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

Why Is It So Easy for Prosecutors to Strike Black Jurors?

Last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Timothy Tyrone Foster, a black man sentenced to death by an all-white Georgia jury in 1987 for murdering an elderly white woman. Foster claims that the prosecution deliberately eliminated all four eligible black jurors.  The state argues that race played no role in jury selection. It’s an odd argument in light of the evidence that emerged decades after Foster’s conviction: in their notes, the prosecutors highlighted the black jurors’ names in green; circled the answer “black” on the questionnaire where jurors had been asked to identify their race; labelled three black jurors “B#1,” “B#2,” and “B#3”; and identified which person to keep “if we had to pick a black juror.”
Continue reading: The New Yorker

Exonerated death row inmate Glenn Ford seeking donations for medical care

Glenn Ford spent nearly three decades on Angola’s death row for a murder he did not commit. He battled a terminal cancer diagnosis that, according to his federal lawsuit, went needlessly untreated by prison staff. And he challenged the state of Louisiana over its denial of wrongful conviction and imprisonment compensation.
Continue reading: NOLA (The Times-Picayune)