportedly serving a 43-year prison sentence for his child sex crimes.  Goldsby said he snapped after Munger began teasing him with details about the rape, which later proved true, according to KHQ.  "I had so much stuff going on in my head," he told the outlet.  "I wasn't stable at that point.  I wasn't.  I was getting to that point, because (Munger) kept wanting to give me details about what happened, what he did — about the photos and the videos of him doing this stuff.  It was building up."

Texas cop killer gets death sentence after San Antonio detective's execution-style slaying.  A Texas man who fatally shot a San Antonio police officer twice in the head in 2016 was sentenced to death on Friday [8/6/2021].  Otis McKane, 36, was found guilty of capital murder July 26 in the execution-style slaying of Detective Benjamin Marconi.  McKane claimed that Marconi, a 20-year veteran, was a random target of his anger but prosecutors said the defendant had been stalking the detective and planning his "heinous and unspeakable" murder, according to the San Antonio Express-News. The Bexar County jury deliberated for 7 and a half hours Friday before recommending the sentence.  It took less than 30 minutes for the jury to find him guilty, according to the Express-News.

It's Not Easy Being Anti-Death Penalty:  Baltimore Woman Found With Decomposing Bodies Of Two Children In Trunk.  Last Friday [7/30/2021], police in Baltimore conducted a routine traffic stop of Nicole Johnson and found the 33-year old was driving with a suspended license and other minor infractions, but police also made another gruesome discovery.  Johnson had the decomposing bodies of her niece and nephew in the trunk of her car.  Both children had been severely malnourished, with 7-year-old Joshlyn and 5-year-old Larry weighing only twenty and eighteen pounds respectively.  Johnson later admitted that Joshlyn had died over a year ago after Johnson had struck the girl multiple times, causing her to fall and hit her head, at which time Johnson put her niece's body in her trunk.  Then two months ago, the emaciated Larry went to sleep and never woke up, according to Johnson, who then put his corpse in the trunk as well.  These two children didn't just die too young at the hands of some cold-blooded murderer, indiscriminately ending their lives with some quick method.  The short lives of innocent Larry and Joshlyn must have been utterly horrific.

Texas: Is Death Penalty Still on the Table in Another County?  When Dallas County's district attorney announced he wouldn't seek the execution of a man suspected in at least 24 killings, some of the families of the dead and the DA's political critics shifted their hopes to another venue just across the county line.  Citing logistical challenges, District Attorney John Creuzot told the families he was going to focus on obtaining consecutive life-without-parole prison sentences for Billy Chemirmir, who has been charged with 13 counts of capital murder in Dallas County after he was accused of smothering elderly women and stealing their jewelry, cash and other valuables.  But Chemirmir could still face the death penalty on five similar charges in Collin County.

Texas death row inmate dies by lethal injection for beating great-aunt to death.  Texas inmate Quintin Jones was executed by lethal injection on Wednesday evening [5/19/2021].  He was 41.  The death row inmate was convicted of killing his great-aunt in 1999 when he was 20-years-old.  He beat his great-aunt Berthena Bryant, 83, to death and stole $30 to pay for drugs.  He admitted to the crimes, and his family forgave him.

California murderer admits to strangling serial killer in shared prison cell.  A California murderer admitted to murdering his cellmate, the I-5 Strangler serial killer, in order to avenge his victims.  According to the San Jose Mercury News, which received a five-page confession, Jason Budrow, 40, strangled 81-year-old Roger Kibbe in February, the day they became cellmates at Mule Creek State Prison because he wanted a single-man cell and was on "a mission for avenging" Kibbe's victims.

Illegal Alien Tries to Evade Death Penalty for 4 Murders by Claiming He's 'Disabled'.  An illegal alien who is charged with murdering four people is trying to escape the death penalty by claiming he is "intellectually disabled."  20-year-old Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman from El Salvador was charged with murdering four Americans while trying to steal money from his victims to buy more meth in January 2019.

Mejia rot in prison
LA DA Gascón drops death penalty for man charged with killing police officer.  Los Angeles District Attorney (DA) George Gascón said Friday [2/19/2021] he will not seek the death penalty for an admitted gang member who killed a police officer and his own cousin.  Michael Christopher Mejia, 30, is awaiting trial on charges stemming from Feb. 20, 2017.  One of Mejia's victims was officer Keith Boyer, 53, who was responding to a report of a traffic collision in which Mejia had been involved.


NYT: Was He Innocent?  ANSWER: No.  Here is this week's installment of "The New York Times is ALWAYS lying about criminals (and probably everything else)."  The Times desperately wants you to believe that there are actual cases of innocent people being put to death in America.  Their current poster boy for the cause is Sedley Alley, executed in 2006.  But the Criminal Lobby is hoping a post-mortem DNA test — on evidence that has nothing to do with his guilt or innocence — will allow them to howl that an INNOCENT man was executed!  I knew nothing about this case, but I knew the Times' description of the facts was a lie.  How did I know?  [#1] No jury would have convicted a man, much less sentenced him to death, much less had that sentence repeatedly upheld, on such a flimsy record; and [#2] There is no credible evidence that a single innocent person has been put to death in this country for at least 75 years.

Once There Was A Country.  Once there was a country that knew how to deal with violent offenders.  A child was raped and murdered in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on December 22, 1921, the perpetrator pretending to be Santa Claus.  The police quickly identified a suspect with a prior arrest for child molestation and apprehended him on Christmas Eve in a shack in the woods 12 miles from the crime scene.  Blood-stained garments were found.  Eyewitnesses testified to having watched the suspect lure the child away.  The trial was held on January 3, 1922, and the defendant convicted of first-degree murder.  The case was open and shut, the defense attorney saw no reason to file an appeal.  The prisoner expired in the electric chair on February 7, 1922, 48 days after the murder.

NYT outraged over execution of man who kidnapped, raped, and buried teen alive.  Two people will witness the same traffic accident and come away with very different retellings of what they saw and heard.  In a similar vein, a New York Times story that appeared Friday [11/20/2020] gives the details of a series of heinous crime that occurred in 1994 and the execution late Thursday of a man found guilty of those crimes.  But the order in which the paper presents these details is problematic.  For one thing, a description of the crime is delayed until paragraph eight.  It's not until then that we learn that Orlando Cordia Hall "and others went to the home of a man in Arlington, Texas, who they believed had reneged on a drug transaction. ... There, the group kidnapped the man's 16-year-old sister, and members of the group later raped her, beat her over the head with a shovel, soaked her with gasoline and buried her alive."  The name of the victim and details of her horrific last moments on earth — including the trauma of being serially raped — are omitted.

Lezmond Mitchell executed inside federal prison in Terre Haute.  Lezmond Mitchell, the only Native American on death row, was executed Wednesday evening at the federal prison in Terre Haute.  Mitchell, 38, was a member of the Navajo Nation.  He was convicted of killing 63-year-old Alyce Slim, and her 9-year-old granddaughter, Tiffany Lee, in Arizona in 2001.  Everything but Mitchell's head and hands were concealed beneath a teal sheet as he lay on a gurney.  Asked if he had any last words, Mitchell said, "No, I'm good."  There were no witnesses on his behalf, only media and victim family members.  Two government officials stood nearby as execution procedures began at 6:03 p.m.  They read a list of Mitchell's convicted charges before administering a lethal injection.

Supreme Court declines to block execution of convicted Navajo murderer following tribe objections.  The Supreme Court dismissed tribal objections to a Navajo inmate's scheduled execution, declining to block the convicted murderer's punishment.  On Wednesday [8/26/2020], the high court issued their decision declining to stop 38-year-old Lezmond Mitchell's execution without any noted objections from justices.  Mitchell was found guilty of stabbing an elderly woman to death before killing her 9-year-old granddaughter by slitting her throat.  "The application for stay of execution of sentence of death presented to Justice Kagan and by her referred to the Court is denied.  The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied," the document reads.

Scott Peterson's death sentence in murder of pregnant wife overturned by California Supreme Court.  The California Supreme Court on Monday overturned the death penalty sentence for Scott Peterson, convicted in the Christmas Eve murder of his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son, Conner.  The court's decision came more than 15 years after Laci, a Modesto, Calif., school teacher, was killed.  Investigators said Peterson dumped his wife's body from his fishing boat into the San Francisco Bay in 2002.  The bodies of Laci and Conner surfaced months later.  While the murder conviction against Peterson stayed in place, the court ordered a new penalty phase trial.

Trump demands death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  President Donald Trump on Sunday demanded the death penalty for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — whose execution was taken off the table by an appellate court last week.  "Rarely has anybody deserved the death penalty more than the Boston Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev," Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon.  "The court agreed that this 'was one of the worst domestic terrorist attacks since the 9/11 atrocities.'  Yet the appellate court tossed out the death sentence.  So many lives lost..."  "and ruined.  The Federal Government must again seek the Death Penalty in a do-over of that chapter of the original trial," he added.  "Our Country cannot let the appellate decision stand.  Also, it is ridiculous that this process is taking so long!"

Federal Court Overturns Death Sentence For Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  A U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the death sentence of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Friday [7/31/2020].  Tsarnaev petitioned the First U.S. Court of Appeals in December 2019 to overturn his death sentence, arguing that his trial never should have taken place in Boston.  Tsarnaev pleaded guilty to setting a bomb that killed three and injured hundreds of others at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

Court overturns death sentence on Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  An appellate court has tossed the death sentence and overturned three of the convictions of 2013 Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  The ruling will not result in Tsarnaev, 27, being freed, and the death penalty can now be revisited in a penalty-phase trial do-over.  If federal prosecutors do not pursue a second death penalty trial, Tsarnaev will remain imprisoned on multiple life sentences that are not affected by Friday's ruling.  The death penalty was invalidated because the trial judge did not adequately screen jurors for pre-trial bias, the ruling read.

Appeals court vacates Boston Marathon bomber's death sentence, orders new penalty trial.  A federal appeals court ruled on Friday to vacate the death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who along with his brother planted homemade bombs near the finish of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three spectators.  The court also ruled to set aside three of his 30 convictions but said he will remain in federal prison for the rest of his life.  The appeals judges ruled US District Court Judge George O'Toole, who oversaw Tsarnaev's trial, "fell short" of his promise to question jurors thoroughly enough to identify prejudice, "providing sufficient ground to vacate his death sentences."

Daniel Lewis Lee executed for torturing, killing Arkansas family in 1996, first federal execution in 17 years.  A self-proclaimed White supremacist who tortured and killed an Arkansas family — including an 8-year-old girl — was executed Tuesday morning [7/14/2020] in Indiana.  Daniel Lewis Lee, 47, was injected with a lethal dose of pentobarbital at 8:07 a.m., just hours after the Supreme Court greenlit the first federal execution to take place since 2003.

SCOTUS rules federal executions are back on.  The last inmate to be executed by the federal government was Louis Jones Jr, in 2003 for the rape and murder of Private Tracie McBride.  Two years earlier, both Timothy McVeigh and Juan Raul Garza shuffled off this mortal coil via lethal injection for obvious reasons.  Since then, federal implementation of capital punishment has gone dormant, though a number of convicts have been assigned the death penalty and run out of appeals in the meantime.  President Trump promised last year that the death penalty would resume at the federal level, but the court cases involved for most of these prisoners have been held up on one technicality or another since then.  But as of last night [7/13/2020], that appears to be about to change.  The Supreme Court issued a late-night 5-4 ruling, saying that the plaintiffs had failed to make their case and the execution of triple-murderer Daniel Lewis Lee can proceed.  Several others are in the queue on Death Row and are scheduled for execution in the coming couple of weeks.

Two California death row inmates die from coronavirus complications.  Two California death row inmates, including one convicted of killing two children, have died from what appears to be complications of the coronavirus illness COVID-19, state officials said.  Scott Thomas Erskine, who was sentenced to death for killing two boys, ages 13 and 9, in San Diego in 1993, and Manuel Machado Alvarez, who raped a woman and killed a man he tried to rob in 1987, died Friday, the state corrections department said.  Erskine, 57, had been on death row since 2004 and Alvarez, 59, since 1989.

Seattle City Council Unanimously Votes to Repeal Drug Traffic and Prostitution Loitering Laws.  The Seattle City Council unanimously voted to repeal the city's drug traffic and prostitution loitering laws on Monday, sending the bill to Mayor Jenny Durkan for signing.  Two years in the making, the bill seeks to eliminate the ordinances helping police crack down on loitering by suspected drug dealers and prostitutes — ordinances that a lead sponsor of the repeal bill calls "manifestly unjust," The Seattle Times reports.

Convicted child rapist beaten to death in Wash. state prison.  A 70-year-old man convicted of multiple child sex offenses died Friday [6/12/2020] in a Washington state prison after he was beaten by multiple inmates.  The Daily News reported that Robert Munger was serving his 43-year prison sentence at Airway Heights Corrections Center in Spokane County when he was attacked.

Philadelphia judge orders release of man on death row for 23 years.  A Philadelphia judge on Friday ordered the release of Walter Ogrod, a man who's served 23 years on death row for a slaying prosecutors now don't think he's responsible for.  Philadelphia County Common Pleas Judge Shelley Robins New vacated Ogrod's murder conviction for the 1988 death of 4-year-old Barbara Jean Horn.  Ogrod was sentenced to death in 1996.

Prosecute actions, not thoughtcrimes.  In George Orwell's frightening novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, thoughtcrimes Are a person's thoughts that contradict or generally do not agree with the approved ideology.  The ability to assess a person's thoughts and mete out punishment for thoughts and not actions obviously poses, in most instances, an impossible task.  In 1998, a black man, James Byrd, was beaten by white men and then dragged to his death behind a pickup truck in Texas.  This event was used extensively in emotionally charged television ads in the year 2000 presidential campaign by the Democrats to allege that George W. Bush was a racist because he was governor at the time and did not support hate (thought) crime legislation.  In true Texas fashion, the two main actors in this murder were quickly tried and executed for their actions.  Since they were executed, the rationale, thoughts, or reasoning for their murdering Mr. Byrd were inconsequential, as is appropriate.  They were executed for what they did, not what they thought.  There would be no point in executing them twice, once for murder and again for a hate (thought) crime.  Dead is dead.

NY Dems Nadler, AOC & Co.  Ask Cuomo to Release 'Significant Amount' of Prisoners to 'Surely Save Lives'.  Jerry Nadler, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and 11 other New York members of the House of Representatives have sent a letter to NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking him to release prisoners — to protect them from the Wuhan virus.  A "significant amount" of them, no less.  In the May 22 letter, the signatories argue that "releasing a significant number of incarcerated people and ensuring compliance with public health standards will surely save lives, both of those who are incarcerated and of others living in the community."

NYC prisoner released by state over coronavirus charged with robbery.  A Bronx man released from prison by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month amid the spread of the coronavirus has been charged with beating and robbing a 62-year-old man — who was so scared of getting the ailment he refused to take the money back when cops made an arrest.  Daniel Vargas, 29, was being held on $50,000 bail on robbery, grand larceny and assault charges after allegedly approaching the elderly victim on Valentine Avenue in the Bronx shortly after 8 a.m.  Tuesday, according to a criminal complaint.

LA County Sheriff Orders Closure of Gun Stores, Releases 1,700 Inmates.  Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has released 1,700 inmates from county facilities and is ordering gun stores in the county closed.  Fox 11 reports the gun store closures are part of the coronavirus stay-at-home order while the release of the inmates is an attempt to slow the spread of the virus in county facilities.

Texas halts execution for inmate who murdered his family amid coronavirus concerns.  The top Texas criminal appeals court decided on Monday [3/16/2020] to stay the execution of a man condemned for killing his family because of coronavirus risks.  The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected all grounds of John William Hummel's appeal but decided to stay the execution for 60 days because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.  The court said it was making the decision 'in light of the current health crisis and the enormous resources needed to address the execution'.

Lawyers look for loopholes and excuses.  That's what they do best.
Execution halted for Texas man who killed family after lawyer argues it could "assist in spreading" coronavirus.  The outbreak of the novel coronavirus prompted the top Texas criminal appeals court on Monday to stay for 60 days the scheduled execution of a man condemned for killing his family.  The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected all grounds of John William Hummel's appeal but said it would postpone the scheduled Wednesday execution "in light of the current health crisis and the enormous resources needed to address the execution."  One of the issues that Michael Mowla, Hummel's attorney, had raised in his efforts to stop the execution was a concern that the process involved with putting Hummel to death "may itself assist in spreading COVID-19."

Court is shown horrifying confession of black man facing death penalty in California over 'race hate' slayings of four people.  A man accused of killing four men in California in suspected race hate crimes, told detectives in a recorded interview that he purposely hunted down white people as his victims.  A horrifying recording of Kori Ali Muhammad's confession was played in Fresno, California Monday [3/9/2020] as a court tried to determine whether the April 2017 murders warrant the death sentence.  He explained on the recording how the killing of motel security guard Carl Williams III, 25, led to the slaying of Zachary Randalls, Mark Gassett, and David Jackson.  'I didn't want to do nothing to law enforcement so I just found some white men to kill,' Muhammad — who is black — told police in a chilling video from shortly after his arrest.

