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A Second Chance for Lifers in Louisiana?

By Christopher Zoukis Take a life, and spend your life in prison. It’s the “fair” second-degree murder sentence in Louisiana.  Lately, however, there has been some push back against this sentence in the state, and since Louisiana is one of just two states left in the U.S. that has a mandatory life sentence without parole

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Executions, Death Penalty Verdicts Stay Near Record-Low Levels

The year-end report for 2017, recently released by the Death Penalty Information Center, shows that the 23 executions carried out in 2017 remain near a record-low level. During the last 25 years, only the 20 executions carried out in 2016 was lower. Similarly, the figure of 39 death-penalty sentences expected to be handed down by

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Research Shows Waning Support for Death Penalty in U.S.

The Death Penalty Information Center has released a report highlighting significant changes in the number of executions in the United States in 2016. According to the report, there were 20 executions in the U.S. during calendar year 2016 – the lowest number in 25 years. Additionally, juries imposed fewer death sentences than in any year

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Challenge to Lethal Injection Drug Rejected

By Christopher Zoukis On November 2, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit upheld a district court’s denial of death row prisoner Thomas D. Arthur’s challenge to the use of the drug midazolam in the lethal injection protocol used by the State of Alabama. Arthur challenged midazolam as the first in a series of three drugs administered during

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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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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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Iran’s Mass Executions and Abuses Continue

By Christopher Zoukis Iran’s dismal record on human rights has been reinforced once again, via the latest wave of mass executions, prisoner abuses, and clampdowns on those who stand against its theocratic regime. On August 4, 2014, 40 prisoners were killed at Shahr-e Kord prison in an intentional slaughter when firefighters were denied access to

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Last Act in Office – Maryland Governor Commutes Four Death Row Prisoners

By Christopher Zoukis In a highly controversial decision, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley (D) commutes the sentences of four death-row prisoners to spend the rest of their lives in prison without the possibility of parole. An opponent of the death penalty, O’Malley has been fighting to abolish the death penalty for years. “In my judgment, leaving

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Executions at Long-time Low, but Debate Grows

Prisoner executions in the U.S. last year fell to the lowest level in almost a quarter-century, with only 28 death sentences carried out. So far this year, the pace has remained just as slow, with 14 executions carried out by five states (one apiece by Alabama, Florida and Missouri, five in Georgia, and six by

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