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15 Dec 2011 11:39


U.S.: Death penalty: Statistics show significant decline in support, enactment

  • 78 number of death sentences handed out in 2011, which is way down from last year
  • 43 number of executions that happened nationwide this year; that’s down by three
  • 13 number of executions in Texas, the state with the most; they were also down from 2010 source
  • » A decline in the overall numbers: According to the Death Penalty Information Center, the death sentence number is the smallest since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. And public support is starting to fade: According to stats from Gallup, support for the death penalty is at its lowest level in nearly 40 years. Opposition is at its highest level since 1972. Keep this in mind when Rick Perry leads a crowd to cheers during a discussion about the death penalty. Or when cases like Troy Davis‘ widely-contested execution build support against the death penalty.

21 Sep 2011 22:34


U.S.: Man involved in infamous James Byrd Jr. hate crime executed

  • Hopefully, today’s execution of Brewer can remind all of us that racial hatred and prejudice leads to terrible consequence for the victim, the victim’s family, for the perpetrator and for the perpetrator’s family.
  • Clara Taylor, the sister of James Byrd, Jr. • Speaking of the execution of Lawrence Russell Brewer, one of the men responsible for the infamous hate crime that took her brother’s life. “We’re making progress,” she said. “I know he was guilty so I have no qualms about the death penalty.” This is in contrast to Taylor’s nephew, Ross Byrd, who felt it wasn’t the right move prior to the execution. Brewer was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m. local time — or 7:21 EDT. His final words: “No. I have no final statement.” source

21 Sep 2011 10:58


U.S.: Death penalty: One of James Byrd Jr.’s killers will be executed tonight

  • With all the hubbub over Troy Davis’ probable execution, there’s another death penatly case that’s about to hit a head tonight, and this one was probably far more notorious at the time. In 1998, James Byrd, Jr. (right), was murdered in one of the worst hate crimes in modern times — dragged behind a pickup truck that was moving at full-speed. Lawrence Russell Brewer, left, is an avowed white supremacist and one of two men on death row for the attack. Brewer is scheduled to die tonight, but Byrd’s own son doesn’t want that. “You can’t fight murder with murder,” Ross Byrd said about the case. “Life in prison would have been fine. I know he can’t hurt my daddy anymore. I wish the state would take in mind that this isn’t what we want.” The execution is set for 6 p.m. local time tonight. source

13 Sep 2011 15:20


Politics: Four more executions in Texas scheduled over next eight days

  • Rick Perry’s Execution problem: Though it’s beginning to look like an asset in a deep-red GOP primary process, the brouhaha over Rick Perry’s stewardship of the Texas death penalty continues – four more inmates are slated to die over the next eight days. In one case, a man named Duane Buck who shot and killed two people was subject to prejudicial testimony when a psychologist claimed his race (Buck is black) increased the likelihood of future dangerous acts. Another, Steven Woods, is to be executed for a murder that an accomplice has since claimed he carried out. Whatever your political stripe, these issues demand intense scrutiny from a responsible society (as this exemplary article illustrates, the odds that Texas has executed an innocent person seem gallingly high). source

12 Aug 2011 14:42


U.S.: Serial killer Anthony Sowell sentenced to death by lethal injection

Sowell, from Cleveland, was convicted in the deaths of 11 women. He didn’t even look at the victims’ families during the sentencing, nor did he acknowledge the judge when asked to sign a court document. source

28 Mar 2011 12:46


World: A grim mark: China ranked as 2010’s world leader in executions

  • Crime and punishment in China: Amnesty International claimed yesterday that while the exact number is guarded as a state secret, they believe thousands of people were executed in the China last year, more than every other country combined. While China has maintained they’ve taken steps to lower their rate of execution, such as mandatory review of all death penalty cases since 2007, Amnesty International says they’ve still been executing people for “a wide range of crimes that include nonviolent offences and after proceedings that did not meet international fair trial standards.” source

10 Mar 2011 13:27


Politics: Johnnie Baston, 37, executed in Ohio with animal drug

  • old Lethal injections in the state of Ohio, a controversial issue from the get-go, used to be made from sodium thiopental. The company that makes the drug relocated to Italy, however, and the country refused to allow production if it was to be used for the death penalty.
  • new The first execution since took place today, as inmate Johnnie Baston was injected with pentobarbital, typically used to kill horses. As the drug was administered on its own with no customary blend of tested drugs, this has raised the ire of prisoner rights advocates. source

02 Mar 2011 21:45


U.S.: Fresh Wikileaks charges: Did Bradley Manning “aid the enemy”?

  • 22 number of new charges against Wikileaking suspect Pfc. Bradley Manning, on top of two initial charges
  • yes Manning could face the death penalty over letting all this information get in the hands of Wikileaks source
  • » Soooooooo … The charges include the vague “aiding the enemy” as well as a number of computer-based and security-based theft thingy thangs. Some of the files, according to the charges were worth more than $1,000, according to the government. (Were they also bigger than a breadbox?) Do we really need to say anything here? Do the charges speak for themselves?

21 Jan 2011 14:42


U.S.: Thiopental sodium: Key lethal injection drug headed off the market?

  • This will be a challenge for [medical] customers and we regret that. But we don’t want to put our Italian facility at risk that the product will be misused.
  • Hospira spokeswoman Tareta Adams • Discussing the company’s decision to pull a key drug used in lethal executions off the market. The drug, thiopental sodium, is widely used by prisons all over the country, but in the wake of manufacturing issues in 2009, they had to stop producing the product. They were about to restart production at an italian factory, but an order by that country’s parliament forced Hospira to agree not to allow the Italian-produced drugs to be used in lethal injections in the U.S. So now, American prisons will be screwed or forced to use other medications to do the same thing. In Oklahoma, the drug pentobarbital, usually used to put animals down, was used in an execution there after a court decision. source

11 Jan 2011 21:37


U.S.: Illinois about to become sixteenth state without death penalty

  • then Since January of 2000, Illinois hasn’t executed anybody on death row, because it was discovered that the state executed people later found to be innocent.
  • now In a slow-coming-but-now-here move, Pat Quinn is about to sign legislation abolishing the death penalty in the state. They’ll be joining 15 states and DC. source