California prisoner confesses to killing two incarcerated child molesters.  A California prison inmate confessed in a letter that he beat two child molesters to death with a cane while behind bars just hours after his urgent warning to a counselor that he might become violent was ignored, a newspaper chain reported Thursday [2/20/2020].  Jonathan Watson, 41, confessed in the letter to the Bay Area News Group in Northern California that he clubbed both men in the head on Jan. 16 at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran.  Prisoner David Bobb, 48, died that day.  Graham De Luis-Conti, 62, died three days later at a hospital.  Both were serving life sentences for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14.

Nebraska Pardons Board denies pardon for Caril Ann Fugate.  Without hearing any testimony, Nebraska's three-member pardons board rejected a request from Caril Ann Clair, formerly Caril Ann Fugate for a hearing to clear her name.  It was Fugate's second and final request for a pardon since she and Charles Starkweather were convicted of killing 11 people in a murder spree that ended in Wyoming in 1958.

Texas Executes Death Row Inmate After US Supreme Court Denies Case.  Texas executed a death row inmate who was convicted for the murders of five people, including children, on Thursday evening [2/6/2020] after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to stay the execution.  Abel Ochoa, 47, was pronounced dead at 6:48 p.m. local time after he was administered a lethal dose of pentobarbital at a prison in Huntsville, Texas, according to The Associated Press.

Tennessee executes blind man for killing ex-girlfriend in 1991.  A blind prisoner convicted of killing his estranged girlfriend by setting her on fire in her car was put to death Thursday [12/5/2019] in Tennessee's electric chair.  Lee Hall, 53, became only the second inmate without sight to be executed in the U.S. since the reinstatement of the nation's death penalty in 1976.  Hall was pronounced dead at 7:26 p.m. at a Nashville maximum-security prison, prison officials said.  He chose the electric chair over Tennessee's preferred execution method of lethal injection — an option available to inmates in the state who were convicted of crimes before January 1999.  He also became the first blind inmate in U.S. modern history to die by electrocution.

Texas court stops Rodney Reed's execution to further review claims of innocence.  Texas' highest criminal court halted Rodney Reed's execution Friday afternoon, sending the now-famous case back to the trial court to further review several claims — biggest of all that he is innocent of the murder that landed him on death row more than 20 years ago.  The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals' ruling came hours after the state's parole board separately recommended Gov. Greg Abbott delay Reed's Wednesday execution by 120 days.  The court's ruling effectively preempts any gubernatorial involvement since it takes Reed's execution off the calendar and starts a new legal process.

Florida Supreme Court rejects death row inmate's appeal for stay of execution.  The Supreme Court of Florida on Tuesday [11/12/2019] rejected an appeal for a stay of execution for a death row inmate convicted of killing a 14-year-old girl in 1985.  James Dailey was sentenced to death in 1987 for killing Shelly Boggio, whose body was found over 30 years ago stabbed, strangled, drowned and naked floating in waters off Indian Rocks Beach in Pinellas County.

Convicted murderer's wants to be freed from his life sentence because he had technically 'died' when his heart stopped during a medical emergency.  A convicted murderer serving life in prison must remain behind bars despite his claim that he died when his heart stopped momentarily, a judge has ruled.  Benjamin Edward Schreiber, 66, 'is either still alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is actually dead, in which case this appeal is moot,' a judge in Iowa ruled on Wednesday [11/6/2019].  Schreiber was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 1996 ax-handle bludgeoning death of John Terry, and sentenced to life behind bars without the possibility of parole.

Public Defender:  Illegal Alien Charged with Murdering Four Americans Unfit for Death Penalty Due to Low IQ.  An illegal alien accused of murdering four Americans over the course of a week in Nevada is set to claim that he is "intellectually disabled" in order to avoid the death penalty.  Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, a 20-year-old illegal alien from El Salvador, was charged with murdering 56-year-old Connie Koontz, 74-year-old Sophia Renken, 81-year-old Gerald David, and his 80-year-old wife, Sharon David, between January 10 and 15 after prosecutors said he was looking to steal money from his victims to buy more meth.  The state of Nevada is seeking the death penalty.

Somebody saved the taxpayers a lot of money.
Pedophile who abused up to 200 children stabbed to death in prison.  A notorious British pedophile who was serving 22 concurrent life sentences for abusing 22 children in Malaysia — and up to 200 during an eight-year spree — was stabbed to death in a prison in England, according to reports.  Richard Huckle, 33, was found dead Sunday [10/13/2019] inside his cell at the high-security Full Sutton Prison in North Yorkshire after being attacked with a makeshift knife, according to the BBC.  "Humberside Police are working closely with the Prison Service to investigate the death of an inmate and at this time we are treating the death as suspicious," police said in a statement.  "It would be inappropriate to comment further while a police investigation is ongoing."

First Step Act beneficiary wanted for murder.  It was bound to happen, and sooner rather than later.  Joel Francisco, dubbed by authorities the crown prince of the Almighty Latin Kings gang, was released from prison thanks to the First Step Act.  Now, he is now wanted for murder.  Francisco was sentenced in 2005 to life imprisonment for trafficking in crack cocaine.  The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 reduced sentences for this crime, but not retroactively.  The First Step Act that President Trump signed into law with broad bipartisan support, included a provision that made the Fair Sentencing Act apply retroactively.  As a result, Francisco became eligible for release from prison.  He was released in February.  This criminal now stands accused of stabbing a man to death at a hookah lounge in Providence, Rhode Island.

Death row inmate with rare condition may suffer excruciatingly painful death, lawyers say.  The fate of a convicted killer in Missouri inmate rests with Gov. Mike Parson, who must decide if the risk posed by Russell Bucklew's unusual medical condition is grave enough to halt his execution.  Bucklew, 51, is scheduled to be put to death Tuesday evening [10/1/2019] for killing a man during a 1996 crime spree that started with his girlfriend breaking up with him on Valentine's Day.  He suffers from cavernous hemangioma.  The rare disease causes blood-filled tumors in his head, neck and throat.  A permanent tracheostomy in his throat helps him breathe.  His attorneys say in the clemency request that if one of the throat tumors bursts, Bucklew could suffer an excruciatingly painful death.

The Editor says...
[#1] He should have thought of this before committing murder 23 years ago.  [#2] Load him up with fentanyl and demerol, and and he will feel no pain.  [#3]  The pain of his execution is momentary.  It's nothing compared to what happens after that.

Alyssa Milano:  You Can't Talk About Being Pro-Life If You Support Executing Child-Murderers.  [Scroll down to the facts; for example:]  Lezmond Mitchell stabbed to death a 63-year-old grandmother and forced her nine-year-old granddaughter to sit beside her lifeless body for a 30 to 40-mile drive.  Mitchell then slit the girl's throat twice, crushed her head with 20-pound rocks, and severed and buried both victims' heads and hands.  On May 8, 2003, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona found Mitchell guilty of numerous offenses, including first degree murder, felony murder, and carjacking resulting in murder, and he was sentenced to death.  Mitchell's execution is scheduled to occur on Dec. 11, 2019.

Bobby Joe Long, a serial killer >br>who terrorized Florida in 1984, killing 10 women, is executed.  Bobby Joe Long, a serial killer who terrorized Florida with a 1984 spree that claimed the lives of 10 women, was executed Thursday [5/23/2019].

Catholic bishops urge governor to spare Bobby Joe Long.  The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to spare the life of convicted Tampa Bay serial rapist and murderer Bobby Joe Long.  In a letter to the governor, the bishops asked DeSantis to commute Long's sentence to life in prison, specifically pointing out mitigating circumstances in Long's case.

'That's Just Insane': Australia's Secret Deal to Take In Rwandan Guerrillas.  For more than a decade, the United States had a problem:  three Rwandan men, sitting in jail in Virginia, who had stood accused of brutally murdering tourists in Africa — but now had a chance of winning release onto American streets.  The three had been rounded up after a bloody 1999 attack that made headlines across three continents, in which two Americans and six other Western tourists on a gorilla-watching visit to the Ugandan rainforest were killed with machetes and axes.  The crime was so horrific that U.S. prosecutors charged the men under terrorism statutes, extracted them from Rwanda and then took the rare step of demanding the federal death penalty.  But in 2006, the prosecution went off the rails:  A judge in Washington ruled the men's confessions were obtained through torture in Rwandan detention centers, and the case was dropped.

Clarence Thomas blasts Stephen Breyer as death penalty divides Supreme Court.  Justice Clarence Thomas wanted to make sure there was no doubt about the heinous crime of Christopher Lee Price, whose attack on an Alabama minister nearly scalped the man, leaving him to a slow and painful death.  In an opinion Monday [5/13/2019], Justice Thomas defended the Supreme Court's decision to approve Price's execution and blasted fellow Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who had tried to erect roadblocks on the path to the execution chamber last month.

Hillsborough judge rejects move to stop Bobby Joe Long's execution.  A judge has denied an effort to stop the scheduled May 23 execution of Bobby Joe Long, a Tampa Bay area killer who murdered eight women in the 1980s.  Hillsborough Circuit Judge Michelle Sisco issued an order Monday rejecting arguments from Long's defense, including the contention that Florida's lethal injection drugs might cause Long to have a seizure during the execution.  Long, 65, suffers from temporal lobe epilepsy.

Florida wants to execute Robert Joseph Long.  His real name is Bobby Joe Long.  Does it matter?  Last week, the governor ordered the state to kill a man named "Robert Joseph Long."  The name appeared just like that, eight times, in a death warrant signed April 24 authorizing the state to execute Long for a 1984 Hillsborough County murder.  A letter that accompanied the warrant referred to him as "Robert Joe Long."  So did the original sentencing paperwork.  Here's the problem:  That's not his legal name.  The man the state wants to execute is Bobby Joe Long.

DeSantis orders execution for Bobby Joe Long, who killed at least eight women in the 1980s.  A year ago, Cher Lowther typed a letter to Gov. Rick Scott, beseeching him to follow through on a promise the state made more than 30 years earlier to put Bobby Joe Long to death.  Long, a notorious serial killer, murdered at least eight women in the Tampa Bay area in the early 1980s, including Karen Dinsfriend, Lowther's step-sister.  He was first sentenced to die in 1985, yet he remains on death row.

These are the 737 inmates on California's death row.  Gov. Gavin Newsom will sign an executive order on Wednesday to impose a moratorium on the death penalty in California.  The order will prevent the state from putting prisoners to death by granting temporary reprieves to all 737 condemned inmates on California's death row, the largest in the nation.

Death-row inmate says cryptic last words before fight breaks out at execution.  [Billie Wayne] Coble, once described by a prosecutor as having "a heart full of scorpions," and was the oldest inmate executed by Texas since the state resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982.

Man who killed 8-year-old girl found strangled in prison.  The Office of the State Medical Examiner says an Oklahoma man convicted of murder in the 1997 disappearance of his 8-year-old neighbor was strangled to death in his prison cell.

America's Newest Muslim Martyr is a Child Rapist and Killer.  Defensive wounds showed that the 15-year-old girl had fought long and hard for her life.  There wasn't enough soft tissue left to show the marks on her flesh, but marks remained on her wrists and her bones.  Hakim had hacked her to death while she had fought desperately to survive.  It took two years to bring him to justice, but not before Hakim tried every trick in the book.  Including accusing another man of the crime.  In 1997, Hakim signed a statement, blaming another man and three other women for the attack.  When his partner confessed, then eventually he did too.  A year before murdering Tiffany, Hakim had shot and killed Reinhard Mabins, a 13-year-old boy, and Ernest, his older brother.  He was convicted of all three murders.  The killing of the Mabins boys earned Hakim life in prison, while Tiffany's rape and murder put the monster on Death Row.  As was typical, Hakim's lawyers tried every trick to get him off the hook.  His father hadn't loved him, his mother was too busy to spend time with him and he hadn't understood how serious the case was.  Finally, there was one last card to play.  And Hakim's lawyers took that card to the Supreme Court.  At the last minute, Hakim wanted his Imam with him in the death chamber.  Yusef Maisonet, the imam of Masjid As Salaam, was not familiar with the safety protocols of the death penalty process, and was not allowed to be in the actual chamber.  The case went up to the courts, up to the Supreme Court, which turned Hakim down.  Instead Imam Maisonet met with Hakim before the monster was put down and taught him how to die like a good Muslim.

Alabama death row inmate's execution in limbo as courts weigh religious requests.  An Alabama man who was set to be executed by the state Thursday night is now waiting out his punishment while a federal court argues over his religious requests.  Domineque Ray, who was sentenced to death for raping and murdering 15-year-old Tiffany Harville in 1995 Selma, was not allowed to bring his holy book into his death cell with him after he was transferred there Tuesday, according to AL.com.  After a filing from his lawyers, Ray was given access to a Quran, but he still has one more request:  his imam, or Muslim spiritual leader.

The Editor says...
I believe he will be surrounded by imams right after he's executed.  If you get my drift.

Texas executes inmate, 61, who killed police officer in adult-bookstore robbery.  A Texas man convicted of shooting and killing a Houston police officer in 1988 during a failed robbery at an adult bookstore was executed Wednesday [1/30/2019], officials said.  The convict, Robert Jennings, 61, was pronounced dead at 6:33 p.m., 18 minutes after receiving a lethal injection and some 30 years after fatally shooting 24-year-old officer Elston Howard.

Nevada Death Row Inmate Scott Dozier Dies by Apparent Suicide.  Scott Dozier, a death row inmate in Nevada, was found dead in his cell Saturday of an apparent suicide, state department of corrections officials said.  Dozier, 48, was hanging from a bed sheet tied to an air vent in his cell at Ely State Prison, the department said in a news release.

Nevada death-row inmate found dead in cell after execution called off.  A Nevada inmate sentenced to death in 2007 for committing drug-related murders in Phoenix and Las Vegas, and who had tried several times to kill himself after two scheduled lethal injections were postponed, was found dead hanging from a bedsheet Saturday, officials said.  Scott Raymond Dozier, 48, was found unresponsive in the death-row cell he was housed in by himself at the state's maximum-security prison in Ely, the Nevada Department of Corrections said.

Court rejects Jerry Brown's clemency orders for 3 more California killers.  The California Supreme Court this week rejected three more of Gov. Jerry Brown's recommendations to commute sentences of longtime prison inmates who he believed had reformed behind bars, including a Sacramento man who beat a man to death in 1997.  The court in recent weeks now has denied 10 of Brown's clemency actions, the first time it has exercised that power in half a century.  The latest denials followed Brown's annual Christmas Eve clemency actions that included 143 pardons and 131 commutations.

Illegal Immigrant, Held on Murder Charge, Released Because of 'Clerical Error'.  A 17-year-old illegal immigrant — behind bars on a murder charge — was released from a local North Carolina jail that just pulled out of an immigration screening program with Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE).  Sergio Coello-Perez, a Mexican national, was released from the Mecklenburg County Jail on Thursday after seven months in custody.  He was released with a written promise to appear in court and to wear a 24-hour electronic monitoring bracelet, WBTV reported Friday [12/28/2018].  On Friday, the teen was booked into the jail again.

'Clerical error' leads to murder defendant's release from jail.  According to court records, a clerical error in court led to the release of a Mecklenburg County inmate facing a first degree murder charge.  Sergio Coello-Perez had a day and half of freedom that started Thursday [12/27/2018 morning.  He had spent six months behind bars.

Cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal granted appeal, spurring outrage from widow of slain police officer.  The widow of a Philadelphia police officer who was gunned down 37 years ago in the line of duty is "outraged" over a judge's decision last week to grant her husband's killer a chance to appeal his conviction.  On Thursday [1/27/2018], Judge Leon Tucker granted Mumia Abu-Jamal another opportunity to appeal his 1981 conviction in the death of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.  Abu-Jamal spent three decades on death row before his sentence in the shooting death of Faulkner was thrown out over flawed jury instructions.

Texas man who killed newlywed during robbery is executed.  A Texas man who fatally shot a husband and sexually assaulted his wife during a 1993 robbery was executed Tuesday evening.  Alvin Braziel Jr., 43, received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the 1993 slaying of 27-year-old Douglas White, who was attacked as he and his wife walked on a jogging trail.

Texas Man Who Shot and Killed Newlywed in 1993 Is Executed.  The state of Texas executed a Dallas man for the murder of a newlywed man more than 25 years ago.  Alvin Braziel Jr., 43, died via lethal injection at the state prison in Huntsville for the 1993 killing of 27-year-old Douglas White, who was attacked by Braziel while walking on a jogging trail.  The motive in the killing was robbery and rape, according to reports.

Tennessee electrocutes second inmate in 2 months.  A Tennessee inmate became the second person to die in the state's electric chair in just over a month Thursday [12/6/2018], nearly two decades after Tennessee adopted lethal injection as its preferred method of execution.

Tennessee: 2nd condemned man in weeks chooses electric chair.  A Tennessee inmate set to be put to death next week has requested the electric chair and not the state's preferred method of a lethal injection, becoming the second inmate this year to make that choice as an execution date loomed.

Death row inmate says, 'Let's rock,' before dying on Tennessee electric chair.  Edmund Zagorski, the convicted killer who opted for the electric chair instead of lethal injection, was asked if he had any last words before dying and he responded, "Let's rock." [...] Zagorski, who was convicted of the April 1983 killings of two men during a drug deal by slitting their throats, called the electric chair the lesser of the two evils in the state.

