When the state of Arkansas announced plans to carry out eight executions in an 11-day period in April, it drew intense international scrutiny that flared until well after the final lethal injection in the series at the end of the month. In part, this attention was fueled by the explanation, offered by state officials, that the timetable was necessary because the supply of 1 of the state’s lethal drugs was about to expire and authorities had to carry out death penalties for eight men convicted of murder before then.
Continue reading: Washington Post
Arkansas hasn’t had an execution in 12 years, so why the sudden rush? Simple: their lethal injection drugs are about to expire.
Arkansas has exactly eight doses left of a crucial drug used to perform lethal injections, and it’s set to expire at the end of April. So the governor scheduled eight executions packed into a ten day period — with two executions per day — as if the justice system was a conveyor belt. Take Action Continue reading
Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala announces that her office will no longer pursue the death penalty as a sentence.
By Scott Martelle March 17, 2017
A recently elected prosecutor in Florida announced Thursday that she would unilaterally take the death penalty off the table for murder cases handled by her office, a decision that drew a stern rebuke from some quarters, and led Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove her from a pending case against an accused cop killer. But State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who represents two counties near Orlando, also drew accolades from others. Add me to the accolade list.
Continue reading: Los Angeles Times
Update: Florida governor reassigns cop-killing case after prosecutor refuses death penalty (Chicago Tribune)
Update (3/9) ORLANDO, Fla. — Gov. Rick Scott of Florida overreached last month when he issued an executive order stripping a state attorney of her authority to prosecute a man charged with killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and an Orlando police officer. On Monday, he also removed her from 21 other murder cases.
The newly elected district attorney in Denver, Beth McCann, announced last month that her office would no longer seek the death penalty. “I don’t think that the state should be in the business of killing people,” she said.
In Harris County, Tex., which includes Houston and has long been one of the most execution-friendly counties in America, the new district attorney, Kim Ogg, said there would be “very few death penalty prosecutions” under her administration.
Read more: New York Times
On many issues, President Donald Trump’s opinions are murky at best. He’s offered a number of different positions on issues like abortion rights, foreign policy and even his favorite issue, immigration. There’s 1 issue, though, where Trump has remained unambiguous throughout his campaign, even dating back to his days as a real estate mogul: capital punishment.
Read more: mic.com (scroll down to the end of that story for an excellent photo from the Jan. 17 action against the death penalty!)
Eighteen protesters were arrested on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday morning after displaying a large “STOP EXECUTIONS!” banner calling for an end to capital punishment in America.
The demonstration was timed to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1977 execution by firing squad of Garry Gilmore, the first since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976. Similar protests have taken place every five years . . . continue reading: National Law Journal
Abolitionist Action Committee press release
Activists call on Nation to End the Death Penalty as State Executions hit Historic Lows
Members of the anti-death penalty Abolitionist Action Committee (AAC) and many faith leaders will stage a highly visual demonstration at the U.S. Supreme Court in the 10:00 am hour, Tuesday, January 17 to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1st execution under contemporary laws. A program featuring death row exonerees, murder victim family members and others, will take place the evening before. Continue reading
A Charleston, S.C., jury convicted racist murderer Dylann Roof of hate crimes last month, and now the only question is whether the state will put him to death. We oppose the death penalty even for the Dylann Roofs of the world. But if the jury disagrees with us, at least it would hand down the ultimate punishment in retribution for a truly unusual crime and without a shadow of doubt about Mr. Roof’s guilt.
Read more: Washington Post editorial
Last week, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for a worldwide “moratorium on the use of the death penalty”—the sixth that the U.N. has approved in the past decade. Each one has gained the support of more of the organization’s members. The latest vote was a hundred and seventeen countries in favor to forty against. (Thirty-one abstained, and five did not vote.)
Read the article at The New Yorker
Year End Report
Another Record Decline in Death Penalty Use
Death sentences, executions and public support for the death penalty at historic lows.
Courts bar unconstitutional practices in four states.
Read the full report or watch a two minute summary: Death Penalty Information Center