Category : Capital Punishment

(Yesterday’s Local paper Front Page) South Carolina lawmakers consider electrocuting death row inmates if lethal injection drugs unavailable

South Carolina lawmakers are considering a proposal that would allow the state to execute death row inmates using the electric chair — something that hasn’t been done since 2008 — if lethal injection drugs are not available.

Under current law, criminals sentenced to the death penalty in South Carolina can choose to die by lethal injection or electrocution.

Like other states, South Carolina has not had access to the necessary drugs to attempt a lethal injection since the last of its stock expired in 2013. That has left the state unable to carry out the ultimate punishment.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Anthropology, Capital Punishment, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, State Government

"Clutching the blood-stained Bible she had with her" A local paper story on Roof Trials end

Clutching the blood-stained Bible she had with her when Dylann Roof executed nine family and friends around her, Felicia Sanders told the self-avowed white supremacist in court Wednesday that she still forgives him for his actions. They have scarred her life but haven’t shaken her faith.

Addressing Roof the day after a jury sentenced him to death, Sanders said the mass shooting that killed nine black worshippers at Emanuel AME Church in June 2015 has left her unable to hear a balloon pop or an acorn fall without being startled. She can no longer shut her eyes when she prays.

But she will carry on, she told him, and continue to follow the words of God still clear in the battered Bible she cherishes.

“I brought my Bible to the courtroom … shot up,” she said. “It reminds me of the blood Jesus shed for me and you, Dylann Roof.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Capital Punishment, Christology, Law & Legal Issues, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

South Carolina Jury sentences Dylann Roof to death for Emanuel AME Church massacre

Just a few hours after he told a crowded courtroom “I still feel like I had to do it,” Dylann Roof was sentenced to death by a federal jury for carrying out a cold, calculated massacre inside Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in a bid to spark a race war.

The 12-member panel ”“ three white jurors, nine black ”“ deliberated for a little less than three hours before unanimously deciding that the 22-year-old white supremacist should die for his crimes rather than spend his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

It will be up to the presiding judge to formally impose that sentence, but he is bound by law to follow the jury’s decision. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel has scheduled the formal sentencing hearing for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Capital Punishment, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(New Statesman) Shakespeare, our contemporary: the Bard 400 years later

Dodgy dossiers, smiling tyrants and just wars: Rowan Williams on Henry V

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Rowan Williams, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Books, Capital Punishment, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture, Theology

(WSJ) Phillip Thompson–Grappling With Faith and the Death Penalty

When I started researching the death penalty in 1995, roughly 80% of Americans favored its use. The death penalty was a rare point of consensus in American politics, crossing party affiliation and political ideology.

Times have changed. The unicameral legislature of a very conservative state, Nebraska, voted last week, 32-15, to repeal capital punishment. Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed the bill on Tuesday. But on Wednesday Nebraska became the 19th state to abolish the death penalty after legislators voted to override the governor’s veto.

Clearly, a tide is building against the death penalty in America. One of the most powerful factors is science. DNA evidence in the past 20 years was a strong reason for the exoneration of many of the 153 innocent people released from death row during that period. These people in earlier generations would have been wrongfully put to death. This realization has challenged the conscience of a fair-minded country that doesn’t want to kill innocent people.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Capital Punishment, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(USA Today) Boston Marathon bomber sentenced to death

A jury of seven women and five men sentenced Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death by execution, closing one of the most painful chapters in this city’s history.

Tsarnaev looked straight ahead, showing no emotion, as the sentence was read. Jurors wiped away tears as the judge thanked them for their service.

“Your service as jurors in this case has been the very antithesis of mob law,” U.S District Judge George O’Toole Jr. told the jury. “You can and you should be justly proud of your service in this case.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Capital Punishment, Law & Legal Issues, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(LA Times) California's longest-serving wrongfully convicted inmate is a free man

A wrongfully convicted man who spent 36 years behind bars in California was set free Monday.

In Ventura, Superior Court Judge Donald D. Coleman ordered Michael Ray Hanline, 68, to be released but required that he still wear a GPS monitoring device.

