Monthly Archives: October 2015

States Lawyer Up, Looking To Find A Way To Buy Execution Drugs From Overseas

WASHINGTON — At least three states — Texas, Ohio, and Arizona — have hired outside lawyers to help them obtain execution drugs that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a related court order have declared are illegal to import, BuzzFeed News has learned.

This is what is likely to happen if they do obtain those drugs:
It’s Really Hard to Believe How Much of a Disaster the U.S. Lethal Injection System Is (Slate.com)

Obama says death penalty ‘deeply troubling’

Amid new scrutiny of American capital punishment practices, President Barack Obama said in an interview released Friday he was disturbed by the practical effects of the death penalty.

While Obama said he wasn’t opposed “in theory” to killing criminals convicted of heinous crimes, he said that data showing racial biases and wrongful convictions have prompted him to wonder whether the death penalty remains a legitimate tool.
Continue reading: CNN

The Ultimate Punishment

A look at death row in South Carolina
by Christina Elmore

A monotonous existence awaits those condemned to the corridors of death row. Having committed the most egregious of crimes against others across the state, these men now spend the bulk of their time alone.

They eat and sleep in single cells. The lucky ones get an hour of recreation time a day, often spent exercising or reaching through the bars that divide them to play a game of checkers with a neighboring inmate.

“You rarely hear any of them talking about the death penalty or what they have coming up,” said the prison’s warden, Joseph McFadden.
Read the article at the Charleston Post and Courier

Death row inmate who killed trooper in Berkeley County found dead while awaiting new sentence

. . . Officers at Lieber Correctional Institution found the body of 36-year-old Jesse Sapp in his cell on Sunday, state prisons spokeswoman Stephanie Givens said. He died around 3 p.m. that day, Interim Dorchester County Coroner Katrina Patton added.
His cause and manner of death were still undetermined after an autopsy, Patton said.
Read the article at the Post and Courier

What’s wrong with executions? Breyer offers opinions

Six capital convictions to be reviewed

Justice Stephen G. Breyer has a couple reasons why he wants to hear arguments from both sides on the constitutionality of capital punishment.

Breyer called for briefing on the issue in a dissent, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in a June decision that upheld the use of the execution drug midazolam. In an interview with MSNBC, Breyer explained why he’s ready to examine the issue.

Continue reading; ABA Journal

The execution of a US prisoner who didn’t kill anyone has raised questions about the death penalty

. . . According to Save Innocents, a group dedicated to highlighting possible death row miscarriages of justice, about 40 people have been put to death since the mid-1970s despite serious doubts about their guilt.

Meanwhile, a 2014 study by academics in Michigan and Pennsylvania found up to 4.1 per cent of prisoners sentenced to death since 1973 may well be innocent. If accurate, and some say it is closer to 2 per cent of cases, it could mean more that 300 people have either languished or perished on death row.

Read the article at News.com.au