Latest Death Penalty News

U.S. justices confront death row inmate's intellectual disability

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday appeared unsure how to rule in the case of a…

  • Syria regime executed prisoners before Idlib fall: monitor
    Syria regime executed prisoners before Idlib fall: monitor Sun, Mar 29, 2015

    Syrian government forces apparently executed at least 15 prisoners in the city of Idlib before Islamist fighters overran the provincial capital, a monitor said on Sunday. More »

  • Grandmother’s punishment for girl's running death tests death penalty in … Sat, Mar 28, 2015

    An Etowah County, Ala., jury on Friday found that Joyce Hardin Garrard murdered her granddaughter, Savannah Hardin, by literally running the 9-year-old to death in the backyard in 2012. Alabama is one of three states – the others are Delaware and Florida – that allow so-called judicial override of jury sentences in order to impose the death penalty. The option is rarely used in Florida and Delaware has abolished the death penalty, making Alabama, where judges are elected, the only state in the union to regularly utilize the option. More »

  • Indonesia prepares to transfer Philippines drug convict for execution Fri, Mar 27, 2015

    Indonesia is preparing to move a Filipina death row inmate for execution after she lost her appeal in the Supreme Court earlier this week, the attorney general's spokesman said on Friday. The planned executions of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso and nine other mostly foreign drug traffickers has drawn international criticism after repeated pleas for mercy from the United Nations and various governments have gone unheeded by President Joko Widodo. Veloso will be moved from the city of Yogyakarta to the maximum security prison on Nusakambangan Island in Central Java, where the rest of the group awaits execution by firing squad. More »

  • Bergdahl: I Was Chained And Beaten With Cable
    Bergdahl: I Was Chained And Beaten With Cable Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    US Army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl has detailed the torture he says he suffered during five years of Taliban captivity. In a two-page letter, which his lawyer hoped might help spare him a court martial, Bergdahl, 28, said he was threatened with execution after trying about a dozen times to escape. "In the beginning of my captivity, after my first two escape attempts, for about three months I was chained to a bed spread-eagle and blindfolded," Bergdahl wrote in the letter sent by his lawyer to military investigators on 2 March. More »

  • Bergdahl charged despite torture, attempts to escape Taliban
    Bergdahl charged despite torture, attempts to escape Taliban Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl says he was tortured repeatedly in the five years he was held captive by the Taliban: beaten with a copper cable, chained, held in a cage and threatened with execution after trying to escape. More »

  • US soldier describes torture, attempts to escape Taliban
    US soldier describes torture, attempts to escape Taliban Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP) — U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl says he was tortured repeatedly in the five years he was held captive by the Taliban: beaten with a copper cable, chained spread-eagle to a bed, and threatened with execution after trying to escape. More »

  • Thailand toughens trafficking law with death penalty, steep fines Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    Thailand's parliament voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to introduce harsher punishments for human traffickers, including life imprisonment and the death penalty in cases where their victims had died. Thailand's move came a day after Britain passed a law that could see traffickers face life imprisonment, and marked the latest step to combat a multi-billion dollar trade in human misery. Thailand's National Legislative Assembly (NLA) voted to amend the country's Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act in the third reading. The changes will allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty and fines of up to 400,000 baht (8,206 pounds) for those convicted of trafficking offences, Police General Chatchawan Suksomjit said. More »

  • California acts against poll measure to execute gays
    California acts against poll measure to execute gays Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    California announced legal action to suppress a "reprehensible" ballot initiative to outlaw homosexuality -- on pain of execution -- in the famously liberal US state. More »

  • Texas prison agency replenishes execution drug supply
    Texas prison agency replenishes execution drug supply Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    HOUSTON (AP) — Texas prison officials have acquired a small supply of pentobarbital to replenish their dwindling inventory of the execution drug so lethal injections set for next month in the nation's most active death penalty state can be carried out, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Wednesday. More »

  • Critics worry firing squad law will tarnish Utah's image
    Critics worry firing squad law will tarnish Utah's image Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers say they took a pragmatic approach in approving the firing squad as a form of execution if lethal-injection drugs aren't available. More »