It was found that DNA evidence collected at the crime scene did not match Hanline’s or that of his alleged accomplice, according to court documents. Also, a key witness was found to be under the influence of drugs when she testified against him.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Theology, Violence

(Gallup) View of Death Penalty as Morally OK Unchanged in U.S.

The recent news about the botched execution of an Oklahoma death row inmate has not affected the way Americans view the death penalty. Sixty-one percent say the death penalty is morally acceptable, similar to the 62% who said so in 2013, although both figures are down from a high of 71% in 2006.

The results are based on Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 8-11. On April 29, an Oklahoma death row inmate given a lethal injection appeared to suffer for an extended period of time until finally dying of a heart attack. That incident led to the postponement of a second execution scheduled in Oklahoma that day and raised questions about the methods used to execute prisoners.

The case did not fundamentally alter Americans’ perceptions of the death penalty, however, with a solid majority viewing it as morally acceptable. This percentage is similar to the 60% who say they favor the death penalty as punishment for murder in Gallup’s October update.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Capital Punishment, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sociology, Theology

California TEC Bishops release statement supporting initiative to abolish the death penalty

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Capital Punishment, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government, TEC Bishops, Theology

(ENS) Episcopal leaders push to abolish death penalty across the country

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Capital Punishment, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Theology

(USA Today) Shifts seen in support for death penalty

The campaign to abolish the death penalty has been freshly invigorated this month in a series of actions that supporters say represents increasing evidence that America may be losing its taste for capital punishment.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Theology

(CT Politics Blog) After Troy Davis: The Religious Belief Breakdown on the Death Penalty

The execution of Troy Davis last night in Georgia has reinvigorated public debate over the death penalty. Davis was convicted in the 1989 murder of Georgia police officer Mark MacPhail. The execution made headlines because there were questions raised about the evidence in the case, including recantations by seven of the nine witnesses against Davis.

The execution was condemned by Pope Benedict XVI, former president Jimmy Carter, and governments around the globe. In the U.S., most Christians support the use of the death penalty to punish murders. Unlike Catholics and mainline Protestants, evangelicals support for capital punishment remains high even among those who say their views are shaped most by their religious beliefs.

Public opinion on the death penalty has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades. According to polls by Gallup, support for the death penalty was highest in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. At that time, 80 percent of Americans said they favored executing murderers. Since then, support has dropped to 64 percent.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Capital Punishment, History, Law & Legal Issues, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

(NY Times On Religion) Faith Was on Governor Pat Quinn’s Shoulder

Early on the morning of Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent’s season of penitence, Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois went through some final, solitary rumination. For much of his political career, he had supported capital punishment, albeit with reservations, even debating it at the dinner table with his mother. Now a legislative bill abolishing it was waiting for his signature, or his veto.

In the preceding weeks, he had heard arguments on the subject from prosecutors who spoke of the death penalty’s deterrent effect and from the grieving relatives of murder victims who saw in it fierce justice. He had reacquainted himself with about 20 capital cases overturned by DNA evidence or tainted by judicial error.

But on that decisive morning of March 9, he laid aside the secular factors and opened his Bible to a passage in II Corinthians about human imperfection. He prayed. And when he signed the bill striking down the death penalty, he cited one influence by name: Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Capital Punishment, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, State Government

Washington Post–Marylanders continue to favor death penalty

The death penalty has sparked intense debate in Maryland in recent years — but attitudes among residents haven’t changed much.

Sixty percent of Marylanders favor use of the death penalty for people convicted of murder, while 32 percent are opposed, according to a new Washington Post poll.

Those figures don’t tell the entire story: Given a choice, more say they prefer the punishment of life in prison with no chance of parole than the death penalty — by 49 percent to 40 percent.

Neither result has changed much since The Post asked the same questions three years ago.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Capital Punishment, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, State Government

San Francisco Chronicle: State death sentences rise as US total falls

As the number of death sentences declined nationwide in 2009, death verdicts in California rose to their highest total in nearly a decade, the American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday.

All but five of the 29 California death sentences last year were handed down in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties, the ACLU said.

Only two of the death sentences came from Bay Area courts, both in Contra Costa County. Darryl Kemp was sentenced in June for a 1978 rape and murder in Lafayette, a case in which he was identified through DNA evidence in 2000; and Edward Wycoff was condemned in December for murdering his sister and her husband in the couple’s El Cerrito home in 2006.

