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Updated: 12 hours 44 min ago

Execution in Texas called off as death penalty continues to dwindle nationwide

Tue, 08/23/2016 - 12:08pm

In 2000, the United States carried out 85 executions, nearly half of them in Texas. The national figure was down slightly from a year earlier, when 98 inmates were executed, but the number of executions in Texas had increased from the year before.

Efforts to end death penalty gain steam

Tue, 08/23/2016 - 7:36am

After nearly two decades of declining use, opponents of the death penalty have begun what they characterize as a sustained legislative and political push to end capital punishment in states across the country. Legislators appear poised to end capital punishment in states as different as deep-blue Delaware and ruby-red Utah.

Mother of Metro PCS murder victim endorses challenger Melissa Nelson...

Tue, 08/23/2016 - 3:17am

Marietta Jaeger Lane comforts Darlene Farah as she talks about the 2013 shooting death of her daughter at a Metro PCS store in Jacksonville during a forum on the death penalty in Jacksonville at the Springfield Community Learning Center on Tuesday, March 29. Farah has announced she is endorsing Melissa Nelson in the race for State Attorney. The mother of murder victim Shelby Farah said Monday morning she wants attorney Melissa Nelson to defeat incumbent state attorney Angela Corey in next weeks election.

Dylann Roof wrote white supremacist manifestos

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 10:58pm

Investigators found two handwritten manifestos espousing white supremacy in the car and jail cell of a white man accused of killing nine black parishioners at a Charleston, South Carolina, church last year, according to a court document filed on Monday. Investigators also found handwritten letters and a list of churches among the papers belonging to accused killer Dylann Roof, who faces trial on 33 federal crimes including hate crimes, obstruction of religious practice and firearms charges.

Accused Mukilteo shooter pleads not guilty in deaths of 3

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 8:24pm

The 19-year-old man accused of killing three teens and wounding a fourth at a Mukilteo house party last month pleaded not guilty to several charges Monday afternoon, including three that could result in the death penalty. Allen Ivanov pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated first-degree domestic violence murder; two counts of aggravated first-degree murder; and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Evangelicals ditching death penalty? Marshall Project query

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 3:50pm

Evangelicals were once considered solidly in support of the death penalty, but that may no longer be the case, according to The Marshall Project. In a recent article, the non-profit criminal justice news agency raises the question: "Are Evangelicals Ditching the Death Penalty?" Earlier this month, about 50 evangelical leaders signed a letter urging the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Gov. Greg Abbott to stop the Aug. 24 execution of death row inmate Jeff Wood, who was in a car while his friend shot and killed a gas station clerk during a robbery.

The death penalty's essential futility

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 11:17am

Maybe our society should congratulate itself occasionally on how much progress it's made in the last half-century toward equality and individual rights, especially for women, racial minorities and LBGT. Or maybe self-congratulation isn't called for just for doing the right thing.

Jigisha Ghosh murder case: Death for two, life term for another

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 6:29am

New Delhi, Aug 22: A Delhi court today awarded death penalty to two convicts and life term to another for robbing and killing IT executive Jigisha Ghosh here in 2009, observing that it was a "brutal" and "cold blooded murder". "To be hanged by neck till death," Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav said, while awarding death to convicts Ravi Kapoor and Amit Shukla.

Texas inmate who didn't kill anyone gets stay of execution

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 2:09am

Days before Jeffrey Wood was expected to be executed for his role in a deadly robbery 20 years ago, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday granted him a stay of execution. In 1996, a 22-year-old Wood waited in a pickup truck while his friend Daniel Reneau went inside a gas station in Kerrville, Texas to steal the store's safe.

Iraq hangs 36 over 2014 massacre of recruits

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 9:56pm

Iraq on Sunday hanged 36 men convicted over the 2014 massacre by Sunni jihadists and allied militants of up to 1,700 military recruits, officials said. They had been found guilty of involvement in the "Speicher" massacre, named after a base near Tikrit where the recruits were kidnapped before being executed in a massacre claimed by the Islamic State group.

