Loss of innocence: the experience of exonerated death row inmates

Juan Melendez spent 17 years, eight months, and one day on Florida’s death row for a crime he did not commit, before being exonerated in 2002 when the transcript of a confession by the real murderer came to light – evidence that had been withheld by the prosecutor. Juan received no assistance and no compensation from the state of Florida in the wake of his exoneration.

Sabrina Butler was a Mississippi teenager convicted of murder and child abuse in the death of her nine-month-old son, Walter Dean. She was later exonerated of all wrongdoing  . . .                     Continue reading: The Conversation

South Carolina death row inmates won’t be executed anytime soon

SCDOC director ‘unsuccessful in acquiring lethal injection drugs’
. . . South Carolina is one of many states whose death penalties are on hold because of drug companies’ refusal to supply pentobarbital, a sedative used in lethal injection cocktails.
Stirling said he is deciding whether another sedative, midazolam, could be a suitable substitute for pentobarbital.  Read more: WYFF

Overview

All life is worth saving

Just as in Clarence Darrow’s day, the death penalty continues to be practiced in many American states. Yet around the world, the majority of nations no longer executes their prisoners, showing increasing support for the abolition of capital punishment. Recently, in December 2014, when the United Nations General Assembly introduced a resolution calling for an international moratorium on the use of the death penalty, a record 117 countries voted in favor of abolition, while only 38 nations, including the United States, voted against it. Indeed, falling just behind China, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, the United States is recorded to have the 5th highest rate of execution worldwide. Continue reading

High Court’s Ruling, Say Critics, Endorses ‘Torturing People to Death’

-“Under the Court’s new rule, it would not matter whether the State intended to use midazolam, or instead to have petitioners drawn and quartered, slowly tortured to death, or actually burned at the stake,” write dissenting justices.

In the most closely-watched death penalty case in years, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled 5-4 that Oklahoma can use the controversial and experimental execution drug midazolam that was behind the last year’s horrific killing of 38-year-old man Clayton Lockett – who writhed and groaned for 43 minutes before ultimately succumbing to a heart attack.   Continue reading: Common Dreams

Click here for the text of the ruling: Glossip v. Gross
Selected lines from the ruling and the dissent: CNN.com