Justices Split In Aggressive Arguments Over Oklahoma Execution Drug

“Nothing you say or read to me am I going to believe, frankly,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor tells Oklahoma’s lawyer.
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court justices showed deep division Wednesday on the use of a sedative drug, midazolam, in executions — from accusations that death penalty opponents are engaged in “guerrilla” warfare to a pointed attack on whether Oklahoma’s lawyer could be trusted.
Continue reading: Buzzfeed.com  (Scroll down on that page for a link to the transcript.)
Related: Pro Publica: Key Expert in Supreme Court Lethal Injection Case Did His Research on Drugs.com

S.C. lawmaker proposes firing squad as death penalty option

. . .  Putnam’s bill, H. 4038, was introduced and referred to the House Judiciary Committee today. Putnam is the only listed sponsor of the bill. Tyler Jones, spokesman for the S.C. House Democrats, has already come out against Putnam’s bill. “Since Republicans are always in a time warp, we’re wondering if Rep. Putnam will offer a death by guillotine option as well,” Jones says.

Ron Kaz, a James Island resident and member of the advocacy group South Carolinians Abolishing the Death Penalty, says he was unaware of Putnam’s proposal before it was introduced today. “It’s obviously unnecessary, and I’d like to think it’s unlikely to go anywhere, but given the nature of some of the strange things that come out of our legislature, we’ll never know for sure,” Kaz says.

Read the article at the Charleston City Paper

FBI Gave Flawed Testimony For Decades, Including 32 Death Penalty Cases

“The FBI’s 3-decade use of microscopic hair analysis to incriminate defendants was a complete disaster,” according to Innocence Project co-founder Peter Neufeld. The Justice Department and FBI recently admitted that almost every examiner in the elite forensics team exaggerated their findings. What this will mean for the wrongfully convicted remains to be seen.
Continue reading: Inquisitr
St Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri executed a man last year whose capital trials were marked by flawed FBI lab testimony about hair samples.
Philadelphia Magazine: FBI: We Gave Flawed Testimony in 6 Pennsylvania Death Row Cases

The Death Penalty Becomes Rare

National support for the death penalty is still in decline. A new Pew poll released last week found that 56 percent of Americans now support the death penalty, a decline of over 20 percent from its peak in 1996. Opposition to it rose to 38 percent. These numbers might still seem good for capital-punishment proponents, even considering the overall trend of decline, but they mask a deeper shift.
Continue reading: The Atlantic