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Democratic Legislators Introduce Death Penalty Repeal Bills, Urge President Biden to Commute Federal Death Sentences

Posted: January 20, 2021 Democratic members of the U.S. House and Senate have called on incoming President Joe Biden (pictured) to take quick action on his campaign pledge to end the federal death penalty. Legislators introduced three bills to abolish the federal death penalty and urged the President to issue executive orders to halt federal executions and commute the death sentences of those on federal death row.

Committee advances bill to end death penalty to Virginia Senate floor

1/26/2021 (The Center Square) – A Virginia Senate committee voted Tuesday to advance legislation that would abolish the death penalty in the commonwealth.

Senate Bill 1165, sponsored by Sen. Scott Surovell, D-Mount Vernon, would eliminate the use of the death penalty in Virginia, including for those who are on death row.

Four people are on death row in Virginia, and the state’s last execution was in 2017. Since 2010, eight people have been executed in the state.

MLK Day 2021: The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Death Penalty

From the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC)

On Martin Luther King Day, DPIC looks at the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s views on capital punishment.

In a November 1957 article in Ebony, Dr. King was asked “Do you think God approves the death penalty for crimes like rape and murder?” He responded, “I do not think that God approves the death penalty for any crime, rape and murder included…. Capital punishment is against the better judgment of modern criminology, and, above all, against the highest expression of love in the nature of God.”

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.

Senate Bill 1013 passed by Oregon Legislature. Sent to Governor for Signature

On June 29th, the Oregon Senate passed Senate Bill 1013 by a vote of 17-10. It has been signed by the Senate President and House Speaker and is now awaiting the signature of Governor Brown.

Oregon Senate passes SB 1013

The Oregon Senate passed Senate Bill 1013 this mornig. It removes future dangerousness as factor for jury to determine when deciding on sentence of death,  The vote was 1809. See this measure in OLIS  https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Measures/Overview/SB1013?pubDate=2019-05-21-11-39 The bill now goes to the Oregon House, which has scheduled a first reading for Tomorrow May 21st.

Oregon Senate to Vote on SB 1013 Today

Today, Tuesday May 21, at 11:00 AM the Oregon Senate will read, debate and vote on the OADP supported bill to "reduce the use" of the death penalty, with Senate Bill 1013.

If you can, please alert your senator to let them know you support SB 1013 to reduce the use of the death penalty as a step towards repeal. 

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.

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