Nationally, death sentences fell to 106 in 2009, their seventh straight year of decline and the lowest total since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, according to an earlier report from the Death Penalty Information Center, a separate organization.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Capital Punishment, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, State Government

In Kansas Episcopal Bishops and other Church leaders support death penalty repeal

A measure being considered by the Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee to repeal the state’s death penalty picked up eight supporters on Friday.

In a letter to the Kansas Legislature, eight bishops of the Episcopal Church, Roman Catholic Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church and United Methodist Church in Kansas signed a letter asking for reconsideration and repeal of the Kansas death penalty.

Signing the letter, dated Jan. 28, were Bishops James M. Adams Jr., Episcopal Diocese of Western Kansas; Paul S. Coakley, Catholic Diocese of Salina; Ronald M. Gilmore, Catholic Diocese of Dodge City; Michael O. Jackels, Catholic Diocese of Wichita; Scott J. Jones, Kansas Area United Methodist Church; Gerald L. Mansholt, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Joseph F. Naumann, Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City; and Dean Wolfe, Episcopal Diocese of Kansas.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Capital Punishment, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government, TEC Bishops

Lawyers challenge Ohio on executions

Proper training of prison officials could have prevented a botched execution in Ohio last year that led the state to overhaul its method of execution, lawyers for several death row inmates have argued in court filings.

The filings contend that Ohio prison officials have shown a consistent disregard for their own rules in carrying out executions, including failing to ensure that execution staff members attend required rehearsals and training.

And they contend that one of the people who helped conduct the botched execution on Sept. 15, involving an inmate named Romell Broom, was inadequately trained and had failed to attend all the required rehearsals.

That employee is a licensed emergency medical technician, but has not worked as one for several years, does not regularly establish IVs and was out of practice at the time of Mr. Broom’s attempted execution, according to the court documents filed Friday in Federal District Court in Columbus.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment, Law & Legal Issues

In Pittsburgh Clerics united in opposition to death penalty

It could be the start of a groan-worthy joke.

A Catholic priest, a rabbi, an Episcopal rector, a Methodist minister and a Lutheran pastor sit down for some interfaith dialogue.

But yesterday at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in East Liberty, there was no joking about the discussion topic, the death penalty.

The Judeo-Christian religions have come a long way from the Old Testament notion of an eye for an eye, the panelists said. Representatives of the five religions said their churches have officially come out strongly against America’s use of the death penalty.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Maryland Governor O'Malley Set To Move on as Death Penalty Repeal Sinks

Gov. Martin O’Malley is preparing to move forward with regulations to allow executions to resume in Maryland now that his effort to repeal the death penalty appears to have failed, a spokesman said yesterday.

The Senate abruptly ended debate on O’Malley’s proposal yesterday morning, instead embracing a bill that would tighten evidence standards in death penalty cases. That bill is expected to pass the Senate today by a wide margin and head to the House of Delegates for consideration.

Maryland has had a de facto moratorium on capital punishment since December 2006, the month before O’Malley (D) took office, after the state’s highest court ruled that lethal injection procedures had not been properly adopted.

O’Malley, a longtime capital punishment opponent, has declined to issue regulations since then, saying the legislature deserved a chance to permanently repeal the death penalty. Such bills have been considered during each of the past three years.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment

Maryland Governor asks faith leaders to help end death penalty

Gov. Martin O’Malley said Monday his effort to get the votes to repeal capital punishment in Maryland “is not done,” and he asked the religious community to help by petitioning lawmakers facing a difficult decision.

“I need your help, I really and truly do on this death penalty legislation,” O’Malley told about 300 people attending the African Methodist Episcopal Church Legislative Day. “It is not done.”

The governor also urged repeal supporters not to take any votes for granted on the issue.

“I need your help writing letters. I need your help persuading. I need your help even talking to delegates and senators that you may think are probably already with us,” O’Malley said. “You never really know.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

The Episcopal Bishops of Maryland and Washington: A Moral Test for Maryland Legislators

As the Maryland General Assembly prepares to convene on Wednesday, we hope that legislators will decide against the death penalty in Maryland. Doing so would represent an enormous moral failure for the state and for civil society.