Death-row inmate Edmund Zagorski moved to 'death watch' as execution nears.  As his planned Thursday [11/1/2018] execution draws near, Tennessee death row inmate Edmund Zagorski has been moved to "death watch," according to reports.  Meanwhile, the maker of the state's electric chair, which is expected to be used for the first time since 2007, says he's worried that the device might not work as planned.

South Dakota inmate cracks traffic joke before execution.  A South Dakota inmate, who was executed Monday evening [10/29/2018] for beating a guard to death during a failed prison escape, used his final moments to crack a joke. [...] Berget, who killed Ronald "R.J." Johnson in 2011 with a pipe at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.  He was the state's fourth execution since it reinstituted the death penalty in 1979.  Johnson was killed on his 63rd birthday and was nearing the end of a nearly 24-year career as a guard.

Tennessee executes child killer Billy Ray Irick with drug that inflicts 'torturous pain'.  Tennessee has carried out its first execution in nearly a decade using a controversial cocktail of drugs including a lethal ingredient described by the Supreme Court as "chemically burning at the stake".  Billy Ray Irick, an inmate convicted of the 1985 rape and murder of seven-year-old Paula Dyer, received a three-drug injection on Thursday night [8/9/2018] after the US Supreme Court denied a final request to stay his execution.

The Editor says...
Maybe they should serve jalapeño soup for dinner on death row, whenever there's an execution, just to give everyone a foretaste of things to come.  The lesson for the rest of the Tennessee lowlife morons is clear:  If you don't want to be chemically burned at the stake, don't rape and murder a seven-year-old girl.

Suspect in BART fatal stabbing deserves death penalty, past victim says.  The suspect who allegedly stabbed two sisters, killing one, at a rail station in Oakland, Calif., deserves the death penalty, a past victim of the suspect says, according to a report.  Nearly a decade ago, John Cowell, 27 — the BART stabbing suspect — along with three other teens, beat up Shane Glick, 51, outside his Concord, Calif., home, Glick told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Nevada plans execution with never-used-before drug cocktail.  The new execution protocol appears to be an updated version of a procedural plan submitted to Judge Togliatti last September.  The new one, dated June 11, blacks out some details, including times that family members, witnesses and media may arrive at Ely State Prison, around 400km north of Las Vegas.  It substitutes midazolam for expired prison stocks of diazepam, a sedative commonly known as Valium.  The plan doubles the number of possible injections of the sedative from four for diazepam to 10 for midazolam.  The scheduled doses and delivery of fentanyl and cisatracurium were not changed.  [Scott] Dozier has repeatedly said he wants to die and he doesn't really care if he suffers.

'Ice pick killer' Danny Paul Bible executed by lethal injection, despite firing squad, nitrogen gas pleas.  A Texas prisoner dubbed the "ice pick killer" will now "burn in hell for eternity," a family member of one of his victims says, after he was put to death Wednesday night [6/27/2018] by lethal injection — with officials ignoring his unusual request to be executed by firing squad or nitrogen gas.  Danny Paul Bible was killed Wednesday night after unsuccessful appeals argued his health issues made it likely his execution would be botched and cause him unconstitutional pain. [...] Bible was a drifter with a record of violence in several states when he was arrested in Fort Myers, Florida, in 1999 for a rape in Louisiana.  He told detectives in Louisiana about four Texas killings — including the death of a 4-month-old boy — and at least nine rapes, including five in San Jacinto County northeast of Houston.  The four slaying victims included 20-year-old Inez Deaton, a friend of Bible's cousin who was found on the banks of a Houston bayou in 1979.  Investigators determined she had been raped and fatally stabbed with an ice pick.

Ailing Texas inmate wants execution by firing squad or gas.  A Texas death row inmate who confessed to four slayings and at least nine rapes is set for lethal injection Wednesday amid concerns from his lawyers that his health issues make it likely his execution will cause him unconstitutional pain.

The Editor says...
As usual, the criminal puts up a fuss over his pain, and neither he nor the newspapers say anything about his victims' pain.  The Constitution, as amended, prohibits cruel and unusual punishment but does not prohibit inflicting pain during an execution. There is therefore no such thing as "unconstitutional pain."

New York is freeing another cop killer from prison.  Another Black Liberation Army cop-killer is getting parole — Robert Hayes, a cold-blooded thug who killed a transit cop in a senseless subway platform shootout in 1973, then turned a sawed-off shotgun on the five cops who later busted into his hideout.  Transit patrolman and father of two Sidney Thompson, 37, lost his life for merely trying to arrest the then-23-year-old Hayes and a second BLA member for jumping a turnstile.  Sentenced to 35 to life in 1974 — before state law mandated life without parole for cop-killers — Hayes will get out as early as July 24, The [New York] Post has learned.

Texas school shooting suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis won't be executed, could be free in 40 years.  The teenager accused of the massacre at a Texas high school Friday could be out of prison in 40 years and will definitely not be executed.  Dimitrios Pagourtzis is 17 and the Supreme Court has barred both the death penalty and life without parole as cruel and unusual punishment for criminals under 18, according to a legal analysis by USA Today.  The 2005 case of Roper v. Simmons said juveniles could not be executed, even if they're legally considered adults in their state, because they are too immature and their brains underdeveloped.  The 2012 ruling in Miller v. Alabama extended the logic to permanent imprisonment.

Texas School Shooter Won't Face Death Penalty, Could be Paroled in 40 Years.  Dimitrios Pagourtzis murdered 10 people when he opened fire at his Santa Fe, Texas high school.  He won't face the death penalty.  He might not even spend his entire life in prison.

The Editor says...
The victims are just as dead, whether the shooter is 17 or 40 years old.  The Supreme Court has negated the deterrent effect of the death penalty for anyone under 18.

Hero knew the danger, went anyway.  Police officer Sean Gannon is a hero — plain and simple.  His life should not have been cut so short at the young age of 32.  Gannon paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep our community safe when a thug allegedly opened fire on him while searching a home the criminal was hiding out in.  It is unfortunate the death penalty is not allowed in Massachusetts because Thomas Latanowich doesn't deserve the right to breathe and is the perfect candidate for lethal injection.

Dueling rallies held over parole of convicted cop killer.  Dueling rallies were held Friday on the controversial decision to release convicted cop killer Herman Bell from prison.  Bell was a member of the radical Black Liberation Army who killed Officers Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini after luring them to a Harlem housing project with a phony 911 call.  Jones died instantly from a single shot.  But Piagentini was shot 22 times after begging for his life.  Bell was captured and convicted in 1971 and has been behind bars ever since.

Death sentence reinstated for only woman on Mississippi's death row.  A divided federal appeals court has reinstated the death sentence of Mississippi's only woman on death row, after her capital murder conviction was previously overturned by federal judges.  The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 9-5 Tuesday that allegations of racial bias in jury selection were insufficient and shouldn't have led to Lisa Jo Chamberlin's sentence being reversed.  The ruling came nearly three years after a federal court ruling granted her a new trial in a 2004 double homicide in Hattiesburg, Miss., the Clarion Ledger reported.

Judicial Depravity in California.  In November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 57, the Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act.  Championed by Governor Jerry Brown, the measure expanded parole possibilities for nonviolent offenders and barred prosecutors from filing juvenile cases in adult court.  Last month, California's Supreme Court ruled that Proposition 57 could be applied retroactively.  On those grounds, California's Third Court of Appeals "conditionally reversed" the conviction of one of the most violent criminals in state history and expanded his prospects for early release.  Daniel Marsh was just 15 on April 14, 2013, when he broke into the Davis home of 87-year-old Oliver "Chip" Northup, an attorney and popular bluegrass musician, and his 76-year-old wife, Claudia Maupin, a pastoral associate at the Davis Unitarian Church, where the couple met.  A police report said that the two were killed "in a way that manifested exceptional depravity," which was no exaggeration.  The autopsy report runs 16 pages and 6,658 words, noting that the murderer stabbed Maupin 67 times and Northup 61 times.

To avoid death penalty, Florida cop killer will claim brain damage.  The man who killed Tarpon Springs police Officer Charles Kondek in 2014 suffered from head trauma that likely impaired his judgment at the time of the shooting, according to his attorneys.  That diagnosis is how the defense hopes to convince a jury to spare Marco Antonio Parilla, Jr. from being sentenced to death.  Defense attorney Bjorn Brunvand told the Tampa Bay Times his client has "brain abnormalities" that can affect decision-making.

Protect Kids or Confiscate Guns?  The perpetrator, the sick and evil 19-year-old who killed 17 innocents with a gun is said to be contrite.  Having confessed, he faces life in prison.  For the next half-century, [he] will be fed, clothed, sheltered and medicated at the expense of Florida taxpayers, including the families of those he murdered.  [His] punishment seems neither commensurate with his crimes nor a deterrent for sick and evil minds contemplating another Columbine. [...] [This man] should never have been allowed to purchase or possess a gun.  He was angry, alienated, isolated.  Police had been to his family home to deal with complaints 39 times.  Yet he had no arrest record when he purchased his AR-15.

The One Single Person To Blame For The Florida School Shooting.  The shooter's defense team says the poor guy is "troubled" and they're "exploring the possibility of autism."  I don't personally care about his mental troubles or whatever alleged psychiatric disorder they can tag on him (and I'm sure they can tag him with several).  Here's the only thing we need to know:  Did he know what he was doing when he did it, and did he know it was wrong?  Well, his defense team (stupidly) has also said that the shooter is deeply sorry for his actions and he understands the gravity of what he did.  In other words, he's not crazy.  He's fully responsible for his behavior.  100%.  A crazy man is a man who has no concept of reality and truly does not understand that he isn't supposed to kill people.

Man jailed in Pasco shooting.  Qiu Feng Ke says Edward Tudor was "just unlucky" to become the one he shot to death this week in their Holiday neighborhood.  It could have been a past neighbor who had treated him poorly.  Or, Qiu said, if he moved away from Richboro Drive, it might have been the next one.  It was Tudor, his neighbor of four years, who pushed him too far, Qiu said Thursday, handcuffed in his orange and white striped jumpsuit inside the Pasco County Jail, where he is being held without bail on a first-degree murder charge.

Why pursue execution for Seminole Heights killings?  Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren announced he will seek the death penalty if accused Seminole Heights mass killer Howell Emanuel Donaldson III is convicted.  Yes, the killing spree for which Donaldson stands accused was horrific.  He is accused of shooting four people to death during a killing rage that rattled Seminole Heights and the entire Tampa Bay community.  As Warren framed it in a news conference announcing the decision, "The death penalty is for the worst of the worst, crimes that are far more egregious than the typical murder.  And that's what we have here."

Texas "Tourniquet Killer" put to death in first execution of 2018.  Texas carried out the nation's first execution of 2018 Thursday evening, giving lethal injection to a man who became known as Houston's "Tourniquet Killer" because of his signature murder technique on four female victims.  Anthony Allen Shore was put to death for one of those slayings, the 1992 killing of a 21-year-old woman whose body was dumped in the drive-thru of a Houston Dairy Queen.

'Tourniquet Killer' executed in Huntsville.  Shore was nicknamed the "Tourniquet Killer" because he used homemade tourniquets to strangle his victims.  Police eventually linked to Shore to the murders through his DNA, which was taken during a separate child rape investigation.

Self-inflicted capital punishment:
Convicted War Criminal Drinks Poison in Courtroom.  Convicted war criminal Slobodan Praljak started shouting [11/29/2017] as the presiding judge delivered the tribunal's final decision, which would have kept Praljak behind bars for 20 years.  The 72-year-old yelled, "Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal!  I reject this verdict!"  Ignoring an instruction to sit down, Praljak then drank an unidentified liquid from a small bottle, drawing confused stares from his attorneys and others in the chamber.

Sickly Ohio death row inmate will get 'special, wedge-shaped pillow' to help him breathe during execution.  A sick Ohio inmate will receive a wedge-shaped pillow to help him breathe as he's put to death this week, officials said.  Alva Campbell, 69, a death row prisoner who has argued he was too ill for lethal injection is slated to die by injection Wednesday.  Campbell has severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder as the result of a decades-long two-pack-a-day smoking habit.  Campbell's attorneys say he uses a walker, relies on a colostomy bag, requires four breathing treatments a day and may have lung cancer.  They have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop Wednesday's [11/15/2017] execution, because of his poor health, a motion opposed by the state.

The Editor says...
This is the latest in a long series of legal ploys, e.g., my client is too fat to fit into the electric chair, my client is too stupid to be executed, my client is too sick to die, etc.

Defiant Torrey McNabb saved final words for AL before execution.  The Alabama Department of Corrections executed Torrey McNabb Thursday night for his conviction in the 1997 murder of Montgomery police officer Anderson Gordon.  McNabb was declared dead at 9:38 p.m. by lethal injection at Holman Prison in Atmore.

Oklahoma Terrorist Gets Death Penalty.  Speaking to the jury that had already convicted Alton Alexander Nolen of first-degree murder in the death of Colleen Hufford, Cleveland County, Oklahoma, district attorney Greg Mashburn said of Nolen, "He wants the death penalty.  Give him what he wants."  Mashburn added that Nolen wanted the death penalty because he believes "something good" is waiting for him on the "other side," so Mashburn pleaded for the jurors to "give it to him, and let him find out."  The jury deliberated three hours before returning a death penalty verdict for Nolen, who had beheaded co-worker Hufford with a knife in 2015.  In Oklahoma, juries have three options in a first-degree murder conviction:  life in prison, life in prison without the possibility of parole, and death.

Florida executes Plant City man convicted of killings decades ago.  Florida executed an inmate Thursday [10/5/2017] who was convicted of killing two people after a night of drinking decades ago.

Florida Supreme Court backs Gov. Scott in Orlando death-penalty dispute.  Gov. Rick Scott was within his executive authority in reassigning more than two dozen potential death penalty cases away from an Orlando state attorney who declared she wouldn't pursue the punishment for any case prosecuted in her district, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday [8/31/2017].  In a 5-2 ruling, justices said Aramis Ayala's "blanket" opposition to seeking the death penalty negates her argument of having exercised prosecutorial discretion.

Florida executes convicted killer using new drug.  Florida on Thursday [8/24/2017] put a man to death with an anesthetic never used before in a U.S. lethal injection, carrying out its first execution in more than 18 months on an inmate convicted of two racially motivated murders.  Authorities said 53-year-old Mark Asay, the first white man executed in Florida for the killing of a black man, was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m.  Thursday at the state prison in Starke.  Asay received a three-drug injection that began with the anesthetic etomidate.  Though approved by the Florida Supreme Court, etomidate has been criticized by some as being unproven in an execution.  Etomidate replaced midazolam, which became harder to acquire after many drug companies began refusing to provide it for executions.

Alabama executes man for 1982 murder.  [75-year-old Tommy] Arthur was convicted of killing riverboat engineer Troy Wicker, who was fatally shot as he slept in his bed in the north Alabama city of Muscle Shoals.

Arkansas executes first inmate since 2005.  Ledell Lee's execution was the first in the state since 2005.  He was pronounced dead at 11:56 p.m.  Thursday [4/20/2017], four minutes before his death warrant was due to expire. [...] Lee, 51, was put on death row for the 1993 death of his neighbor Debra Reese, whom Lee struck 36 times with a tire tool her husband had given her for protection.  Lee was arrested less than an hour after the killing after spending some of the $300 he had stolen from Reese.

Arkansas executions:  Who's on death row?  [For example,] Kenneth Dewayne Williams, [who] was initially scheduled to be executed on Thursday, April 27. [...] He was convicted of murdering Cecil Boren in 1999.  Three weeks after his conviction, Williams escaped by hiding in a container of hog slop being ferried from a prison kitchen to a prison hog farm outside the main gates.  While in prison, Williams said he had killed another person in 1998.  He gave a one-hour, 15-minute speech in front of the parole board where he accepted full responsibility for his actions.

Supreme Court blocks death sentence over racial bias.  The Supreme Court blocked the execution of a Texas murderer Wednesday [2/22/2017] because of racially discriminatory testimony presented by his own defense team.  The 6-2 ruling was the second in the court's new term to overturn a death sentence, and it could be a harbinger of things to come.  The justices heard another death penalty case from Texas in November that hinges on a prisoner's intellectual disability.

Homeless sex offender who killed 4 O.C. women is sentenced to death.  Steven Dean Gordon, the serial killer who says he deserves to die for his crimes, found no disagreement last year from the jury nor, on Friday [2/3/2017], from the judge.  Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick H. Donahue sentenced Gordon to death for the abduction and murder of four women who had been working as prostitutes in Santa Ana and Anaheim in 2013 and 2014.  In December, a jury convicted the 47-year-old Gordon of the murders and voted that he should die.

Dylann Roof Sentenced to Death for Charleston Church Massacre.  An admitted white supremacist was condemned to death Tuesday for massacring nine black worshipers who'd invited him to study the Bible with them at a Charleston, S.C., church, ending a two-phase federal trial that exposed the killer's hate-fueled motives and plumbed the chasms of grief left by the victims' deaths.  The jury, the same that convicted Dylann Roof in the murders last month, announced its verdict after deliberating less than three hours.

Hell gets ready to welcome Charles Manson.  Charles Manson is closing in on death's door, a source familiar with the matter told The [New York] Post on Monday [1/9/2017].  "I don't think he'll be around too much longer, but he is able to talk in his current condition," the California Corrections Department source said, referring to the infamous cult leader's health crisis.  Last week, Manson, 82, was taken out of Corcoran State Prison in California's Central Valley and rushed to a hospital in Bakersfield about 60 miles away for emergency surgery to stop his intestines from bleeding, sources told The Post.

