Death Row

Death Penalty Issues - Death Row

New trial ordered for man who has spent 17 years on Oregon’s death row

Oct. 6, 2021 Jesse Lee Johnson was convicted of aggravated murder in 2004. He’s always maintained his innocence. The Oregon Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for a Black man who has been on death row for 17 years.

Virginia House joins Senate in voting to end death penalty

Virginia State Capitol

Feb 5, 2021 RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia moved another step closer to ending capital punishment on Friday when the state House joined the Senate in voting to abolish the death penalty.

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam supports the legislation, which would make Virginia the 23rd state to stop executions. It's a dramatic shift for Virginia, which has put more people to death over its centuries-long history than any other state.

South Dakota Former Prosecutor Introduces Bill to Limit the State’s Death Penalty

A South Dakota state senator who previously served as a prosecutor and a state court judge has introduced a bill to limit the breadth of the state’s death penalty statute. Senate Bill 98, introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arthur Rusch (R – Clay, pictured) on January 25, 2021, would restrict capital punishment to a single aggravating circumstance, premeditated murders in which a defendant killed a police officer, corrections officer, or firefighter during the performance of their official duties.

Iowa lawmakers propose reinstating death penalty

'They deserve death': Iowa lawmakers propose reinstating death penalty for people who rape and murder children
Iowa outlawed the death penalty in 1965.

Updated: 7:25 PM CST January 26, 2021

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa lawmakers proposed a bill that would allow death sentences for people convicted of murdering a child after raping them. 

It's been almost six decades since Iowa last executed a state prisoner, but a group of Republican senators feels one crime in particular merits a death sentence.

Colorado is the 22nd state to abolish the death penalty

Tue March 24, 2020 (CNN) The death penalty will soon be no more in Colorado. Gov. Jared Polis signed legislation on Monday abolishing the death penalty, making Colorado the 22nd state to do so.

He also commuted the sentences of three men on death row. Robert Ray, Sir Mario Owens and Nathan Dunlap will now serve life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to a news release.

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.

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