Lack of drugs is latest obstacle for Nevada death penalty

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 5:31pm

Several pills taken from Prince's estate in Paisley Park after his death were counterfeit drugs that actually contained fentanyl - a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin, an official close to the... Some of the pills taken from Prince's estate in Paisley Park after his death were counterfeit drugs that actually contained fentanyl - a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin, an official close to the... Authorities say a man has confessed after five people were found dead inside a southern Alabama home where a 4-month-old baby also was found alive.

Lack of Drugs is Latest Obstacle for Nevada Death Penalty

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 1:18pm

Nevada officials face yet another obstacle in carrying out the death penalty if inmates exhaust their final appeals. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports one of the two drugs that make up the lethal injection has expired, and companies that produce it refuse on principle to give the state any more.

Review panel recommends removing Judge in Crowley death penalty case

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 9:05am

A judge presiding over a death penalty murder case in which a Colorado prison inmate is accused of fatally stabbing a female correctional officer is one of two Colorado judges that local review commissions earmarked for removal from the bench in November's general election. The State Commission on Judicial Performance identified Judge Michael Andrew Schiferl of the 16th Judicial District in Crowley County and Judge Jill-Ellyn Straus of the 17th Judicial District in Adams County as judges who should not be retained by voters in November.

Gregory W. Gardner: Incompetent counsel in death penalty cases

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 4:46am

In this June 10, 2016 photo, attorney Jerry Guerinot, poses for a photo at his Houston, Texas office. Guerinot figures he's taken about 600 cases to trial in his more than four-decade-long career.

Taylor Gleeson: Emotion should not determine death penalty stance

Sun, 08/21/2016 - 12:13am

Last spring, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that "following the department's rigorous review process to thoroughly consider all relevant factual and legal issues, I have determined that the Justice Department will seek the death penalty" in the case of United States v Dylann Roof. In June of last year, then-21-year-old Roof entered a bible study at the Emanuel AME church in Charleston, S.C., when he open fired on the group, and is now being charged with the murder of nine members of the church.

Judge: Kussmaul, co-defendants - actually innocent' of 1992 rapes, murders

Sat, 08/20/2016 - 7:50pm

Convicted murderer Richard Bryan Kussmaul and the three co-defendants who testified against him 22 years ago are "actually innocent," and Kussmaul should be freed from prison, a retired state district judge ruled Friday. Judge George Allen, who presided over Kussmaul's 1994 capital murder trial, recommended that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals grant applications for writs of habeas corpus for Kussmaul, James Edward Long, Michael Dewayne Shelton and James Wayne Pitts Jr. Kussmaul is serving a life prison term in the 1992 shooting deaths of Leslie Murphy, 17, and Stephen Neighbors, 14, in a mobile home near Moody.

Texas court grants stay of execution for man who did not commit murder

Sat, 08/20/2016 - 3:38pm

Wood and Daniel Reneau attempted to rob [CNN report] a gas station in 1996. Wood waited in the car while Reneau went inside the store and ultimately shot and killed the store's clerk.

Attorneys argue Indiana death penalty unconstitutional

Sat, 08/20/2016 - 11:29am

Attorneys for a man who faces charges in the deaths of seven women have argued in court filings that the state of Indiana's death penalty law is unconstitutional. Darren Vann remains in isolation at the Lake County jail, the Post-Tribune reported.

Lakewood man charged with murder of taxi driver in Hollywood

Sat, 08/20/2016 - 7:19am

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office charged 34-year-old Najib Halibi with one count of murder along with allegedly committing murder during a robbery. The charges make Halibi eligible for the death penalty, authorities said.

Delaware Court Deems Death Penalty Law Unconstitutional

Sat, 08/20/2016 - 3:06am

As we become a more civilized nation, it is hard to watch things that go on around the world and not want to step in. The treatment that is suffered around the world for the smallest offenses such as one's religion is hard for Americans to stomach.