Tag Archives | capital punishment

FDA: Nebraska Governor Can’t Import Execution Drug

amnesty-death-penalty-graphic-638x286

Credit: Amnesty International

via Common Dreams:

Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts says that last week’s repeal of the Nebraska death penalty by the state’s Legislature won’t stop him from executing the 10 people still on Nebraska’s death row.

Ricketts says the state will soon have the three drugs it needs to administer lethal injection that the state ordered earlier this month from a chemical supplier in India.

But late Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the state can’t legally import one of the drugs, an anesthetic called sodium thiopental.

“At this time, we have no indication, aside from media reports, that sodium thiopental has recently been imported into the United States by state officials or correctional systems,” said Jeff Ventura with the FDA. “With very limited exceptions, which do not apply here, it is unlawful to import this drug, and the FDA would refuse its admission into the United States.”

Nebraska’s Republican controlled Legislature this week approved a law repealing the death penalty over the governor’s veto.… Read the rest

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There is no evidence that the death penalty acts as a deterrent

Patrick Feller (CC BY 2.0)

Patrick Feller (CC BY 2.0)

Carolyn Hoyle, University of Oxford and Roger Hood, University of Oxford

Australia has executed no-one for half a century. Following the abolition of the death penalty by various states, the federal government abolished capital punishment in 1973.

Nevertheless, Australian citizens – like all of those from abolitionist jurisdictions – face the death penalty when they commit serious crimes in countries that retain it. Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are facing execution in Indonesia following their convictions on drug trafficking charges almost ten years ago. On Saturday, they and seven others were given official notice that they will be killed by firing squad on the prison island of Nusakambangan. Under Indonesian law, the minimum period between receiving notice and execution is 72 hours.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, has insisted all along that he will reject clemency petitions for drug traffickers on death row.… Read the rest

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Utah’s firing squad plan is another twist in America’s long quest for a perfect execution method

The death chamber at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. REUTERS/Jenevieve Robbins/Texas Dept of Criminal Justice/Handout

The death chamber at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.
REUTERS/Jenevieve Robbins/Texas Dept of Criminal Justice/Handout

Daniel LaChance, Emory University

Concerned that the Supreme Court may soon declare lethal injection unconstitutional, some states are making back-up plans.

In March, Utah’s governor signed legislation that will bring back the firing squad as the state’s official execution method in the event that injection – the method used by every state that still retains the death penalty – is no longer possible.

Utah’s legislation has received a lot of attention, in part because the state occupies a symbolically important place in the history of the modern American death penalty.

In 1977, it was the first to kill anyone after a ten-year suspension of executions in the United States. (The Supreme Court had found the death penalty capriciously applied, and thus unconstitutional, in a 1972 case. But it permitted executions to resume four years later when states presented the Court with new sentencing guidelines aimed at reducing arbitrariness.)

Standing in front of five rifles poking through a slotted wall, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore famously uttered, “Let’s do it,” and with his death, the modern era of executions in the United States was born.… Read the rest

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Utah May Bring Back the Firing Squad

Nathan & Jenny (CC BY 2.0)

Nathan & Jenny (CC BY 2.0)

With the recent horror stories of botched lethal injections, I am thinking this may not be such a bad idea. Though, I’m still waiting for the end of capital punishment, but I think I may be waiting for awhile.

Conor Friedersdorf:

In Utah, where nine inmates are on death row, their would-be executioners face an obstacle. To kill them by lethal injection, they need a cocktail of drugs. But a European campaign to stop one of those drugs from reaching U.S. executioners has worked well enough to create a shortage. And alternative cocktails have malfunctioned.

Thus the response of the Utah State Senate. On Tuesday, it voted to legalize executions by firing squad if the state is short on lethal-injection drugs. “Republican Rep. Paul Ray touted the measure as being a more humane form of execution,” AP reports. “Ray argued that a team of trained marksmen is faster and more humane than the drawn-out deaths that have occurred in botched lethal injections.” He may be correct.

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Rodney Reed: You can help save his life

Rodney Reed sits on death row in Texas, facing an execution date of March 5th for a murder that even the victim’s family thinks he didn’t commit. It would take a simple DNA test to prove his innocence – and you can force the Governor of Texas to make that happen. Here’s a website with more info – http://justice4rodneyreed.org/

BREAKING NEWS: 

We have just learned that the execution of Rodney Reed has been stayed for now, by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA). The fight isn’t over until a new trial is granted, but this is great news!!

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Videotaping factory farms is illegal

There are new ‘Ag-Gag’ laws in place that make it ILLEGAL to even videotape factory farms. WTF?!? An innocent man is set to be executed in TEXAS. Surprise surprise! Women are having LABIAPLASTY like cray these days! And our not-so-new-ish illegal WAR in Syria sort of gets authorized-ish. And more…

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Exonerated Seventy Years After Execution

Earlier this week, a judge vacated the decision against George Stinney Jr, a black teen who was convicted of murdering two white girls in South Carolina. For Stinney, this came 70 years too late.

Despite not having evidence that Stinney committed the crime, and Stinney’s sister testifying that she was with him the entire day, it took the all-white jury just 10 minutes to convict and sentence him to death. At 14 years old, Stinney was one of the youngest people executed in the US and actually had to sit on a phone book to fit in the electric chair.

Unfortunately, Stinney is not the only innocent person which has been put to death. Today, it is estimated that 4.1% of all defendants sentenced to death in the US are, in fact, innocent.

Capital punishment is still widely supported in the United States and legal in 32 states.… Read the rest

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From America’s Busiest Death Chamber, a Catalog of Last Rants, Pleas and Apologies

EXECUTE-1-articleLarge

Texas Department of Criminal Justice
The injection gurney, with an overhead microphone, in the execution chamber at the Walls Unit prison in Huntsville, Tex.

Not only are the executed noted down at the Walls Unit prison in Huntsville  Texas, but so are their last words. via The New York Times

HUNTSVILLE, Tex. — Karl Eugene Chamberlain went to his neighbor’s apartment that night in Dallas under the pretense of borrowing sugar. He returned later, forced her into a bedroom, bound her hands and feet, raped her and then used a rifle to shoot and kill her. His victim, Felecia Prechtl, 29, was a single mother with a 5-year-old son.

Eleven years after he was convicted of capital murder, Mr. Chamberlain, 37, was strapped to a gurney in Texas’ execution chamber at the Walls Unit prison here and was asked by a warden if he had any last words. “Thank you for being here today to honor Felecia Prechtl, whom I didn’t even know,” he told her son, parents and brother on June 11, 2008.

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China To Introduce Death Penalty For Egregious Polluters

pollutersHarsh but fair? Via Scientific American:

Chinese authorities have given courts the powers to hand down the death penalty in serious pollution cases, state media said, as the government tries to assuage growing public anger at environmental desecration.

A new judicial interpretation which took effect on Wednesday would impose “harsher punishments” and tighten “lax and superficial” enforcement of the country’s environmental protection laws, the official Xinhua news agency reported: “In the most serious cases the death penalty could be handed down.”

Protests over pollution have unnerved the stability-obsessed ruling Communist Party. Thousands of people took to the streets in the southwestern city of Kunming last month to protest against the planned production of a chemical at a refinery.

Severe air pollution in Beijing and large parts of northern China this winter have added to the sense of unease among the population.

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