Fry Dylann Roof.  The guy made the decision to load the gun, walk into a church, and shot ten people, murdering nine.  All were killed by multiple gunshots fired at close range.  During the shooting, he taunted the victims, "Y'all want something to pray about?  I'll give you something to pray about."  He [surely] seemed to understand the consequences of his actions then!  One of his victims was an 87-year-old church choir member.  A five-year-old girl survived the shooting by pretending to be dead.  If doing something like that doesn't earn a seat on the electric chair, what does?  I don't care if Roof did it because he hates blacks, he hates churches, he hates God, or if he thinks his dog told him to do it.  The consequence is the same.  I keep hearing we have to look inside Roof's head and try to understand.  Why?  It doesn't change what he did.

Federal judge orders state to provide Mumia Abu-Jamal with hepatitis C treatment.  A federal judge on Tuesday [1/3/2017] ruled that Mumia Abu-Jamal should be provided new medications by the state to treat his hepatitis C infection.  U.S. District Judge Robert D. Mariani ordered that Abu-Jamal, who is serving life in prison for the 1981 killing of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, must be seen by a doctor within 14 days to determine if there is a medical reason he should not get the expensive drugs.  If Abu-Jamal is medically cleared, the state must provide him with recently developed direct-acting antiviral medication, also known as DDA.

The Editor says...
Please note that the man whose health is such a great concern is a cop killer and was sentenced to death in 1982.  In my opinion, he should have been executed no later than 1983.

Alabama inmate executed after two court-ordered delays.  Smith was convicted of capital murder in the Nov. 8, 1994, shooting death of Huntsville store clerk Casey Wilson.

"Grim Sleeper" Lonnie Franklin Jr.  Sentenced to Death.  The former L.A. garbage collector who earned the name "the Grim Sleeper" after a string of murders between 1985 and 2007 was sentenced to death in Los Angeles Superior Court today [8/10/2016].  Judge Kathleen Kennedy today told 63-year-old Lonnie Franklin Jr., "You shall suffer the death penalty," during a sentencing hearing.  The last time a prisoner was executed by the state was in 2006.

The 'Grim Sleeper' is sentenced to death for string of murders.  "This is not a sentence of vengeance," Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy told Franklin as relatives of his victims looked on, some of them in tears.  "It's justice."  Franklin, 63, was convicted earlier this year of killing nine women and a teenage girl from 1985 to 2007.  During the penalty phase of his trial, prosecutors connected him to several additional slayings.  Detectives believe he may have killed at least 25 women.  The judge read the names of the 10 victims Franklin was found guilty of killing.  In each case, Kennedy told him, "You shall suffer the death penalty."

'Grim Sleeper' Lonnie Franklin Jr.  Sentenced to Death for Murders of Los Angeles Women.  Lonnie Franklin Jr., known by the nickname the "Grim Sleeper," was sentenced to death today in connection with the killings of women in the Los Angeles area from 1985 to 2007.  His trial began in February of this year, more than three decades after the death of the first victim.  The victims, all between the ages of 15 and 35, were strangled or shot and left in alleyways near Franklin's home in South L.A., The Associated Press said.

The Editor says...
This man started killing women 30 years ago, and it may be another 30 years before he is executed — if he doesn't die of old age first.  The death penalty isn't much of a deterrent if the public perceives that the state isn't serious about it.

El Chapo is safe, but...
Lynch: Justice Dept. to seek death penalty against Dylann Roof.  Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Tuesday [5/24/2016] that the Justice Department would seek the death penalty against Charleston church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.  "The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision," Lynch said in written statement.  Last July, Lynch announced federal hate crime charges against the then-21-year-old suspect, alleging that Roof sought to ignite racial tensions across the country by targeting Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church because of its local and historical significance.

Supreme Court throws out death sentence from all-white jury.  The Supreme Court upended the conviction and death sentence of a black Georgia man Monday [5/23/2016] because prosecutors violated the Constitution by excluding African-Americans from the all-white jury that determined his fate.

Drug lord El Chapo will finally be extradited to the U.S. under guarantee he won't face the death penalty.  Mexico's Foreign Relations Department has approved the extradition of convicted drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman to the United States.  The department said in a statement Friday [5/20/2016] that the US has provided 'adequate guarantees' that Guzman would not face the death penalty.  Mexico has abolished capital punishment and does not extradite its citizens if they face possible execution.  The process can still be appealed, meaning it could be weeks or months before the Sinaloa cartel leader may be sent to the US, where he is wanted in multiple jurisdictions on charges related to drug trafficking and organized crime.

Man who killed Plant City worker wants execution sped up.  Wayne Doty, who shot to death a worker at a manufacturing plant in Plant City in 1996, wants to die in Florida's electric chair.  Immediately.  The twice-convicted killer — Doty murdered a fellow inmate at Florida State Prison, also in 1996 — doesn't want to be represented by attorneys and refuses to appeal his death sentence.

Texas executes man who said he drank victim's blood.  A South Texas man was executed Wednesday forthe 1998 slaying of a 12-year-old boy whose blood the convicted killer said he drank after beating the seventh-grader with a pipe and slitting his throat.  Pablo Lucio Vasquez told police he was drunk and high when voices convinced him to kill David Cardenas in Donna, a Texas border town about 225 miles south of San Antonio.  He also told detectives in a videotaped statement that he drank some of the boy's blood.

Prosecutor Who Sent Innocent Man to Death Row Is Disbarred.  A former prosecutor who used false testimony and withheld evidence to send a now-exonerated man to death row in Texas has lost an appeal to overturn his disbarment.

Texas executes suspected poacher who shot, killed game warden.  A Texas man was executed Wednesday evening [1/27/2016] for fatally shooting a game warden nine years ago during a shootout after a 90-minute chase that began when he was suspected of poaching.

After delay, serial killer Oscar Ray Bolin executed by lethal injection.  Oscar Ray Bolin, convicted of murdering three Tampa-area women in 1986, was executed by lethal injection Thursday night [1/7/2016] at Florida State Prison.  Bolin, 53, was pronounced dead at 10:16 p.m., 11 minutes after the execution began.  Scheduled for 6 p.m., Bolin's execution was delayed by the U.S. Supreme Court as it considered a last-minute appeal.

Execution day arrives for Oscar Ray Bolin.  A former carnival worker who was convicted of killing three Bay-area women and then married a member of his defense team was executed Thursday night [1/7/2016] after 30 years of trials, guilty verdicts and appeals.

US Death Row Inmate Denied Beer as Last Request.  A death-row prisoner in Georgia, to be executed Thursday, requested six beers instead of food as his last wish, a request that prison authorities refused Wednesday [11/18/2015].  "His request was declined as alcohol is a contraband item," Georgia Department of Corrections in Jackson said in a statement.

The Editor says...
The lethal drugs they're about to administer are probably contraband items, too.  So what?  If the condemned man wants a case of whiskey and a carton of cigarettes instead of his last meal, why not give it to him?  If he'd rather be hanged than put in the electric chair, why not let him have that choice?

US high court grapples with racism in jury selection.  Timothy Foster has spent nearly 30 years on Georgia's death row.  On Monday [11/1/2015], his lawyer will speak before the Supreme Court to fight for his life, pointing to endemic racism in US jury selection and the death penalty.

Orlando man who murdered 4 family members to be executed tonight.  Jerry Correll is set to be executed [10/29/2015] for fatally stabbing his 5-year-old daughter, his ex-wife, her mother and her sister 30 years ago at a home along Tampico Drive in Orlando.  Correll is the first death row inmate in Florida to be executed since January.

Texas executes inmate for killing man in $8 robbery.  No late appeals were filed for Juan Martin Garcia, who was lethally injected [10/6/2015] for the September 1998 killing and robbery of Hugo Solano in Houston.

The Editor says...
The Associated Press once again shows its bias, starting with the headline in this story.  The execution was about the murder of an innocent man.  It was not about the eight dollars that changed hands.

Virginia executes serial killer who claimed to be disabled.  The El Salvador native was sentenced to death in Virginia in 2010 for the murder of a young couple more than two decades earlier.

Virginia set to execute convicted rapist and serial killer who claims he's intellectually disabled from a malnourished childhood in El Salvador.  Virginia is poised to execute a convicted serial killer [10/1/2015] who claims he's intellectually disabled using lethal injection drugs from Texas because the state's supply of another controversial drug will expire the day before the execution is supposed to take place.

One juror firmly opposed death penalty for theater shooter James Holmes.  Nine of the 12 jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial wanted to execute James Holmes, but one was steadfastly against the death penalty and two others wavering, a juror told reporters after the verdict was announced.  Because the 12 jurors failed to unanimously agree that Holmes should be executed, he will be sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 2012 attack on a midnight screening of a Batman movie in Aurora that also left 70 injured.  "Mental illness played into the decision more than anything else," said the woman, who would not give her name.

Dylann Roof indicted on federal hate crime charges in Charleston church shooting.  While neither federal nor state prosecutors have decided whether to pursue the ultimate punishment, Wednesday's [7/22/2015] indictment hinted at federal prosecutors' intentions to seek the death penalty.  Citing U.S. laws on the death penalty, it stated that Roof intentionally targeted vulnerable people and meant to kill "more than one person in a single criminal episode."

US should hang Edward Snowden, says former spy panel senator.  The U.S. should publicly hang leaker Edward Snowden if and when he falls into the government's hands, according to the former top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee.  "We need to hang him on the courthouse square as soon was we get our hands on him," retired Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) — who served as vice chairman of the powerful intelligence panel before stepping down from Congress last year — said during an appearance at the University of Georgia this month.  "I hope none of you have any sympathy for him," he told students at the Terry College of Business.

Connecticut home invasion killer loses bid to drop appeals, proceed to execution.  A Connecticut judge has rejected a request by one of two men convicted in the killings of a mother and her two daughters in a home invasion to drop his remaining appeals and proceed to execution.

Boston Marathon bomber apologizes, formally sentenced to death.  The outcome of Wednesday morning's [6/24/2015] federal sentencing hearing was a foregone conclusion after the jury decided to impose the death penalty last month.  The 21-year-old former college student is the first person to be handed a death sentence in a federal terrorism case since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Editor says...
It may be the first federal terrorism prosecution since 9/11/2001, but there have been numerous cases of Islamic terrorism since then.

Texas inmate, 67, executed for slayings 31 years ago.  A 67-year-old man convicted of killing four men more than three decades ago was executed Wednesday, making him the oldest of the 526 Texas prisoners put to death since the state resumed carrying out capital punishment in 1982.

Dzhokar Tsarnaev: No Better Argument for Capital Punishment.  On the one side are those who believe that just because someone brutally rapes and murders an innocent woman or murders and maims more than 260 people does not mean we in turn should respond as if we are ourselves equally uncivilized. [...] On the other side are those whose logic compels them to believe that only a hopelessly naïve or frighteningly misguided society would want to see such vicious killers free to live, to study, and to be provided food, shelter and health care at taxpayer expense for the rest of their lives.  Even the staunchest opponent of capital punishment, once victimized or having lost a loved one at the hands of truly evil miscreants, typically fall into this group.

A campaign to drum up sympathy for cold-blooded killers:
Justices to Hear Challenge That Argues Lethal-Injection Drug Causes Agony.  The use of a lethal-injection drug involved in prolonged, apparently agonizing executions last year will come under scrutiny in the Supreme Court on Wednesday [4/29/2015] as the justices hear a case brought by three condemned prisoners from Oklahoma.  The prisoners, convicted murderers, are challenging the use of the sedative midazolam as the first step in executions.  Lawyers for the prisoners, with the support of many medical experts, say that even if properly administered, the drug cannot reliably cause deep unconsciousness before the injection of other extremely painful agents that cause death.

Texas Carries Out First Execution Since Obtaining New Supply Of Lethal Injection Drugs.  Texas executed Kent Sprouse Thursday [4/9/2015] in its first execution since obtaining a new batch of lethal injection drugs last month.  Sprouse, 42, was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a Dallas police officer and a customer at a gas station in 2002.

Tsarnaev Deserves the Death Penalty, and So Might Michael Slager.  How about now?  Are you in favor of the death penalty now?  I ask because the preferred argument from opponents of the death penalty is doubt:  We can never be sure; look at all of the people released from death row; we can't afford to risk ending a single innocent life.  None of those arguments apply to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Yes, let's reserve the death penalty for somebody who has done something really bad.
Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks out against the death penalty for convicted Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren says she's relieved Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been found guilty of carrying out the Boston bombing — the greatest tragedy in her state's recent history — but doesn't believe he should be executed.

Elizabeth Warren is Pro-Life!  Yesterday Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted on all counts for his murderous act of terrorism.  He could get the death penalty... but not if Mass. Senator and left-wing hero Elizabeth Warren has her way.  She wants the terrorist's life spared.

Fool of the Week: Boston bombers' mom.  The Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted this week on all 30 counts levied against him.  He will begin the sentencing phase of his trial very soon.  Should he be put to death?  Well if being convicted on 17 counts that carry a possible penalty of death is a qualification, I would say so. — After all, if you have the death penalty law there's not a more appropriate case to apply it to.  However, Tsarnaev's mother blames the United States for the troubles her terrorist son is in.

Texas man on death row since 1984 loses Supreme Court appeal.  The Supreme Court turned away an appeal Monday [3/23/2015] from a convicted killer who has spent more than 30 years on death row in Texas.

Missouri Man Executed for Killing Neighbor in 1990.  Walter Timothy Storey was put to death early Wednesday [2/11/2015] for killing 36-year-old special education teacher Jill Frey in February 1990 in a St. Louis suburb.

Texas Executes Killer Robert Ladd After Low-IQ Arguments Rejected.  Texas on Thursday [1/29/2015] executed a man convicted of fatally beating a mentally disabled woman — after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected arguments that he has an IQ of 67 and should be exempt from the death penalty. [...] Ladd was sentenced to death for hammering, strangling and setting ablaze 38-year-old Vicki Ann Garner in 1996 — while he was on parole for a 1980 stabbing and arson that killed a woman and two children.  Ladd's lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union said his IQ fell below the threshold generally accepted for impairment, which prosecutors disputed.

Supreme Court Halts Oklahoma Execution of Richard Glossip, Two Others.  The U.S. Supreme Court issued stays of execution Wednesday [1/28/2015] for three Oklahoma death-row inmates whose challenge to the state's lethal-injection formula will be heard in the spring. [...] For the first time since 2008, the high court has agreed to hear a challenge to the legality of lethal injection.  The Oklahoma case centers on the first of three drugs administered to a condemned inmate — the sedative midazolam, which opponents say isn't strong enough to protect a prisoner from the other two chemicals used.  Midazolam has featured in at least three executions that did not unfold as planned.

Florida executes ringleader of 1993 home invasion that ended with man's murder, wife's rape.  Florida on Thursday [1/15/2015] executed the ringleader of a 1993 home-invasion robbery that ended with the murder of a Pensacola banker and the repeated rape of the banker's wife.  Johnny Shane Kormondy, 42, was pronounced dead at 8:16 p.m. at Florida State Prison, about 11 minutes after the lethal injection was administered.

'My body is on fire': Convicted baby killer.  Oklahoma's first execution since it botched the lethal injection of a death row inmate 10 months ago saw convicted baby killer Charles Frederick Warner exclaim from the death chamber:  "My body is on fire."  In a disturbing sequence, the 47-year-old Warner made the claim after getting a dose of the sedative midazolam followed by involuntary twitching after the lethal injection was administered.  He stopped breathing seven minutes later.

The Editor says...
You see, the problem with executions is that they cannot be both instantaneous and painless.  (Surely the people murdered by those who are now residents of death row had experiences that were neither painless or quick.)  If the goal is to strike a balance between the two, the firing squad and the guillotine are probably better than intravenous infusion of chemicals prescribed by the state.  It would be far more effective to give death row inmates unlimited access to morphine, heroin, cocaine, or any other drugs they want, and let them handle the rest.

Texas to execute man who lawyers say is delusional.  No one disputes that Scott Panetti — heavily armed, head shaved and wearing camouflage — shot and killed his in-laws at their Texas Hill Country home, showering his estranged wife and 3-year-old daughter in blood.

Death row inmate's prison food complaint rejected.  A federal judge in Connecticut has rejected the arguments of a home invasion killer on death row who complained that the food he is being served in prison is not kosher.

The Editor says...
Read the description of this guy's crime and then tell me that his religion is an important part of his life.

Ninth execution in Missouri this year in what activists say was racially biased case.  The man who killed a suburban Kansas City, Mo., gas station attendant in front of the worker's 8-year-old stepdaughter in 1994 was put to death just past midnight on Wednesday at the state prison in Bonne Terre, the ninth execution in the Missouri this year.  With Leon Taylor's death by lethal injection, 2014 ties 1999 for having the most executions in a year in Missouri.

Holder Takes Death Penalty off Table for Gang Members Charged with Killing Cop.  On November 14, federal prosecutors made it clear that Attorney General Eric Holder has "taken the death penalty off the table" for four men charged in the gang-related murder of Waynesboro, Virginia, police officer, Captain Kevin Quick. [...] Prosecutor Timothy J. Heaphy says Holder is responsible for making the call on death penalty cases.