For decades, many religious groups have voiced strong public opposition to capital punishment, believing that every human being is given life by God and that only God has the right to deny life. Of course, we understand that the state must seek justice and prosecute wrongdoing, but we cannot condone the state pronouncing a sentence of death for wrongdoing — no matter how violent and brutal the crime. There is simply no moral justification for the state to execute a child of God in the name of justice.

The Episcopal Church has carefully studied the application of the death penalty in many states. In every case, it has concluded that the death penalty is unjust and ineffective. It is immoral to any who are seriously committed to the ethics of Jesus, who continually forbade violence as a means to solve problems caused by evil. It is unjust because of the hugely disproportionate number of poor and black defendants who receive the death sentence. It is a sad truth that many who are wealthy in our society are able to “buy” their way out of being executed by the state. When it comes to the death penalty, true justice comes with a price tag: “Justice paid is justice won.” It is ineffective in that it has never been shown to deter the commission of violent crime, nor has it lowered the murder rate in any state that regularly executes its most violent criminals.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Theology

2 Maryland Episcopal Bishops Write a Letter Against the Death Penalty

As Christians, church leaders and bishops in the Episcopal Church, we urge the General Assembly to act to abolish the death penalty (“Report fuels death debate,” Dec. 13).

As Christians, we are guided by the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Here he specifically rejects retribution by stating that even the teaching in the Old Testament of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is to be rejected in favor of the teaching that calls for reconciliation (Matthew, 6:38).

Responding to killing with more killing will not make society less violent. Retaliating for death with death is not simply punishment but a further justification of violence as a way of life. We simply cannot kill our way out of the violence.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

West Indies Anglican bishops oppose the death penalty

Fourteen bishops of the Anglican Church in the Province of the West Indies, meeting in the House of Bishops and Provincial Standing Committee in Nassau, Bahamas, November 11-14, under the chairmanship of the Archbishop of the West Indies, the Most Rev Drexel Gomez, have registered their opposition to the death penalty, while calling for intervention by government and cooperation of the Church as part of civil society, to deal with the situation which facilitates the upsurge of crime and violence in the Caribbean region.

In a communiqué dated November 14, the West Indian Bishops state that they are “of one mind in calling our people to stand with us in our opposition to the death penalty”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Capital Punishment, West Indies

Maryland Bishop Eugene Sutton's Statement on the Death Penalty

We applaud and praise Governor O’Malley’s moral courage to place a moratorium on state-sponsored executions in Maryland. We hope and pray that this commission will conclude that the death penalty should be abolished in this great state.

For decades, The Episcopal Church has voiced strong public opposition to capital punishment. Our essential question today is whether, without exception, the death penalty should be imposed on someone convicted of murdering another human being. Our unequivocal answer is “no.” The Christian faith is rooted in both testaments of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. In the Bible, we find that every human being is given life by God, and only God the righteous Judge has the right to deny life. Of course, we understand that the state must seek justice and prosecute wrongdoing, but we cannot condone a decision by the state to pronounce a sentence of death for wrongdoing—no matter how violent and brutal the crime of the perpetrator may have been. Because of our belief in a just and moral God, there is simply no moral justification for the state to execute a child of God in the name of justice.

The Episcopal Church has carefully studied the application of the death penalty in many states. Invariably, in each case, we have concluded that the death penalty is immoral, unjust and ineffective. It is immoral, first of all, because as Christians we are commanded to adhere to the ethics of Jesus who continually forbade violence as a means to solve problems that are caused by evil. Second, the death penalty is unjust because of the hugely disproportionate number of poor and black defendants who receive the death sentence. It is a sad truth that in our society, it is the wealthy are able to “buy” their way out of being executed by the state. As one prominent Episcopalian lawyer in Maryland told me recently, “true justice comes with a price tag—justice paid is justice won.” And third, the death penalty is ineffective in that it has never been shown to have deterred anyone from committing a violent crime, nor has it lowered the murder rate in any state that regularly executes its most violent criminals.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Carter Attorney General to Head Panel on Death Penalty

Gov. Martin O’Malley tapped a former U.S. attorney general yesterday to lead a panel examining Maryland’s death penalty, opening another chapter in the state’s long-running legal and political drama over the issue.

