Justice Department Seeks Death Penalty For Dylan Roof

Dylan Roof, the (alleged) shooter of a historically black church in South Carolina, may receive the harshest punishment possible if convicted. According to the Grio, the Justice Department is seeking the death penalty tied to his nine counts of murder. Roof’s attorneys reportedly say they were considering a guilty plea until the death penalty became a part of the possible sentencing.

“The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a brief statement. It went on to say that the department considered “all relevant factual and legal issues.”

Eric Holder Calls For Moratorium On Death Penalty

eric holder

From The Huffington Post:

Attorney General Eric Holder called Tuesday for a moratorium on the death penalty pending a Supreme Court decision on the use of lethal injection drugs in Oklahoma.

Speaking at a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Holder, noting that he was speaking in a personal capacity and not as a member of the administration, said the “inevitable” possibility of executing an innocent individual is what makes him oppose capital punishment.

“Our system of justice is the best in the world. It is comprised of men and women who do the best they can, get it right more often than not, substantially more right than wrong,” Holder said. “There’s always the possibility that mistakes will be made … It’s for that reason that I am opposed to the death penalty.”

He continued: “I think fundamental questions about the death penalty need to be asked. And among them, the Supreme Court’s determination as to whether or not lethal injection is consistent with our Constitution is one that ought to occur. From my perspective, I think a moratorium until the Supreme Court made that determination would be appropriate.”

Holder clarified that his personal views on the matter are not part of an ongoing Justice Department review of state execution practices.

Read more at The Huffington Post

Missouri ties own record for most executions in a year

 

The state of Missouri tied its own record for the most executions in a year when they put a man who killed a suburban Kansas City gas station attendant in 1994 early Wednesday.

Leon Taylor, 56, was pronounced dead at 12:22 a.m. at the state prison in Bonne Terre, minutes after receiving a lethal injection. Missouri has executed nine prisoners in 2014.

Complaint Filed Against Texas Federal Judge Alleging Racial Bias

Civil Rights activists have filed a complaint of misconduct against Texas appeals judge Judge Edith H. Jones, asserting that she harbors dangerous racial bias.

At a speaking engagement at the University of Penn Law School, Jones asserted that Blacks and Hispanics are more prone to violent crimes, that death row sentences are a service to defendants because they can “make peace with God,” and that courtroom defenses dealing with mental retardation and systemic racism are “red herrings.”

Wow.

Judge Stops Terrence Williams Execution

Terrence Williams, who was convicted of first-degree murder, will no longer be executed by lethal injection on Wednesday due to a Philadelphia judge’s decision.

His execution has been halted based on evidence that, as a teenager, Williams had been sexually abused by his victim, Amos Norwood.