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Supreme Court Sets Aside Death Sentence for Triple Murderer

By Christopher Zoukis In a brief, unsigned opinion handed down October 11, the U.S. Supreme Court has thrown out the death sentence an Oklahoma jury gave Shaun Michael Bosse after convicting him in 2010 of the first-degree murders of his former girlfriend and her two young children. Bosse fatally stabbed 25-year-old Katrina Griffin and her

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State Supreme Court Strikes Down Delaware’s Death Penalty Law

By a 3-2 margin, the Delaware Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional the state’s death penalty law, because it allows a presiding judge to disregard a jury’s recommendation on whether the death penalty should be imposed. The state’s high court held that violates the Sixth Amendment’s right to a jury trial. The Delaware ruling follows the

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Missouri Uses Execution Drug despite DOC Director’s Denials Of Plans to Use

By Christopher Zoukis Missouri’s nine most recent executions have been carried out by killing prisoners with Midazolam, a drug that the state’s Director of the Department of Corrections has stated in a sworn deposition that it had no intention to use. Department of Corrections Director George Lombardi said in a January deposition that Missouri would

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Excluding Black Jurors Voids Long-Ago Murder Conviction

In a landmark 7-1 decision earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court voided a nearly 30-year-old murder conviction of a black inmate in Georgia due to prosecutors’ efforts to keep black jurors from hearing the case. Timothy Tyrone Foster, an 18-year-old youth with mental disabilities (which would eventually lead a state court to find his

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Alabama resumes executions as appeals court fails to intervene

A Montgomery, Ala.-based federal appeals court has refused to delay the execution of a state prisoner, even as his lawyers contended his conviction might be invalid in light of a recent Supreme Court decision and argued the execution ought to await the outcome of a lawsuit that could find executions in the state unconstitutionally cruel.

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Florida’s death penalty ruling likely to spark appeals

A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court has invalidated the way Florida imposes the death penalty, finding that it violates the Sixth Amendment. The action could spark new appeals by many of the nearly 400 prisoners in the state facing death sentences. In its 8-1 decision in Hurst v. Florida, issued earlier this month,

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The fight for Richard Glossip must go on

For several minutes on Wednesday afternoon, the world slowed down for those of us who act as advocates of prisoners’ rights. As each second crawled by, we waited with bated breath to hear the news as to whether Richard Glossip, convicted of the killing of Barry Van Treese in 1997, would take his final breaths

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Nebraska’s death penalty ban could be a watershed moment for America

On May 27th, the Nebraska legislature made the landmark decision to ban the death penalty in the state. A vote by the legislature came down in favor of overturning Governor Pete Rickett’s attempt to veto a ban on capital punishment in the state. And while some may be surprised that the red state has made this determination,

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Former Virginia Executioner Now an Anti-Death Penalty Activist

Once Virginia’s chief executioner, Jerry Givens put 62 people to death over a 17-year period from 1982 to 1999. Then he had an epiphany that pushed him to use his experience to advocate against the death penalty. Givens, 60, became a supporter of capital punishment at an early age. While attending a house party when

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California’s Lethal Injection Protocol Deemed Invalid by State Court

By Michael Brodheim In May 2013, a California appeals court invalidated regulations promulgated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) regarding the manner in which the state executes condemned prisoners. The appellate court held that the CDCR had “substantially failed to comply” with the procedural requirements of the state’s administrative rules; the decision

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