The United States Supreme Court has denied the state of Arkansas the right to execute two prisoners out of 8 slated to be put to death this month. This decision was made before the state’s lethal injection drugs expire. These would be the state’s first executions in 12 years, since Eric Nance in 2005.
To protect their practice of utilizing the death penalty, Mississippi lawmakers proposed a bill that would turn to firing squads, gas chambers and electrocution to end the lives of death row inmates.
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.”
From The Huffington Post:
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
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.
According to a recent report released by the ACLU, racial bias continues to taint the capital punishment system in the United States.
The discrepancies were prevalent in areas such as jury selection to through decisions about who faces execution.
A Texas man is facing the death penalty after killing a police officer who was part of a raid on his home.
On Friday, May 9, 2014, Marvin Louis Guy shot an officer who he thought was an intruder. They were looking for drugs, yet none were found in the home.
Convicted rapist and murderer Clayton Lockett’s execution was botched to say the least. The death row inmate ended up struggling for 43 minutes against his straps before finally succumbing to a heart attack.
Authorities decided to take a closer look at the cocktail of drugs used for execution of inmates. What they found was startling.
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.”
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.