Capital punishment prevents things like this:
Murderer finishes 30-year term, kills mother after welcome home party, police say.  A 45-year-old man who on Friday [10/10/2014] finished serving 30 years in prison is charged with killing his mother two days after being released, authorities said.  Steven Pratt was arrested Sunday morning, less than 48 hours after he was freed from Bayside State Prison for killing his neighbor in 1984.

Attorney General Eric Holder orders no death penalty for three members of Brooklyn drug crew.  Outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered federal prosecutors not to seek the death penalty against three members of a Brooklyn drug crew charged with a killing in which the victim was tortured, the [New York] Daily News has learned  The decision was disclosed Thursday [9/25/2014] in a one-sentence letter to Brooklyn Federal Judge Frederic Block several hours after Holder announced he was resigning after nearly six years as the nation's top law enforcement official.

Supreme Court Refuses to Stay Execution in Missouri.  Michael Worthington, 43, raped and murdered a college student in 1995.

Arizona Used 15 Doses Of Lethal Drugs To Execute Inmate.  The Arizona Department of Corrections and the Arizona attorney general have said that Wood's execution was not botched and that he was sedated after three minutes — claims that were reiterated Friday [8/1/2014].  A medical examiner also told the department that the IVs were "perfectly placed" in Wood's arm.

When the hangman botches the job.  What makes the Arizona execution particularly horrific is that it was the third such cruel and unusual botch job this year.  Ohio put Dennis McGuire to death in January with a cocktail of new and untested drugs that, if not mixed properly, cause unimaginable pain.  McGuire screamed that he felt as if his body was on fire, and death did not follow his gasping and writhing on a gurney for 25 minutes.

The myth of botched executions.  On Wednesday [7/23/2014], the State of Arizona executed Joseph Wood.  The left wing media immediately jumped on the case, calling it a "botched execution."  To begin with, the execution wasn't botched.  He's dead, isn't he?  Wood was convicted of two counts of first degree murder.  The murders occurred in 1989.  Wood was convicted and sentenced to death in 1991.  He spent 23 years on death row while tax payer funded lawyers cranked out every strategy possible to stop or delay his execution.  The botching was not the execution.  The botching was that it took 23 years.

Kansas top court overturns death sentences in 'Wichita Massacre'.  The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday overturned death sentences for two brothers convicted in the 2000 execution-style murder of four people on a snowy soccer field in Wichita, ruling that the trial judge erred in refusing to conduct separate penalty phases for the two men.

Lakeland child killer Eddie Wayne Davis set to be executed.  A man convicted of the 1994 rape and killing of an 11-year-old Lakeland girl is set to be executed Thursday [7/10/2014] with the victim's grandmother watching from the witness chamber on behalf of the child and her deceased mother.

John Henry scheduled for execution at 6 p.m. Wednesday.  Henry was sentenced to death for murdering his wife in Zephyrhills in 1985.  Defense attorney Baya Harrison, who filed the appeal over the weekend, has argued that Henry, 63, is mentally disabled and should not be put to death under the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.  Henry has been on death row for 27 years.  He stabbed 28-year-old Patricia Roddy 20 times in 1976.  He served just over seven years before being paroled in January 1983.  In December 1985, he stabbed his wife, Suzanne Henry, to death with a 5-inch paring knife after an argument.

Florida execution is nation's third in 24 hours.  In the third execution nationwide in less than 24 hours, a three-time Florida murderer was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday night [6/18/2014].  The execution of John Ruthell Henry was the state's 13th since April 2013 and the 18th since Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011.  The trio of executions Tuesday and Wednesday were the first since the botched lethal injection of an Oklahoma killer in April.  Henry, 63, was pronounced dead at 7:43 p.m. after being injected with three drugs at the Florida State Prison in Starke.

An attempt by the New York Times to make the perp look like a victim.
On Death Row With Low I.Q., and New Hope for a Reprieve.  For Ted Herring, who has spent 32 years on Florida's death row for murdering a store clerk, signs of intellectual disability arose early and piled up quickly:  He repeated first grade and got D's and F's through fourth grade.  He read like a fourth grader at 14 and did not know that summer followed spring. [...] At 19, in 1981, Mr. Herring murdered a Daytona Beach 7-Eleven clerk, robbed the store and walked away with $23.84.  But because Mr. Herring's I.Q. scores were 72 and 74, just over the "bright line" cutoff of 70 used by Florida to determine intellectual aptitude, the Florida Supreme Court returned him to death row.

The Editor says...
Stupidity is not a license to kill.

Botched Oklahoma execution: Did anyone remember Clayton Lockett's victim?  One person who will not weigh in on the merits of Clayton Lockett's execution is Stephanie Neiman.  Clayton Lockett tried to rob a house Miss Neiman was at.  She tried to fight him off.  He and his accomplices overwhelmed her.  They beat her, bound her with duct tape, taped her mouth shut, shot her, then buried her alive.  Many of those outraged at how Mr. Lockett's execution played out will, hopefully, pause to reflect on exactly why the state chose to execute him.

White House Condemns Partial-Birth Abortions After 150th Trimester.  It's all in the timing.  Now we know where they draw the line.

He deserved it: Friends of victim weigh in on botched execution.  Those who knew the victim of a convicted killer who died in a botched execution this week have spoken out to say he deserved the painful death — in which he took 47 minutes to die after periods of writhing in pain.  They expressed their lack of remorse as a disturbing video emerged of Clayton Lockett confessing, and calmly described shooting a teenage girl and watching his partners in crime bury her alive.  Lockett was sentenced to death for the killing of 19-year-old Stephanie Nieman 15 years ago in Oklahoma.

BBC Can Barely Contain Its Glee Over Problems with Oklahoma Execution.  Due to European Union's ban on the export of one of the drugs historically used in US lethal injections, a new lethal combination of drugs were administered that prolonged the time it took between the onset of prisoner's loss of consciousness and the time he was finally pronounced dead.  Prison officials confirmed the prisoner ultimately died of a heart attack that occurred nearly 40 minutes after the first sedative was administered.  They claim that at no time after having lost consciousness did the convicted murderer ever regain it.  With repeated and detailed descriptions of the procedure used to execute a man whose crime, watching his friends bury alive the 19 year old girl he raped and then shot, was mentioned, if at all, merely as a passing aside.

The Editor says...
Sometimes executions get messy.  The guillotine and perhaps the firing squad are probably the only methods of execution that work every time without complications.  Lethal injections depend on the inmate having good veins, and in the Oklahoma case, the man's veins either collapsed or ruptured, depending on which news report you read, and the situation got pretty gruesome afterward.  But as many have pointed out, the perpetrators of capital crimes don't go out of their way to make death smooth and seamless for their victims; in fact, it's usually just the opposite.

Missouri executes man for 1993 murder of couple.  Missouri executed an inmate early Wednesday [4/23/2014] who was convicted of killing a farming couple in 1993.

This is what capital punishment prevents:
Early-Release Felon Charged with Kidnapping, Rape, Torture.  A man on probation as a "non-violent offender" under California's prison realignment program has been charged with kidnapping, raping, and torturing a 16-year-old girl in South Los Angeles, and detectives suspect he may be connected to three other recent murders.

Texas receives new drugs, executes serial killer after temporary stay.  Tommy Lynn Sells, 49, was the first inmate to be injected with a dose of newly replenished pentobarbital that Texas prison officials obtained to replace an expired supply of the powerful sedative. The serial killer claims to have killed as many as 70 people.

Juan Carlos Chavez executed for 1995 rape, murder of Jimmy Ryce.  A man was executed Wednesday night in Florida for raping and killing a 9-year-old boy 18 years ago, a death that spurred the victim's parents to press nationwide for stronger sexual predator confinement laws and better handling of child abduction cases.

The truth about the long execution of Mr. McGuire.  In January 2014, Mr. McGuire was a 53-year old man on death row.  But in February 1989, he was a young man who murdered Joy Stewart.  And who is Mrs. Stewart?  She was a 22-year old newlywed pregnant woman who would have given birth to a child in just two months if Mr. McGuire hadn't raped her in a particularly horrific way, stabbed her, slit her throat and left her to rot in the woods.  Yes, the same Mr. McGuire whose 26 minutes of pain are cause for Ohio to re-evaluate its values, we're told.

Family of Executed Man Plans to Sue State.  The family of a death row inmate who was executed with a new drug concoction is planning to sue the state of Ohio for "cruel and unusual punishment," arguing that he was used as an "experiment."  The family of Dennis McGuire, 53, watched him die for 26 minutes, during which he was heard having gasping, snorting and making other sounds of distress. [...] McGuire was executed for the 1989 rape and murder of Joy Stewart, who was eight months pregnant at the time.

The Editor says...
One wonders what sorts of gasping and snorting and other sounds of distress came from the woman he killed.

Just What Constitutes 'Humane' Execution?  Dennis McGuire, convicted in 1989 of raping and murdering a young, pregnant woman, was executed in Ohio last night.  His death took 26 minutes from the time the experimental cocktail of lethal drugs was injected until he was pronounced dead.  The two drugs used — midazolam, a sedative; and hydromorphone, a morphine derivative — were employed because penobarbital, [sic] the drug formerly used by the state, was unavailable due to a manufacturer's refusal to sell the drug for the purposes of execution.

The Editor says...
It is inaccurate to say "his death took 26 minutes," if the clock started when his first I.V. sedative was injected.  If swift death is the goal, bring back the guillotine.

Askari Abdullah Muhammad, previously known as Thomas Knight, executed in Florida.  The 62-year-old inmate was initially condemned to die for the 1974 abduction and killings of Sydney and Lillian Gans of Miami.

Florida executes Askari Abdullah Muhammad (Thomas Knight) for killing guard, couple.  A Florida inmate was executed Tuesday 1/7/2014] for fatally stabbing a prison guard with a sharpened spoon while on death row for abducting and killing a Miami couple.  Askari Abdullah Muhammad, previously known as Thomas Knight, was pronounced dead at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday [1/7/2014] after a lethal injection at Florida State Prison, the governor's office said.  The execution took place in the same prison where Muhammad killed corrections officer Richard Burke in 1980.

The Editor says...
This man was executed 39 years after committing murder, and because he wasn't executed immediately, a death row guard lost his life, too.

Missouri executes serial killer Franklin.  Joseph Paul Franklin, a white supremacist who targeted blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing spree from 1977 to 1980, was put to death Wednesday [11/20/2013] in Missouri, the state's first execution in nearly three years.

The Editor says...
The deterrent effect of the death penalty is diminished considerably if it takes the state 40 years to follow through.

Man who killed up to 20 people during racist nationwide crime spree set for execution in Missouri.  Even among the hard-core criminals on Missouri's death row, [Joseph Paul] Franklin is perhaps the most notorious, a cunning killer who picked out victims at random, using marksman skills to murder and maim from a hidden spot in a vacant building, a grassy field and a highway overpass.

US murderer confesses just before execution.  After claiming his innocence for over two decades, William Happ finally confessed to murder as he was put to death by lethal injection in the US state of Florida.

The Editor says...
It could be that Mr. Happ wanted to acknowledge his guilt at long last, but maybe he was just trying to buy some time.

Woman on Death Row Could be Freed to Await Retrial.  An Arizona woman who has spent more than two decades on death row after being convicted of having her 4-year-old son killed for an insurance payout is expected to be released on Friday [9/6/2013] while she awaits a retrial of the case that made her one of the state's most reviled inmates.

Soldier Sentenced to Death for Fort Hood Shooting.  The same jurors who convicted Hasan last week deliberated the sentence for about two hours.

The Editor says...
It will be interesting to see how long it takes to carry out the death sentence, especially with the defendant offering no resistance.

Indiana woman sentenced to death at 16 to leave prison.  Paula Cooper was 16 when she was sentenced to death for killing an elderly Bible study teacher.  That made the Gary, Ind., teen the youngest person ever in the state to face the death penalty.  At the time in 1986, she also was the youngest Death Row inmate in the United States. [...] The Indiana Supreme Court commuted the death sentence in 1989 and sent her to prison for 60 years.

The Editor says...
The writer in USA Today reports the story with obvious sympathy for the perpetrator, as if everybody stabs a little old lady to death once in a while.

Fla. man executed for rape and murder of girl, 10.  A convicted child molester condemned for the 1990 rape and murder of a 10-year-old Florida girl was executed Wednesday [5/29/2013] at the Florida State Prison.

Cowardly Colorado Governor Hickenlooper Commutes Death Sentence Until End of Term.  When faced with a question of clemency or justice, Hickenlooper gave himself a pardon from responsibility.

Colorado governor delays convicted killer's execution.  Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper indefinitely delayed the execution of convicted killer Nathan Dunlap on Wednesday [5/22/2013] and said he was unlikely to allow it as long as he is governor.

Two killers: Which received justice?  They say that justice delayed is justice denied.  If that is the case, then surely the families of Harvey Mad Man and Thomas Running Rabbit can rightly complain that there is no justice in Montana.  The two men were murdered execution style in 1982 by Ronald Allen Smith, who during his trial confessed to the murder and said he had wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone.  He also rejected a plea bargain for life in prison and insisted on the death penalty.  He got his wish, and then, three weeks later, got cold feet, deciding apparently that he did not want to know "what it felt like" to die.  So now for 30 years, justice has been in abeyance.

Police: Former death row inmate kills mom.  A California man once sentenced to death for killing two people in the 1960s was under arrest Thursday [1/10/2013] after police said he led officers to the body of his 89-year-old mother.

Where are the fathers?  [Scroll down]  [Andrea] Yates, it would emerge in her trial, had a history of mental illness and suicide attempts, as well as bouts of postpartum depression.  Because of this, her 2002 conviction for capital murder was overturned in 2006, after a jury found her not guilty by reason of insanity.  Shockingly, she is now asking to be let out of the hospital for weekly visits to church.  Not only might she be granted this wish, but authorities are not ruling out the possibility that she will be rehabilitated enough to re-enter society altogether.  Her actions were — for lack of a more appropriate word — satanic.  As far as I'm concerned, she deserved the death penalty, or at least life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Obese killer spared by governor.  The obese killer on Ohio death row successfully petitioned for clemency due to his size, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Monday [12/17/2012].  Ronald Post, who was condemned to execution for the 1983 murder of a motel clerk, and his attorneys had argued that a confession was falsely exaggerated and that he could not be humanely put to death due to his size.

Adam Lanza Would Not Have Received the Death Penalty in Connecticut.  Though Adam Lanza may have committed one of the most heinous crimes in history, had he survived his rampage and been convicted in court, he would not have been sentenced to death.  In April of 2012, Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) and the Democrat-led Connecticut legislature repealed the death penalty on a party-line vote.

Ohio inmate Ronald Post says he's too fat for execution.  A condemned US inmate who weighs at least 218 kg wants his upcoming execution delayed, saying his weight could lead to a "torturous and lingering death."  Ronald Post, who shot and killed a hotel clerk in northern Ohio almost 30 years ago, said his weight, vein access, scar tissue and other medical problems raise the likelihood his executioners would encounter severe problems.  He's also so big that the execution gurney might not hold him, lawyers for Post said in court papers filed on Friday [9/14/2012].

The Editor says...
First of all, I suspect this man's victim experienced a "torturous and lingering death" and now it's payback time.  Second, the inmate's excessive weight is entirely his own fault.  I believe there have been several others who have tried to claim they were too fat to execute.  Donald Snyder, Richard Cooey, and Jeffrey Lundgren come to mind immediately — or at least they come to Google's mind.

Racial bias saves death row man.  A convicted killer has been ordered off death row in the US state of North Carolina after a judge ruled his trial had been tainted by racial bias.  Marcus Robinson's case was the first to be heard under North Carolina's controversial Racial Justice Act (RJA).

Florida killer executed for teen girl's 1983 killing.  A Florida inmate was put to death Thursday [4/12/2012], nearly three decades after the murder of 17-year-old Lynn Elliott, whose failed escape attempt ended a string of rapes and slayings that shook the quiet coastal town of Vero Beach.

Parole Board agrees to free three 'lifers'.  A deadly armed robber once facing the death penalty, a Dorchester appliance store owner's killer and a man who did nothing to stop a friend from pumping a Springfield resident full of bullets are the first three "lifers" to be set free since the state Parole Board was revamped by Gov. Deval Patrick following the Dec. 26, 2010, murder of Woburn Police Officer John "Jack" Maguire by a career felon paroled despite serving three life sentences.

Inmate set to die for 1980 slaying of St. Pete woman.  A twice-convicted murderer who has lived on Florida's death row for more than three decades is scheduled to die by lethal injection this week for killing a St. Petersburg mother — but like many executions, why he is being killed now and why it didn't happen years ago are both something of a mystery.

Former Death Row inmate Kenneth Richey back in Putnam County jail.  He got off Ohio's Death Row but Scotsman Kenneth Richey can't stay out of trouble and is back where he began — in Putnam County Jail.  Richey, 47, was to be arraigned today in Putnam County Common Pleas Court for allegedly threatening Judge Randall Basinger, who was an assistant prosecutor in 1987 when he was convicted of murder in charges he threatened a local judge.

Condemned Inmate Rips Oregon Governor for Execution Halt.  A condemned inmate who was scheduled to be executed next month is slamming Gov. John Kitzhaber for giving him a reprieve, saying the governor didn't have the guts to carry out the execution.