  • Critics say Utah firing squad law tarnishes state's image
    Critics say Utah firing squad law tarnishes state's image Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers say they took a pragmatic approach in approving the firing squad as a form of execution if lethal-injection drugs aren't available. More »

  • Utah's adoption of firing squads bucks global trend Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    Utah's decision to reintroduce the firing squad as an execution method if lethal injections drugs are unavailable bucks an international trend. More »

  • Despite trial, Bostonians still oppose death penalty for Tsarnaev Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    The majority of Boston-area residents believe the accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be spared the death penalty and sentenced to life in prison if he is convicted, according to a new poll. In a telephone survey of 504 registered Boston-area voters, 49 percent of respondents said Mr. Tsarnaev should be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said he should receive the death penalty. The survey was conducted by The MassINC Polling Group for radio station WBUR from March 16 to 18, during the second week of the trial. More »

  • Utah brings back firing squad option for executions
    Utah brings back firing squad option for executions Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    Utah became the only US state to restore the firing squad as a method of execution on Monday, as its governor Gary Herbert signed a bill on the emotive issue into law. More »

  • Pope: Death penalty represents 'failure,' fosters vengeance Fri, Mar 20, 2015

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says nothing can justify the use of the death penalty and there is no "right" way to humanely kill another person. More »

  • California inmate facing execution dies of unknown causes Thu, Mar 19, 2015

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A man awaiting execution for the rape and murder of his 15-year-old stepdaughter has died of unknown causes. More »

  • Indonesia defers execution of 10 drug traffickers
    Indonesia defers execution of 10 drug traffickers Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's vice president said Wednesday that the execution of 10 drug smugglers, nine of them foreigners, might not happen in the near future because some of them have legal appeals pending. More »

  • Knicks surprise Spurs with 104-100 victory in OT
    Knicks surprise Spurs with 104-100 victory in OT Wed, Mar 18, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — The poor passing and sloppy shooting in overtime hurt, though the effort was more disappointing than the execution to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. More »

  • Records show Oklahoma inmate chatted with execution team Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A condemned Oklahoma inmate calmly chatted with members of his execution team and even recommended a vein to the paramedic in charge of setting up his intravenous line, according to documents released Tuesday related to the botched lethal injection last spring. More »

  • US tycoon in court again after TV murder 'confession'
    US tycoon in court again after TV murder 'confession' Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    An eccentric US tycoon appeared in court again Tuesday, a day after being charged with the execution-style killing of a mobster's daughter in the latest installment of a bizarre murder mystery laid bare in a TV documentary. More »

  • Death penalty opponents urge veto of Utah firing squad bill
    Death penalty opponents urge veto of Utah firing squad bill Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Death penalty opponents are urging Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to veto a bill allowing execution by firing squad if the state cannot obtain lethal injection drugs. More »

  • Will US Supreme Court spare brain-damaged man on Missouri death row? Tue, Mar 17, 2015

    Attorneys are asking the Supreme Court on Tuesday to issue a stay of execution for a Missouri death-row inmate who is missing part of his brain as a result of a 1972 sawmill accident. Cecil Clayton, who was convicted of killing a police officer in 1996, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Tuesday, but his lawyers argue that brain damage and dementia make him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty. The 4-to-3 ruling raises serious questions about the constitutionality of executing prisoners with brain damage, anti-death penalty advocates say. More »

  • US tycoon in court on murder charge after TV 'confession'
    US tycoon in court on murder charge after TV 'confession' Mon, Mar 16, 2015

    An eccentric US tycoon appeared in court on Monday accused of the execution-style killing of a mobster's daughter in the latest installment of a murder mystery which has captivated America. More »

  • Los Angeles prosecutors charge real estate heir Durst with murder; death penalty … Mon, Mar 16, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles prosecutors charge real estate heir Durst with murder; death penalty possible. More »

  • Mississippi wants execution-drug supplier's name kept secret Mon, Mar 16, 2015

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's attorney general is asking a judge to keep the identity of the state's execution-drug supplier secret while he appeals her order to release the name. More »