Benjamin R. Civiletti, who served under President Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1981, was introduced at an Annapolis news conference along with others chosen by O’Malley (D) and legislative leaders to serve on the 23-member Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment, which the General Assembly created this year.

The diverse group — which includes law-enforcement officials, religious leaders and family members of murder victims — is expected to make recommendations to the legislature before it reconvenes in January, and death penalty opponents try for the third year in a row since O’Malley’s arrival to abolish capital punishment.

“I think the legislature will be very interested in hearing from this commission,” said O’Malley, who has urged a deeply divided legislature to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Death penalty proponents did not criticize the commission directly yesterday but suggested that its aim was transparent.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Capital Punishment, Politics in General

Bishop Richard Harries: There is a strong reason to abolish the death penalty

But there is another even stronger reason to abolish the death penalty, wonderfully exemplified in the case of Billy Moore. On Death Row he discovered the names and addresses of the family of the man he killed and wrote to them to say sorry. Not only did they write back to say they forgave him but they continued to write to him encouraging him to turn his life round and use his experience as an incentive to help other people: and that’s what he did, starting a Bible Study Group in prison, and saying to his fellow inmates “Its bad enough us being in here with the state trying to kill us, but while we are waiting to die, we can treat each other right”.

When Billy Moore had lost all his last appeal and was faced with his final execution date the Georgia appeals board heard his case. Five members of his victim’s family were there to petition for his death sentence to be commuted. He was released, is now ordained as a Pentecostal Minister, and has been campaigning ever since. In short, people can change. One of the most moving stories in the New Testament concerns the criminal crucified beside Jesus who said “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” and who hears the words. “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” However battered and brutalized by life a person may be the Christian faith does not allow us to give up on them.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Capital Punishment, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Supreme Court Upholds Lethal Injection Protocol

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld Kentucky’s use of lethal injections for executions, clearing the way for a number of states to proceed with scheduled executions.

In a 7-2 decision, the justices rejected a constitutional challenge to the procedures in place in Kentucky, which uses three drugs to sedate, paralyze and kill inmates.

“We … agree that petitioners have not carried their burden of showing that the risk of pain from maladministration of a concededly humane lethal injection protocol, and the failure to adopt untried and untested alternatives, constitute cruel and unusual punishment,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment

California may resume executions by year's end

Executions in California may resume by the end of the year — with one inmate being put to death by lethal injection each month — as a result of today’s Supreme Court ruling, a high-level state prosecutor said.

Chief Assistant Atty. Gen. Dane Gillette, who has defended the state’s lethal injection procedures against a federal court challenge, said he believes it is “certainly feasible” to resume executions by the end of the year.

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel in San Jose had ordered a temporary halt to executions in California after finding the state’s lethal injection procedures were unconstitutional. A decision by Fogel on whether a new execution protocol by the state meets constitutional requirements is pending.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment

Lawyers divided on death penalty system

Defense lawyers and prosecutors agreed Wednesday that California’s death penalty system was deeply troubled but split over the causes and solutions.

During a hearing in Los Angeles before a state reform commission, prosecutors called for quicker appeals and amending the state Constitution to permit the California state Supreme Court to transfer some of the initial review of cases to state appeals courts.

Defense attorneys opposed the proposal, saying it would make the process more cumbersome.

Instead, they asked that the state pare the list of crimes that qualify for the death penalty and provide more funding for lawyers who represent accused killers.

But John Van de Kamp, chairman of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice who previously served as Los Angeles County district attorney and state attorney general, said the prospects of increased state funding were bleak.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment, Law & Legal Issues

Court: Nebraska Electric Chair Not Legal

The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday that electrocution is cruel and unusual punishment, outlawing the electric chair in the only 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. The evidence shows that electrocution inflicts “intense pain and agonizing suffering,” it said.

“Condemned prisoners must not be tortured to death, regardless of their crimes,” Judge William Connolly wrote in the 6-1 opinion.

“Contrary to the State’s argument, there is abundant evidence that prisoners sometimes will retain enough brain functioning to consciously suffer the torture high voltage electric current inflicts on a human body,” Connolly wrote.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Capital Punishment