Oba Chandler executed for murdering Ohio mom, two daughters.  Oba Chandler was executed by lethal injection Tuesday [11/15/2011] for the murder of an Ohio mother and her two teenaged daughters 22 years ago in one of the most notorious crimes in Tampa Bay history.

A terrifying case for the death penalty.  The criminal justice system often is not perfect, but justice cries out for Oba Chandler to take his last breath Nov. 15 for the horrific murders of an Ohio woman and her two teenage daughters on Tampa Bay 22 years ago.

Ala. man executed for 6-month-old son's slaying.  He testified that he killed and suffocated his son because he hated his wife and didn't want to be near her.

The Humberto Leal Execution Intervention.  The state of Texas is scheduled to execute Humberto Leal Garcia tonight.  He was convicted in 1994 of rape and murder, and spent the ensuing 16 years on Death Row.  The Obama Administration, including both the State Department and the President himself, have intervened to demand a reprieve.  So has the Mexican government, the United Nations, and various diplomatic figures, including former President George W. Bush.  There are two phrases you will never read in any mainstream media account of the Leal affair.  One of them is "Adria Sauceda."  That's the name of Leal's victim.

Inmate executed with 1st Arizona use of new drug.  Fifty-six-year-old Donald Edward Beaty ... was on death row for well over two decades after being convicted of raping and murdering Christy Ann Fornoff.

European Union gives millions to anti-death penalty groups in America.  Why on earth are British taxpayers being forced to fund European Union lobbying for policy campaigns in the United States?  Furthermore, why is the EU directly interfering in domestic political debates in America, and so far without Congressional oversight?  As the research detailed [in this article] demonstrates, the EU's European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is spending millions of Euros on US-based campaigns against the death penalty.  An extraordinary development.

Death row inmate, 94, dies.  The oldest death row inmate in the US has died of natural causes at the age of 94.  An Arizona Department of Corrections spokesperson says Viva Leroy Nash died late Friday [2/12/2010] at the state's prison complex in Florence.

Juror speaks out as Connecticut family's killer gets death penalty.  It's trash removal on a global scale, jurors said yesterday [11/8/2010] of their vote to put home-invasion monster Steven Hayes to death.  "The earth will be a better place if Hayes is removed from it," said juror Herbert Gram, of Madison, Conn., speaking of the murderer of a Connecticut nurse and her two daughters.

Stopping Judicial Imperialism.  While removing three state supreme-court justices at one time in Iowa is news today, the very same thing happened in California back in the 1970s.  Every single death penalty imposed by a trial court in California was overturned by the state supreme court, with Chief Justice Rose Bird voting 64 times in a row that there was something wrong with the way each trial had been conducted.  That was world-class chutzpah.

Revisiting the Death Penalty.  Three years ago, two career criminals, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komiserjevsky, broke into the Connecticut home of Dr. William Petit where, over a span of hours, they pummeled him with baseball bats, reducing him to a bloody pulp.  Once the man of the house was out of commission, they proceeded to subject his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, to unspeakable torture and, eventually, death.

Judge clears way for California's first execution since 2006.  A federal judge on Friday [9/24/2010] denied a stay of execution for a California man who raped and murdered a 15-year-old, but gave him a choice of whether to die by single injection or the state's recently revised three-drug method.

Attempt Left Him Too Brain Damaged To Be Put To Death.  The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously rejected the last minute argument that Brandon Joseph Rhode's recent suicide attempt left him too brain damaged to justify his execution, which is scheduled for tonight [9/27/2010].

US executes suicidal inmate.  A US man whose attempted suicide last week gained him a brief reprieve was executed on Monday [9/27/2010] by the state of Georgia for a triple murder in 1998, officials said.

Va. puts woman to death; rare U.S. female execution.  She was the first woman in Virginia since 1912 put to death.

Ohio man executed for fire deaths of 5 children.   An Ohio man said he was "heartily sorry" before he was executed Tuesday [7/13/2010] for the murders of five children in a 1992 Cincinnati apartment fire he set in an attempt to destroy evidence of a burglary.

Death row inmate says he's too mentally ill for execution.  A Tennessee prisoner, condemned to death, is trying to convince a Knoxville judge he is too mentally ill to be executed.

Execution of Texan on death row halted.  Just hours away from lethal injection, Jonathan Marcus Green received a stay from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Wednesday [6/30/2010] so that it can further consider the question of his competence to be executed.  The state's highest court for criminal matters stopped the execution following a telephone conference about four hours before Green was to enter the execution chamber.  It then issued orders suggesting it was uncertain over the review of his mental competency.

Death penalty overturned in 2003 Staten Island cop killings.  A vicious cop-killer sentenced to die for murdering two undercover NYPD detectives will get a second chance to plead for his life.  A federal appeals court today [6/30/2010] narrowly tossed out the capital punishment for Ronell Wilson in the execution-style slayings of Rodney Andrews and James Nemorin.

Powell executed for 1978 slaying of police officer.  Declining to make a final statement, David Lee Powell was executed Tuesday [6/15/2010] for killing an Austin police officer 32 years ago as seven members of his victim's family watched silently from a nearby window.

The Editor says...
The article above has a number of wonderful things to say about the killer, and almost nothing about the police officer he killed.

The Slow Death of the Death Penalty?  Ronnie Lee Gardner deserves to die:  So say the people of Utah, where he killed a bartender in cold blood, then murdered an attorney during an escape attempt.  Gaile Owens also faces death, in Tennessee on September 28, for hiring someone to kill her husband in 1985.  Just after midnight this Friday, barring a last-minute stay, Gardner will become the 28th person put to death in the United States this year.

At inmate's request, Utah prepares firing squad.  Barring a last-minute reprieve, Ronnie Lee Gardner will be strapped into a chair, a hood will be placed over his head and a small white target will be pinned over his heart.

Georgia man convicted of killing 2 people executed.  A Georgia man convicted of the 1986 shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her 11-year-old niece was executed Wednesday [6/9/2010] by lethal injection after sitting on death row for more than two decades.

Grossman execution set for tonight in wildlife officer's slaying.  Peggy Park was 26, just three years out of college on Dec. 13, 1984, when she decided to question two teenage boys she saw in a van after dark on a back road in what is now Brooker Creek Preserve.  Inside was junior high dropout Martin Edward Grossman, 19, and his 17-year-old companion, Thayne Nathan Taylor.  They had a stolen gun.  Grossman was on probation.  He'd already been to prison for grand theft and breaking-and-entering and didn't want to go back.

Supreme Court To Face Mecca.  When six Germans and two Americans were suspected of plotting an attack on U.S. munitions plants during World War II, FDR immediately ordered them arrested and tried in a secret military tribunal held behind closed doors at the Department of Justice.  Within weeks, all were found guilty.  Six of the eight, including one U.S. citizen, were given the electric chair.  One German was sentenced to life in prison and the other American citizen — who had turned himself in and revealed the plot to the FBI — got 30 years.  The Supreme Court upheld the secret trial, but didn't get around to producing an opinion until after Old Sparky had rendered its own verdict.

A Conservative Manifesto:  [Scroll down]  The news is replete with stories of protesters crowding together outside the gate of a prison holding candlelight vigils on the eve of the execution of a convicted murderer.  There is no consideration with regard to how vile the committed crime may have been.  These half-watt intellects are filled with compassion for their perceived victim of the state.  Bear in mind this group has nothing to say about the thousands executed by Islamic states.

Silliest excuse yet:
Death row foes now fight the cost of executions.  Nearly 3½ years into a court-ordered suspension of executions, opponents have embraced a new argument:  that Californians can't afford to carry out the death penalty in a constitutional manner.  They contend that by commuting all 682 death row inmates' sentences to life without the possibility of parole, the state could save up to $1 billion over the next five years — a view expected to be offered, and challenged, during a public hearing today [6/30/2009] in Sacramento on proposed changes to the lethal injection procedures.

The Editor says...
Executions are not that costly.  What really costs the state a lot of money is the years of delays, appeals and legal wrangling over every imaginable technicality.  The state of California is feeding and housing 682 people who should already be dead.

Va. man first inmate in over a year to be executed by electrocution.  A former Army counterintelligence worker was executed by electric chair Tuesday for killing a Virginia couple, becoming the first U.S. inmate to die by electrocution in over a year.

Toledo killer executed:  Last words are Islamic creed.  [Vernon] Smith was convicted of fatally shooting Sohail Darwish, a 28-year-old immigrant from Saudi Arabia who owned a convenience store in Toledo that Smith and two accomplices robbed.  Even though Darwish complied with the men's orders to hand over money from the cash register and his wallet, Smith shot him in the chest.

Ohio executes hitchhiker who shot 3 drivers in '83.  Ohio executed a hitchhiker Thursday [5/13/2010] who admitted to killing one motorist who gave him a ride and shooting two others during a three-week string of shootings that terrorized the Cincinnati area in 1983.

Keep Life Without Parole, Life After Death.  [Scroll down slowly]  If you follow these issues, you know that the most unrepentant sociopaths will exploit any opening.  Think Kevin Cooper, who killed chiropractors Doug and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old houseguest in 1983 after he escaped from the California Institution for Men at Chino, where he was serving time under a phony name for burglary.  DNA evidence has proved Cooper's guilt — yet from Death Row, he still finds lawyers who will ignore the evidence, change Cooper's story and assert that he is not guilty.

California killer's case back before Supreme Court.  Fernando Belmontes was sentenced to death in 1982 for murdering a 19-year-old woman.  The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned his sentence three times.

Richard Allen Davis:  Safe on Death Row.  When a jury found Richard Allen Davis guilty of the murder of Petaluma's 12-year-old Polly Klaas in 1996, Davis puckered his lips and extended a middle finger to TV cameras.  Later, Davis was sentenced to death, and outraged California voters passed a three-strikes sentencing law.  From death row now, Davis still is puckering up and extending his finger at the public — and the public is paying for it.

Strong push to ban death penalty falls in Montana.  A state House committee vote likely has ended a strong push this year to ban capital punishment in Montana.  The ban had passed the GOP-controlled Montana Senate.  But the House Judiciary Committee's 10-8 vote against a ban Monday [3/30/2009] makes it difficult, but not impossible, to act on it further.

New Mexico lawmakers vote to repeal death penalty.  New Mexico state lawmakers voted on Friday to repeal the death penalty and replace it with a sentence of life imprisonment without parole.  The Democratic-controlled state Senate voted 24-18 for a bill to revoke the death penalty, a source at the chief clerk's office said.

New Mexico governor abolishes capital punishment.  Gov. Bill Richardson, who has supported capital punishment, signed legislation to repeal New Mexico's death penalty, calling it the "most difficult decision in my political life."  The new law replaces lethal injection with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Che Guevara; a Study in Stupidity, Sadism and Failure.  Here's a "guerrilla hero" who in real life never fought in a guerrilla war.  When he finally brushed up against one, he was routed.  Here's a cold-blooded murderer who executed thousands without trial, who claimed that judicial evidence was an "unnecessary bourgeois detail," who stressed that "revolutionaries must become cold-killing machines motivated by pure hate," who stayed up till dawn for months at a time signing death warrants for innocent and honorable men, whose office in La Cabana had a window where he could watch the executions — and today his T-shirts adorn people who oppose capital punishment!

Debunking Myths about Capital Punishment:  There have been studies validating the efficacy of capital punishment for more than thirty years, yet, if all you knew was what the mainstream media reported you would think science had proven otherwise.  The good news, though, is that despite the well-funded, anti-capital punishment misinformation campaign, helped by a liberal media, the public still favors capital punishment.

Majority of Americans favor death penalty:  poll.  The majority of Americans support the death penalty but nearly 40 percent think their moral beliefs would disqualify them from serving on a jury in a capital trial, a poll showed on Saturday.  Conducted for the Death Penalty Information Center, a group that opposes capital punishment, the poll showed 62 percent of those surveyed support executing convicted murderers.

The death penalty's deterrence.  Twelve studies authored by professors from a number of renowned universities suggest that the death penalty saves lives by deterring criminals from committing more homicides.  Perhaps the Supreme Court should review these cases while considering its de facto moratorium on executions, considering not only the state's role in punishing criminals but also its role in protecting innocents.

The Peril of Non-Executions.  Opponents of capital punishment have succeeded in keeping the emphasis on the possibility of executing an innocent person, instead of the lives that have already been taken by those spared the death penalty.

Condemned Utah killer Ronnie Lee Gardner could face firing squad.  A condemned killer appears headed for a date with death in Utah that could see him sit before a firing squad — a development that would likely re-ignite protests over an antiquated, Old West-style of justice.

Holder Rules Out Death Penalty for Illegal Aliens Charged With Murder.  Attorney General Eric Holder has directed prosecutors in a federal conspiracy and murder trial not to seek the death penalty for three El Salvadoran men who are in the United States illegally.  The three are accused of robbing and shooting Claros Luna on July 29, 2009 in Alexandria, Va., just a few miles from the Justice Department, as Luna transported a prostitute from Maryland to Virginia.

Virginia executes inmate by electrocution.  A Virginia man has been executed for killing a teen girl and then bragging about it to prosecutors once he thought he could not face the death penalty.

Cost is killing the death penalty.  After decades of moral arguments reaching biblical proportions, after long, twisted journeys to the nation's highest court and back, the death penalty may be abandoned by several states for a reason having nothing to do with right or wrong:  Money.

Washington prepares for first execution since 2001.  Cal Coburn Brown surprised investigators with his reply to this routine question at the end of a lengthy police interview:  Anything else you want to tell us?  Brown — arrested in Palm Springs, Calif. for an attack on a woman at a hotel — answered with explicit details about how he had tortured and murdered a 22-year-old woman in the Seattle suburbs just days earlier.  Her body was found in the trunk of her car.

Senate bill limits capital punishment.  Maryland lawmakers struck a heavy blow to Gov. Martin O'Malley's hopes of repealing the death penalty Tuesday [3/3/2009] by twice amending the bill he favored in such a way that capital punishment would continue but with a more limited scope.

Feeling Murderers' Pain:  The Supreme Court this week heard arguments that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment.  Euthanasia advocates consider it a blessing for the deathly ill.  Yet it's cruel for the just plain deadly. … Believers in a "living Constitution" forget that at the time the Bill of Rights — and the Eighth Amendment — was written, "cruel and unusual punishment" was probably considered by the Founding Fathers to be things like drawing and quartering, burning at the stake, and crucifixion.  Death by hanging or firing squad was considered quite civilized.

Death row inmate claims allergy to lethal injection.  An Ohio death row inmate is attempting to postpone his imminent appointment with the lethal injection gurney by claiming a possible allergy to the anaesthetic used by the state to dispatch its condemned prisoners.

The voice-over announcer says...
Tell your doctor if you experience euphoria, hallucinations, coma, or death, as these may be signs of serious side effects.  Ask your doctor if Pavulon is right for you!

Does lethal injection amount to human experimentation?  Currently 35 of the 36 states that allow capital punishment carry out the sentence using lethal injection.  Typically, each inmate receives a dose of the anaesthetic sodium thiopental, a shot of potassium chloride to induce cardiac arrest, and pancuronium bromide, a potent paralytic to cut off breathing.  Each dose is supposed to be administered in large enough quantities to be individually lethal, and inmates ideally should die from 2 to 8 minutes after the procedure starts.

Lethal injection issue divides Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court appeared divided today over whether the drugs commonly injected to execute prisoners risk causing excruciating pain in violation of the Constitution.  Several justices indicated a willingness to preserve the three-drug cocktail that is authorized by three dozen states that allow executions.

The Editor says...
Do murderers give any such consideration to the pain inflicted on their victims?  Of course not.  Why then are they entitled to such consideration?

Update:
States' death row injections get OK after high court ruling.  Many states wasted little time trying to get executions back on track following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the use of a three-drug lethal cocktail.  Almost immediately, Virginia lifted its death penalty moratorium. Mississippi and Oklahoma said they would seek execution dates for convicted murderers, and other states were ready to follow.

A matter of life and death.  I like what Chief Justice Roberts said in his majority opinion:  "Some risk of pain is inherent in any method of execution — no matter how humane — if only from the prospect of error in following the required procedure. ... It is clear, then, that the Constitution does not demand the avoidance of all risk of pain in carrying out executions."

Court lifts stays of execution for 3 death row inmates.  The Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for Alabama, Mississippi and Texas to set new execution dates for three inmates who were granted last-minute reprieves by the justices last year.

Georgia executes killer; first in U.S. since lethal injection upheld.  Georgia has executed William Earl Lynd, the first inmate put to death since the U.S. Supreme Court ended a seven-month moratorium with its ruling last month that lethal injection is constitutional.  Lynd was executed at 7:51 p.m. ET for kidnapping and killing Ginger Moore, his live-in girlfriend nearly 20 years ago.  She was 26 years old when Lynd shot her three times in the face and head on Dec. 23, 1988.

Marek executed for murdering woman.  A Florida man was executed Wednesday [8/19/2009] for murdering a 45-year-old mother of two who was raped, tortured, and strangled after a car she was in broke down on a highway 26 years ago.

