Death Row

Death Penalty Issues - Death Row

Appeals court rejects DOJ request to resume executions

12/2/2019 A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., on Monday denied the Justice Department's efforts to lift a temporary halt on four federal executions.

The department had appealed a trial judge's ruling last month that ordered a stay of the executions while a separate legal challenge to the Trump administration's new lethal injection protocol plays out.

The longest running of the four lawsuits was filed 16 years ago, and the cases went dormant during the Obama administration amid a shortage of lethal injection drugs.

No special session to ‘fix’ Oregon’s death penalty law, says Gov. Kate Brown

No special session to ‘fix’ Oregon’s death penalty law, says Gov. Kate Brown

Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday announced that she would not call a special session to address controversy over the state’s new aggravated murder statute that significantly narrows the crimes that could bring the death penalty in Oregon.

“While it is clear there is a misunderstanding regarding the intent of the words in Senate Bill 1013, it is also clear there is not sufficient support for a special session to pass a fix," she said in a statement issued by her office.

Oregon death row inmate’s conviction overturned by Appeals Court

Posted May 1, 2019

The Oregon Court of Appeals this week overturned the conviction and death penalty sentence of a 54-year-old inmate
accused in the 1998 fatal stabbing of another inmate in a prison recreation yard.

The ruling found that David Lee Cox, who was sentenced to death in 2000, received ineffective counsel.

Gov. Gavin Newsom Suspends Death Penalty In California

Updated March 13 at 3:29 p.m. ET AP Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a sweeping order on Wednesday putting an executive moratorium on California's troubled death penalty, thus ordering a reprieve for the 737 people on death row.

The action suspends any further executions in California as long as Newsom is governor. But only California voters can repeal the death penalty, something they rejected narrowly three years ago.
Our death penalty system has been — by any measure — a failure.

Bill would effectively abolish the death penalty in Oregon

Mar 8, 2019 Under House Bill 3268, aggravated murder would be limited to only crimes when two or more people are killed
in a terror attack. This shows the death chamber at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. Photo by Beth

A bill filed Monday would allow the death penalty only in cases involving terrorism-related killings, effectively abolishing capital punishment in Oregon.

Opinion: Gov. Brown, it’s time to commute Oregon’s death row

On the evening of Nov. 1, as day turned into night outside the Riverbend National Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee, Edmund Zagorski spoke his last words. “Let’s rock,” he said, before prison staff covered his head with a black shroud and sent thousands of volts of electricity through his body. At 7:26 p.m. he was pronounced dead.Zagorski had specifically requested to die by electrocution rather than lethal injection, which has been the standard method for many years. He wanted to avoid the seemingly torturous deaths endured when dying by lethal injection.

Stop 8 executions in 10 Days

Arkansas has scheduled 8 executions to take place in 10 days beginning April 17th. Arkansas hasn't had an execution in 12 years, so why the sudden rush? Simple: their lethal injection drugs are about to expire.

Arkansas has exactly eight doses left of a crucial drug used to perform lethal injections that expire at the end of April. So the governor scheduled eight executions packed into a ten day period — with two executions per day — as if the justice system was a conveyor belt.

Arkansas’ hurried execution plan sparks concern for prison staff

  The last time a U.S. state tried to execute two inmates on the same day, a poorly secured intravenous tube popped out, lethal injection chemicals sprayed in the death chamber and staff said the pressure of dual executions exposed flaws in the protocol.   That scenario in 2014 in Oklahoma, where executions are now on hold, has not stopped Arkansas from pursuing an unprecedented plan to put eight inmates to death in back-to-back lethal injections on four days this month.  Learn More  

Arkansas prepares to execute 8 men in 11 days: Justice, or an ‘assembly line of death’?

April 3, 2017 Patricia Washington sees a simple calculus: If you take someone’s life, you better be prepared to lose your own. The death penalty is just, she believes — an unsurprising view in this rural town a short drive from the state prison that houses death row. Executions have come up a lot lately in conversations at Washington’s work, a tiny eatery tucked into an Exxon service station off Highway 65.  Learn More

Death penalty repeal bill introduced in Washington state

  January 16, 2017 OLYMPIA, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Monday announced a proposal to abolish the death penalty in Washington state.  Inslee imposed a moratorium on capital punishment in 2014, but repeal bills introduced since that time have stalled in the Legislature. Ferguson said that he hoped with the attorney general's office officially requesting legislation, it would help elevate the conversation among lawmakers.

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