  • Texas appeals court halts scheduled Wednesday execution Mon, Mar 16, 2015

    HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — An East Texas man set for execution this week for a shootout eight years ago that left two sheriff's officers dead has won a reprieve from the state's highest criminal appeals court. More »

  • Egyptian court wants death penalty for Brotherhood leader and 13 others - s …
    Egyptian court wants death penalty for Brotherhood leader and 13 others - s … Mon, Mar 16, 2015

    An Egyptian court seeks the death penalty for the Muslim Brotherhood's top leader Mohamed Badie and 13 other members of the group for inciting chaos and planning attacks on police and army institutions, judicial sources said on Monday. The court formally referred the case to the Grand Mufti, the country's highest Islamic legal official, which is the first step towards imposing a death sentence. The 14 include the Brotherhood's Salah Soltan, a preacher, and Saad al-Hosseiny, ex-governor of Kafr el-Sheikh province. Egypt has jailed thousands linked to the Muslim Brotherhood since the army removed Islamist president Mohamed Mursi from power in July 2013, a year after he was elected, following mass protests against his rule. More »

  • Bill would shield companies that sell SC execution drugs Mon, Mar 16, 2015

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The identity of companies that sell execution drugs to South Carolina would be kept secret under proposed legislation. More »

  • Indonesia overlooks Australia in visa-free travel list Mon, Mar 16, 2015

    Indonesia said on Monday that Australia would be excluded from a list of 45 countries to be offered visa-free travel amid heightened tensions between the countries over the imminent execution of two convicted Australian drug traffickers. Tourism Minister Arif Yahya told reporters the government would next month start waiving visas for citizens of several Asian and European countries and then ask for reciprocity, but that the same policy would not be applied to Australia. "If we give visa-free travel to Australia, we have to be given the same thing," Yahya said. The planned executions sparked public backlash in Australia last month, including a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #BoycottBali calling on tourists to avoid travelling to the Indonesian resort island of Bali, a popular destination among Australians. More »

  • Notorious Tycoon Robert Durst Held For Murder
    Notorious Tycoon Robert Durst Held For Murder Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    Infamous real-estate heir Robert Durst has been arrested in New Orleans on a warrant for an execution-style murder in which he has long been suspected. Durst's lawyer said his 71-year-old client was detained by the FBI at a Marriott hotel for the murder of Susan Berman 15 years ago in Beverly Hills, California. The attorney, Chip Lewis, said Durst will waive extradition and be transported back to Los Angeles to face the charges. Durst is also considered a suspect in the 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathleen Durst. More »

  • Ex-hostage tells of mock execution
    Ex-hostage tells of mock execution Sun, Mar 15, 2015

    A freed Islamic State (IS) hostage has described the moment he was subjected to a mock execution by the British militant dubbed Jihadi John. More »

  • Pakistani mother calls for halting son's execution Sat, Mar 14, 2015

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — An elderly Pakistani mother made an emotional appeal Saturday for authorities to halt the execution of her son, who was sentenced to death at age 14. More »

  • No. 9 Kansas beats No. 16 Baylor 62-52 in Big 12 semifinals
    No. 9 Kansas beats No. 16 Baylor 62-52 in Big 12 semifinals Sat, Mar 14, 2015

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Bill Self was the first to admit that Kansas and Baylor set basketball back Friday night. In fact, the Jayhawks coach said the late Phog Allen and Henry Iba would have been rolling in their graves watching their ugly execution. More »

  • Brother of man executed by Utah firing squad calls it brutal
    Brother of man executed by Utah firing squad calls it brutal Thu, Mar 12, 2015

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Randy Gardner still struggles four years later to talk about seeing his brother's bullet-riddled body at the mortuary after he was executed. More »

  • Madigan: ‘ROG always stepped up to the plate and he always executed too’
    Madigan: ‘ROG always stepped up to the plate and he always executed too’ Thu, Mar 12, 2015

    The Leinster out-half explains what goes into being a replacement in Joe Schmidt’s match day 23. More »