Virginia Inmate Forcibly Carried to Death Chamber.  An inmate declared his innocence Thursday after he was forcibly carried into Virginia's death chamber, where he was executed for gunning down a police officer.  Edward Nathaniel Bell, who was convicted of killing the officer during a foot chase a decade ago, was pronounced dead at 9:11 p.m. Thursday at the Greensville Correctional Center.  When the door between Bell's cell and the death chamber opened, the inmate thrust his hips backward and wouldn't step toward to the gurney where the lethal injection was administered.  Six stocky corrections officers pulled him through the doorway and lifted him onto the gurney.

Tompkins Executed For Teen's Murder.  It took Wayne Tompkins about five minutes to fatally strangle his girlfriend's 15-year-old daughter.  Twenty five years later, it took nine minutes for the death row inmate to die by lethal injection at the Florida State Prison in Starke.  Family members of the victim, Lisa Lea DeCarr, struggled to reconcile how a man who killed so brutally could die with such seeming serenity.

Va. House votes to extend death penalty.  The House has passed bills to expand capital punishment to include those who assist in a murder but don't commit the actual killing and to those who kill an on-duty fire marshal or auxiliary police officer.  The chamber passed the bills on Tuesday [2/10/2009].

Judge orders lethal injection in yacht-murder case.  Convicted murderer Skylar Deleon was sentenced today [4/10/2009] to die by lethal injection for three slayings, including the murders at sea of a couple forced to sign over ownership of their yacht, then tied to an anchor and thrown overboard.

Man convicted in killing 4 people executed.  A former Houston security guard was executed Wednesday evening for gunning down four people, including his ex-girlfriend and her two small children, during a shooting frenzy more than a dozen years ago.

Convicted murderer-rapist executed in Houston killing.  Houston rapist-murderer Johnny Ray Johnson, condemned for beating and stomping a woman to death when she refused to participate in sex, died in Texas' death house Thursday with a hymn on his lips.  In a rambling final statement, Johnson denounced the Texas death penalty, calling Livingston's Allan Polunsky Unit, home of the state's death row, "a dungeon."

Cop killer gets 1st NH death sentence in 49 years.  A jury issued New Hampshire's first death sentence in a half century Thursday to a man who fatally shot a Manchester police officer to avoid arrest two years ago.  Lawyers for Michael Addison had sought a life sentence, arguing that he acted recklessly, not intentionally, and suffered from an abusive childhood and possible brain damage from his mother's heavy drinking while she was pregnant.

The Editor says...
Lawyers always come up with a tear-jerker story to try to establish the defendant as the real victim.  Was the jury supposed to let the defendant get away with murder because his mother drank a lot?

Man executed who raped mother; killed daughters.  A Florida man convicted of shooting two young sisters in the head after raping and shooting their mother was executed Tuesday after a nearly two-hour delay while authorities awaited final rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court.  Richard "Ric Ric" Henyard, 34, was pronounced dead at 8:16 p.m.  He had been condemned for the death of 7-year-old Jamilya Lewis and her 3-year-old sister, Jasmine.

World Court:  U.S. must delay Mexican death sentences.  The World Court ordered the United States on Wednesday to do all it could to halt the imminent executions of five Mexicans until the court makes a final judgment in a dispute over suspects' rights.

Texas Turns Aside Pressure on Execution of 5 Mexicans.  Despite pleas from the White House and the State Department, as well as an international court order to review their cases, Texas will execute five Mexicans on death row, a spokeswoman for the governor said Thursday [7/17/2008].  The first of the executions — that of José Ernesto Medellín, 33, convicted in the 1993 rape and murder of two teenage girls here — is scheduled for Aug. 5.

The Editor says...
Notice that the article in the New York Times includes a big picture of the murderer's grandmother.  I guess we're supposed to feel sorry for her, not the people her son murdered.

Medellin executed for rape, murder of Houston teens.  The state of Texas defied an international court and executed Jose Ernesto Medellin late Tuesday [8/5/2008] after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay of execution for the killer in the 1993 Houston gang rape-murders of two teenage girls.

Texas Defies World Court Executes Condemned Mexican.  Texas defied the World Court and executed a Mexican national by lethal injection on Tuesday [8/5/2008] over the objections of the international judicial body and neighboring Mexico.

Florida holds 1st execution since botched method.  Florida on Tuesday carried out its first execution since a botched lethal injection procedure prompted a moratorium and state investigation.  Gov. Charlie Crist's office said Mark Dean Schwab was put to death by lethal injection at 6:15 p.m.  Schwab was convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing 11-year-old boy.

Killer says he's too fat to safely execute.  A death row inmate scheduled for execution in October says he's so fat that Ohio executioners would have trouble finding his veins and that his weight could diminish the effectiveness of one of the lethal injection drugs.

The Editor says...
Bad news, chump.  There are plenty of veins, if you know where to look.  A good R.N. can find a vein on anybody.  And what is a "safe" execution, anyway?  After what this guy did to his victims, is he entitled to the "safety" of a painless execution?

Update:
Ohio executes man who argued he was too fat to die.  Ohio executed a 5-foot-7, 267-pound double murderer Tuesday who argued his obesity made death by lethal injection inhumane.  Richard Cooey, 41, had argued in numerous legal challenges that his weight problem would make it difficult for prison staff to find suitable veins to deliver the deadly chemicals, a problem that delayed previous executions in the state.

Illegal immigrant executed for murder of Arlington store manager.  An illegal immigrant from Honduras who claimed his treaty rights were violated when he was arrested for a robbery-murder in Arlington was executed Thursday evening. [8/7/2008] … The Supreme Court, ruling about 2½ hours before his scheduled execution time, rejected his appeal without dissent.

Destruction in black America is self-inflicted.  Nearly all black homicide is intraracial — more than nine out of 10 black murder victims in the United States are killed by black murderers.  So applying the death penalty in more cases where the victim is black would mean sending more black men to death row.

How ironic!
Oklahoma death penalty foe commits suicide.  Defense attorney Lisa McCalmont was well-known nationally as an outspoken critic of lethal injection and amassed a trove of information about problems with the three-drug cocktail that is at the very center of a case the U.S. Supreme Court will hear early next year.  Colleagues say McCalmont, 49, was looking forward to the Supreme Court case as a momentous event in her career.  But then, last week, she hanged herself at her home in Norman — a suicide that stunned and baffled some of those who knew her.

Death Penalty's Deadly Vacation.  The Supreme Court on Tuesday effectively halted U.S. executions via lethal injection until it can rule on a challenge to the constitutionality of a particular execution "cocktail."  This is just the latest example of the whittling away of the death penalty — the courts have already cut executions by over a third since 1999.  But this latest suspension of executions is likely to demonstrate yet again that the death penalty deters crime.

A judge drags his feet to avoid enforcing the death penalty.
Federal judge in Ohio stripped of five death penalty cases.  A chief federal judge took away five death penalty cases from a colleague criticized by some prosecutors for taking as many as eight years to issue appeals rulings. … U.S. District Judge Walter Rice … is based in Dayton and was appointed by President Carter in 1980.

Judicial temperament?  A poster of Che Guevara hangs on the wall of a judge who found Ohio's death penalty law constitutionally lacking.  But his idol Che was not very respectful of the niceties of justice, and loved to watch firing squads at work.

Court gives nod to lethal injection.  Florida's Supreme Court ruled yesterday [11/02/2007] that the state's lethal injection procedures are not cruel and unusual, which could clear the way for the first execution in the US since September.  Lethal injection procedures are under review by the US Supreme Court.  The nation's highest court has allowed only one execution since it agreed in September to hear a case from Kentucky that raises a similar challenge.

Man gets life in rape, death of 17-month-old.  A three-judge panel decided against the death penalty for a man convicted of smothering and killing a 17-month-old boy as he raped the child.  The judges deliberated for more than 3 hours and were split 2-1 in their decision to sentence John White, 28, to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Editor says...
I guess the judges are saving the death penalty for someone who has committed a really serious crime.

Inmate gets life, plus 301 years.  A state prison inmate who shot a correctional officer in the head while the officer pleaded for his life was sentenced to life without parole yesterday, to the displeasure of the victim's family and co-workers who had hoped for a death sentence.  "You are an evil man," Judge Joseph P. Manck told defendant Brandon T. Morris, 22.  But the judge said factors, including Morris' emotional immaturity and his history of "staggering" childhood abuse, outweighed the state's arguments for execution.

[Once again I ask, for whom are the judges reserving the death penalty?]

Child Rape Tests Limits Of Death Penalty.  Ever since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty more than 30 years ago, justices have been finding ways to limit it.  In the intervening years, they have employed their interpretations of society's "evolving standards of decency" to remove juvenile and mentally retarded killers from death row.

The Editor says...
Those "evolving standards of decency" are exactly what's wrong with this country.  No civilization can last very long without absolute standards of right and wrong.

Texas to argue for right to execute child rapists at Supreme Court.  The case before the court, Kennedy vs. Louisiana, concerns a Louisiana law and the case of a Jefferson Parrish, La., man convicted of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter.  But striking down that law could call into question Texas' 2007 "Jessica's Law," which allows the execution of certain repeat child sex offenders.  The Supreme Court ruled 30 years ago that death was an excessive penalty for the aggravated rape of a 16 year-old girl.

Our States' Right to Kill the Rapist:  Our Founding Fathers would never have imagined the constitutionality of executing rapists to be a serious question.  Indeed my own state, North Carolina, considered rape — along with murder, burglary, and arson — to be punishable by death for the better part of the 20th Century.  None of this would be controversial until some time after the [Supreme] Court — led by Chief Justice Earl Warren — announced that it had somehow inherited a new standard for declaring statutes in violation of the Eighth Amendment's ban on Cruel and Unusual Punishment.

Update:
High court:  Don't execute child rapists.  The Supreme Court on Wednesday outlawed executions of people convicted of raping a child. … In a 5-4 vote, the court said the Louisiana law allowing the death penalty to be imposed for raping a child violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Supreme Court Rejects Death Penalty for Child Rape.  The death penalty is unconstitutional as a punishment for the rape of a child, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Wednesday [6/25/2008].  The 5-to-4 decision overturned death penalty laws in Louisiana and five other states.  The only two men in the country who have been sentenced to death for the crime of child rape, both in Louisiana, will receive new sentences of life without parole.

Texas and the Death Penalty:  Forty states have the death penalty on the books, but only 34 have carried out executions since the Supreme Court permitted states to resume capital punishment in 1976.  None come close to Texas, which has carried out 405 executions over three decades.  Virginia, with 98 executions, is a distant second.  What accounts for this Lone Star peculiarity, that some find horrifying?

Nebraska Supreme Court rules electrocution unconstitutional.  The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday [2/8/2008] that electrocution is cruel and unusual punishment, outlawing the electric chair in the only U.S. state that still used it as its sole means of execution.  In the landmark ruling, the court said the state Legislature may vote to have a death penalty, just not one that offends rights under the state constitution.

Bush Faces Off With Texas Over Execution.  The president wants to enforce a decision by the International Court of Justice that found the convictions of Medellin and 50 other Mexican-born prisoners violated their rights to legal help as outlined in the 1963 Vienna Convention.  That is the same court President Bush has since said he plans to ignore if it makes similar decisions affecting state criminal laws.

Does Foreign Law Govern US Courts?  First, the US has deliberately not approved the treaty that would give the International Court of Justice any jurisdiction over American courts and American law.  Second, any defendant can waive any rights that he has, by not raising them, and Medellin did not raise any objection based on the Mexican consulate not being notified until years after his original conviction.

Update:
Supreme Court backs Texas in dispute with Bush.  Texas can ignore President Bush and an international court in refusing to reopen the case of a Mexican on death row for rape and murder, the Supreme Court said Tuesday [3/25/2008].  The court said Bush exceeded his authority when he tried to intervene on behalf of Jose Ernesto Medellin, facing the death penalty for killing two teenagers nearly 15 years ago.

Canadian viewpoint:
Bring back the death penalty.  For the record, I support capital punishment.  Society has the right to permanently remove criminals for grievous offenses.  The public is clearly on side as polls over recent decades reveal large numbers of Canadians support capital punishment.  The death penalty is actually one of the most humane ways of dealing with the worst criminals.  Their quick death does not provide true justice for what many have done.

Studies say death penalty deters crime.  Anti-death penalty forces have gained momentum in the past few years, with a moratorium in Illinois, court disputes over lethal injection in more than a half-dozen states and progress toward outright abolishment in New Jersey. … What gets little notice, however, is a series of academic studies over the last half-dozen years that claim to settle a once hotly debated argument — whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder.  The analyses say yes.

Texas Governor Goes Wobbly.  Texas Governor Rick Perry … commuted the sentence of a worthless hoodlum that had already lived for eleven years too long as a guest of the state after being involved in a wild rampage that took the life of a young man in 1996.  Kenneth Foster was part of a gun-toting quartet of violent street thugs who had spent the night robbing and pistol-whipping everyone they could find as they terrorized the streets of San Antonio more than a decade ago.

Supreme Court blocks Mississippi execution.  The Supreme Court halted an execution in Mississippi on Tuesday [10/30/2007], less than an hour before a convicted killer was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection.  The last-minute reprieve for Earl Wesley Berry is the third granted by the justices since they agreed late last month to decide a challenge to Kentucky's lethal injection procedures.

Death penalty advocate studies Holton execution.  A documentary regarding the execution of convicted murderer Daryl Holton is being filmed in Shelbyville this week by a New York School of Law professor who is a death penalty advocate.  "The thing about the Holton case is that most Americans worry about the death penalty is that an innocent person might be executed," writer-director Ted Schillinger said between shots at the Shelbyville Times-Gazette newsroom on Monday.  "In the Holton case, the offender is absolutely guilty of a truly heinous crime."

Convicted Child Killer Holton Executed.  A man convicted of murdering four children with an assault rifle was executed Wednesday, becoming the first Tennessee inmate put to death by electrocution since 1960.  Daryl Holton, 45, had confessed to shooting his three young sons and their half-sister in 1997 in the town of Shelbyville, about 50 miles south of Nashville.

Capital punishment on decline in county.  On Tuesday night Harris County hit the century mark in executions, which places it ahead of any other state — not county, but state — in the nation. Virginia is close with 98, but the gap will only widen.  Of the 380 Texas inmates awaiting execution, Harris County can claim almost a third of them.

Executions down in U.S. but not in Texas.  The convicted killer of a 3-year-old boy is set to die this week, the first of five lethal injections scheduled this month as Texas bucks a national trend and bolsters its standing as the most active in carrying out capital punishment.

Lobbying intense on death penalty.  The Council of State, a panel of top elected leaders that will plunge into the death-penalty debate today [2/6/2007], has been inundated with e-mail messages, letters and phone calls from people who want it to ask the legislature to decide what role doctors should play in executions.

On Penalty Of Death:  Will the execution of Saddam Hussein have any impact on the fate of convicted cop killer Ronell Wilson?  Jurors who on December 20 convicted Wilson of the deaths of undercover detectives Rodney Andrews and James Nemorin will be weighing the death penalty as an option when the penalty phase of the trial begins January 10.

Lethal injection blues:  Opponents of the death penalty have been rummaging through their bag of tricks and come up with the theory that lethal injection amounts to "cruel" punishment.

Appeals court lifts stay on Missouri executions.  A federal appeals court lifted a more than year-old stay on executions in Missouri on Friday, refusing to block capital punishment while a death-row inmate asks the U.S. Supreme Court to declare the state's form of lethal injection to be an unconstitutionally cruel punishment.

Tennessee cop killer's execution back on — for now.  Lawyers for convicted cop killer Philip Workman and Tennessee prosecutors were locked in a federal court battle Monday [5/7/2007] over Workman's execution, scheduled for early Wednesday [5/9/2007]. … Workman, in an interview with CNN last month, said he feared what lethal injection might do.  "It almost makes me want to choose the electric chair," Workman said.

[You should have thought of that before pulling the trigger, Mr. Workman.]

Death penalty decision a bad first step.  The latest federal judge to rule against the constitutionality of a state's death penalty is U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel, who issued a ruling Friday [12/15/2006] that found California's lethal injection protocol to be "intolerable under the Constitution."  Chalk up the ruling as a victory for Michael Morales, who was sentenced to death for raping and murdering 17-year-old Terri Winchell of Lodi, Calif., in 1981.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment?  Before too much blood spills from "bleeding heart liberals," it might be helpful to look at Mr. Diaz's criminal resume.  According to court records, Diaz was convicted of second-degree murder in his native Puerto Rico.  He escaped from prison there and also from Connecticut's Hartford Correctional Center in 1981.  In Hartford, he held one guard at knifepoint while another was beaten.  Diaz was responsible for three other inmates escaping with him.

Assembly panel OKs doctor ban at executions.  An Assembly committee voted yesterday [4/17/2006] to bar physicians from participating in executions after a frank debate that invoked abortion in a warning that doctors should be careful when they ask lawmakers to draw their ethical boundaries.

Condemned can claim injection is too painful.  The Supreme Court opened the door today [6/12/2006] to new constitutional challenges to lethal injection, the method used by most states and the federal government to execute death row inmates.

Lawyers say executions are unconstitutional.  First a sedative courses through a condemned inmate's bloodstream, then a paralyzing agent and finally a heart-stopping drug.  To witnesses viewing the execution at San Quentin State Prison, it's like watching a man take a nap for about 10 minutes.

[In all the history of crime and punishment, the condemned criminal's absolute comfort has never been a great concern, and certainly was not guaranteed.  A prisoner on death row must eventually pay a price for his or her crime, and when the time comes, it is not painless.  Let us remember the pain inflicted on the victims, to whom no such courtesy was extended.]

The clay feet of liberal saints.  That Sacco and Vanzetti were guilty is no surprise to those who've looked into the case.  But that didn't stop the martyrdom campaign.  Their execution was used to galvanize everyone from establishment liberals to the very, very hard left.  Josef Stalin publicly lamented it.  Protests erupted in the capitals of Europe and across the U.S.  A young Felix Frankfurter staked his reputation on their innocence.

Virginia killer's sanity questioned as execution looms.  It's a little late for the insanity defense — His trial is over.

Amnesty condemns Saddam trial, death sentences.  Amnesty International has condemned the death sentences handed to Saddam Hussein and two of his senior allies, describing their trial as a "shabby affair, marred by serious flaws". The London-based human rights group — which opposes capital punishment — said the trial should have helped the process of establishing justice and the rule of law in Iraq but was in fact "deeply flawed and unfair".

[Are they trying to say that Saddam Hussein is without his flaws and is always perfectly fair?]

Fast-track executions, Thomas says.  Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas unveiled sweeping proposals that he says will speed up death penalty cases, which take years to crawl through the legal system.

The wrong way to restore the death penalty.  The governor [of Massachusetts] is right to support capital punishment.  He is right as a matter of justice:  Juries ought to have the option of meting out the very worst punishment to the very worst offenders.  And he is right as a matter of democratic governance:  Massachusetts voters have long backed the death penalty — in 1982 they amended their Constitution to say so explicitly — but their wishes have been thwarted by the state Legislature and supreme court.

Death penalty moratorium supporters try again to block executions.  Death penalty moratorium supporters will try again this week to put a hold on executions in California, the state with the largest death row in the country.

Remorseless killer executed at Lucasville.  Remorseless to the end, Darrell Ferguson was executed today for the Christmastime murders of three elderly, disabled Dayton residents in 2001.  Ferguson, 28, died by injection at the 10:21 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville.

Spewing curses, killer is put to death.  Joseph Nichols, condemned for the murder of a 64-year-old Houston convenience store clerk, died in the state's death house Wednesday with a curse on his lips.  He was the eighth killer executed in Texas this year, the second this week.

Reagan's common sense on capital punishment, crime, and moral absolutes.  A victory for state rights, justice, and a safer America came last Monday [6/26/2006] when the Alito-led Supreme Court upheld a State of Kansas law that favors capital punishment when the evidence for or against imposing death is equal.

No race bias seen in death penalty demand.  A study by the Rand Corp. think tank failed to find racial bias among U.S. federal prosecutors seeking the death penalty in criminal cases.  The study by the Santa Monica, Calif.-based group examined the files of 652 defendants charged with capital offenses between Jan. 1, 1995 and July 31, 2000.  Rand said it was one of the most thorough examinations ever of federal death penalty prosecutions.

The Pope, Richard Speck and the death penalty:  If Richard Speck isn't a textbook example of why capital punishment is warranted, he'll do until a better one comes along.  Slowly and methodically, he snuffed out the lives of the young women.  He strangled five of his victims and stabbed the other three.  He raped one before killing her.

Virginia brings back electric chair for execution.  A convicted murderer was executed in the electric chair in Virginia [7/20/2006], becoming the first person in the United States to be put to death by electrocution in more than two years.

Time Magazine's Anti-Death Penalty Cover Boy Proven Guilty By DNA Test.  Way back in 1992 Roger Keith Coleman was Time magazine's cover boy against the death penalty.  Time ran the following over a photo of Coleman in chains:  "This Man Might Be Innocent, This Man Is Due To Die."  Fast forward to 2006 and DNA tests have proved Coleman was in fact rightfully convicted of raping and killing his 19-year-old sister-in-law.

DNA Tests Confirm Guilt of Executed Man.  New DNA tests confirmed the guilt of a man who went to his death in Virginia's electric chair in 1992 proclaiming his innocence, the governor said Thursday [1/12/2006].

The Editor says...
Almost everyone in prison claims to be innocent.  On the other hand, here is a case where a guy on death row could very well be innocent:

Maybe, or maybe not.  A man's life hangs in the balance. Whose judgment do you trust, twelve duly appointed jurors or one lone blogger?  Normally, I'd say "the jury," but in the case of Cory Maye things may not be what they seem.

Stay of Execution Denied for Police Officer's Killer.  A convicted killer who argued that the state's use of lethal injection was cruel and unusual punishment was put to death in Starke after the U.S. Supreme Court denied him a stay.  Clarence Hill, 48, was executed for the 1982 murder of a Pensacola police officer in a savings and loan robbery.

The Editor says...
24 years on death row is at least 23 years too long.  In this case, it was half a lifetime.

Outrage over honor for cop-killer inmate.  Cop-killer Leslie Ann Nelson, 48, a transsexual go-go dancer whose name was Glenn Nelson before a sex-change operation at age 34, was convicted of killing Camden County law enforcement officers John McLaughlin and John Norcross during a 1995 standoff in Haddon Heights.  She was removed from death row, but has an upcoming death-penalty trial in which she wants to represent herself.  Juries have twice decided she should die, and twice those sentences were overturned by the state Supreme Court.

Judge says the 'Railroad Killer' Can Die Next Week.  A judge ruled Wednesday [6/21/2006] that serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz, who gained notoriety as the "Railroad Killer" linked to at least 15 murders across the country, is mentally competent to be executed next week for the 1998 rape-slaying of a Texas doctor.

[Why wait until next week?]

Frail, blind convicted killer executed in California.  Clarence Allen was put to death by lethal injection early Tuesday [1/17/2006] after failed efforts to convince Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the US Supreme Court that he was in such poor health that killing him would be cruel.

[Who were the people putting up such resistance to this execution? Aren't they the same people who are in favor of assisted suicide for sickly old people?]

Scott Peterson will probably die of old age.  California's chief justice, Ronald George, acknowledged that an appeals process that is "in many ways dysfunctional" will keep Peterson alive for decades to come.  "The leading cause of death on [California's] death row is old age."  But no chief justice should be glad that the judicial system he presides over cannot do its job.

Scott Peterson transferred to San Quentin.  Since 1978 executions are just the third-leading cause of death for California's Death Row inmates.  The first is natural causes and the second is suicide.  The earthquake state has executed 11 people in the past 27 years — despite having 644 inmates on Death Row.

 Editor's note:   According to news reports I've heard, Scott Peterson will be in a cell by himself, will eat meals by himself, and will exercise outside every other day.  He doesn't have to work, his meals, clothing and housing are provided at no cost (to him), and he isn't bothered by telemarketers.  What a great life!  This kind of "punishment" is exactly the reason that the death penalty isn't an effective deterrent.  If he had been dragged out of the courtroom and executed the day he was found guilty, (after a lengthy, fair and well-documented trial) the message to future murderers would be loud and clear.

Capital Punishment:  Justice & Deterrence:  Crime always demands a suitable punishment, and to fail to punish crime is to degrade and disrespect the rights of every other citizen.

Inmate survives first execution.  A double murderer was put to death in Ohio but not until after one of his veins had collapsed, causing the condemned man to sit up and tell his executioners, "It's not working", officials said.

The Editor says...
Lethal injection was mandated by many states because it is supposed to be completely painless.  An execution, in my opinion, should be mercifully quick, even if not pain-free.

Is "putting down" a murderer "cruel and unusual"?  Convicted cop killer Clarence Hill had his day in the U.S. Supreme Court this week as the Justices heard arguments that executing him by lethal injection would violate the 8th Amendment's prohibition against inflicting cruel and unusual punishments.

China's hi-tech 'death van':  After trials of the mobile execution service were launched quietly three years ago — then hushed up to prevent an international row about the abuse of human rights before the Olympics last summer — these vehicles are now being deployed across China.  The number of executions is expected to rise to a staggering 10,000 people this year (not an impossible figure given that at least 68 crimes — including tax evasion and fraud — are punishable by death in China).


"If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of a constitutional privilege."


This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2024 by Andrew K. Dart

This is what "swift and sure" means...
Prosecutor says Guilty Saddam would hang quickly.  The Iraqi High Tribunal's chief prosecutor says Saddam Hussein will hang immediately if he is found guilty on charges relating to deaths of 148 Shiites. … "If the court passes a death sentence on any of the defendants in the Dujail case, the law is clear, the sentence must be carried out within 30 days following the appeal," Mr Mussawi said.

Execution uncertain in grenade murders.  Relatives of the two servicemen killed in Sergeant Hasan Akbar's grenade and rifle attack said yesterday [4/29/1005] that he deserved the death sentence given to him by a military jury.  But specialists in military law say it is hardly a certainty the execution will ever happen.  The military has not executed one of its own since 1961, while states have put scores of civilian killers to their deaths.

Iraq hangs 27 on terrorism charges.  Iraqi authorities hanged 27 convicted "terrorists" today, an interior ministry spokesman announced.  "Twenty-seven terrorists were hanged today in Baghdad.  Most of them were Iraqis," said interior ministry spokesman Abdul Karim Khalaf.  He said they were convicted for attacks on Iraqi civilians and sentenced to death, in an execution order signed by an Iraqi vice president.

The crime, not his race, put Baker on death row.  Another Maryland death row inmate is scheduled to take the lethal injection needle.  And, again, anti-death penalty activists have yanked out their ever-handy race card.

The "Let Scott Peterson Live" Campaign at CBS.  As if we needed any more evidence of liberal media bias on the part of CBS, the senior political editor for CBS News, Dotty Lynch, has written a column arguing that convicted killer Scott Peterson should be allowed to live the rest of his life at taxpayer expense in a California prison because he may not really be guilty of murdering his wife and unborn son.

Judge not.  Here they go again.  On March 1, the Supreme Court — by its now familiar 5–4 margin — issued a ruling that bans states from executing anyone who was younger than 18 at the time of his crime.  You may believe that this ruling gives teens a license to kill, or you may consider it to be a sensible protection for our innocent children.  Either opinion is defendable, and immaterial.  The important thing — and the frightening thing — about the ruling is that it continues the court's march toward a "living Constitution" and away from original intent.

Those poor, poor perverts.  I can nearly, but not quite, understand why some people object to capital punishment. … What I can't begin to fathom are the people who seem to have the same tender feelings for sexual predators that the rest of us have for our pets.  Unfortunately, these aren't the same mushy-headed simpletons holding candlelight vigils outside San Quentin.  Instead, they're judges and legislators.

Evolving Standards of Decency.  William Kristol sarcastically thanks the US Supreme Court for its recent decision saving the life of Christopher Simmons, the youthful sadist who murdered Shirley Crook for the fun of it in 1993.  In seven paragraphs of well-tempered fury, Kristol contrasts the judicial sensitivity to "evolving standards of decency" that spared Simmons from the death penalty because of his age with the absence of any such sensitivity when it came to Terri Schiavo.

Scalia Slams Juvenile Death Penalty Ruling.  Justice Antonin Scalia criticized the Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down the juvenile death penalty, calling it the latest example of politics on the court that has made judicial nominations an increasingly bitter process.

Judicial supremacists and the despotic branch.  Justice Antonin Scalia, a dependable constitutional constructionist, protested on behalf of the dissenters that capital punishment should, rightly in accordance with constitutional federalism, be determined by individual states. … "To invoke alien law when it agrees with one's own thinking, and ignore it otherwise, is not reasoned decision-making, but sophistry."

Forgetting Facts While Making Law.  In our system of limited government, with its separation of powers, we depend upon our unelected lifetime-tenured judges to restrain themselves from implementing their own moral, social and political values when they are unsupported by a plain understanding of the Constitution and at odds with the choices we make through the democratic process.

On the Supreme Court's definition of cruelty:  In this case, a majority of the court ruled that the execution of someone who was 17 at the time of the crime violates the 8th Amendment, which prohibits "cruel and unusual punishments."  It reached this conclusion just 16 years after deciding that the execution of a 17-year-old did not violate the 8th Amendment.  What changed was not the 8th Amendment, which reads exactly as it did then.  What changed, in the court's opinion, were the "evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society."

U.S. Constitution:  Made in Jamaica?  In Roper v. Simmons, the Supreme Court reached out and gave America a good old-fashioned smack-upside-the-head when it abolished capital punishment for juvenile offenders. … The Court declared that the death penalty was now unconstitutional for minors due to a supposed "emerging national consensus" that the death penalty was wrong.  The last time we checked, the Supreme Court was supposed to use the Constitution as its guide.  If anyone's to take notice of an "emerging national consensus," it's the legislature.

The new age Supreme Court.  In its 5-4 decision on March 1, the Court decreed that "Juveniles are less mature than adults and, no matter how heinous their crimes, they are not among 'the worst offenders' who deserve to die."  While I certainly respect that opinion, I strongly object to the United States Supreme Court presuming to impose it on our entire society as if it is the final arbiter not just of the law, but our moral standards.

The Supreme Court's vexing elitism.  In my last column, I discussed the Supreme Court's abominable decision outlawing the death penalty for murderers under the age of 18.  I have a few more complaints.  First, much of the Court's analytical emphasis considers the plight of the offenders.  Conspicuously lost in the equation are concerns for the victims and society at large, for whom the Court demonstrates a stunning disregard.

The Editor says...
(1) I've never even seen the inside of a law school, but even I can tell you that the Tenth Amendment says this is an issue which should be decided by each of the 50 states for themselves, not by the Supreme Court.  (2) In the Jewish culture, a 13-year-old boy has a bar mitzvah ceremony, in which he declares, "Today, I am a Man," and is then considered an adult.  (3) If you are a drug dealer and a murderer and a recalcitrant felon, you should get the electric chair if you are at least 13 years of age.

Debating the death penalty:  With conservative ideas sinking new roots across American culture, conservatives have new reason to test their own thinking.

California to Execute Inmate in 1981 Slayings.  It would be the first execution in California since January 2002 and only the 11th since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1977.  More than 600 men are on the state's death row. … The last execution in California came on Jan. 29, 2002, when Stephen Wayne Anderson was put to death for shooting an 81-year-old woman in 1980.

More innocents die when we don't have capital punishment:  Murderers who are not executed have murdered innocent people — usually fellow prisoners.  And the very real possibility of escape from prison means that murderers threaten far more innocent lives than capital punishment does.

Vermont Has its First Capital Trial in 50 Years.  A man convicted of helping to fatally beat a grandmother as she prayed for her life was formally sentenced to death Friday [6/16/2006], Vermont's first death sentence in almost half a century.

Executing "children," and other death-penalty myths:  The age issue is a red herring.  No state allows the death sentence for anyone younger than 16, and no one younger than 23 has been executed in modern times.  The truth is that capital punishment in America is the most accurate and carefully administered criminal sanction in the world, and the public has good reason to support it.

Controversial Study Says Executions Save LivesThree economists at Emory University are stirring the pot with a new study that concludes an average of 18 lives are saved each time a criminal is executed.

Murdering the bell curve:  After hearing the (overwhelming) evidence against him, a jury sentenced Atkins to death.  Last week, the Supreme Court overturned that sentence.  The court ruled that the Constitution makes Atkins ineligible for the death penalty if he can prove he is "retarded."  In other words, Atkins avoids his capital sentence if he is at least smart enough to know how to fail an IQ test.

Accountable, Yet Not Accountable:  A "Retarded" Supreme Court Decision:  The Supreme court recently released its decision in Atkins v. Virginia, regarding the propriety of executing the mentally retarded.

Retardation and capital punishment:  The Supreme Court, in its decision, said that persons deemed retarded -- with an IQ of 70 or less (why not 71?)-- and judged guilty of a capital crime, cannot be executed.  In so ruling, the court majority moved from the intention of the Founders, which was to make execution more humane, to focusing on the status of the guilty, which appears not to have entered the Founders' minds while crafting the Eighth Amendment.

Execution of the mentally retarded:  What next for HB 236 opponents after Supreme Court's ruling?

Deal keeps Penry imprisoned for life.  The long saga of convicted murderer Johnny Paul Penry, whose case helped push mental retardation into the national debate over capital punishment, ended Friday [2/15/2008] with a plea agreement to a life sentence.  Penry, one of Texas' best-known death row inmates, agreed to three life sentences and to a stipulation that he was not mentally retarded, in spite of what his lawyers have asserted for almost three decades.

How would the court fare on an IQ test?  In Atkins vs. Virginia, handed down last week, the Unites States Supreme Court substituted the judgment of six justices for that of 20 state legislatures.

Texas jurors send killer to his death 'because the Bible told them to'.  A Texas man is due to be executed next month despite admissions by jurors that they consulted biblical passages advocating death as a punishment to help to decide his fate. ... During the trial, the jurors were instructed by the judge not to refer to anything that was not presented as evidence in the courtroom.

The Editor says...
When the judge demands that they not "refer to anything", does that include the jurors' common sense, morality and individual experiences?  If the judge instructed the jurors to find the defendant not guilty, would they be so obligated?  I don't know about you, but I don't think I'd pay much attention to orders of that sort.

Will the death penalty meet its maker?  (Numerous links to death penalty articles.)



News and timely commentary about crime and (no) punishment in general:

Related topic: Cell phones in jails and prisons


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Updated June 19, 2024.

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