Latest Criminal punishment News

File this Thursday March 21, 2020 file photo shows Virginia State Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, gestures during a news conference in his office at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Morrissey, sponsored legislation that was approved by the General Assembly last week that will turn over sentencing of criminal defendants to judges instead of juries, beginning in July 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

After 200 years, Virginia to let judges decide sentences

Oct. 24, 2020 8:24 AM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Defense attorneys call it “the jury penalty.” It’s a centuries-old sentencing system in Virginia that calls for juries to decide punishment for criminal defendants, and often leads to stiffer sentences than what judges give or prosecutors offer in plea deals. ...

Rights group slams Egypt’s execution of 49 this month

Oct. 22, 2020 8:40 AM EDT

CAIRO (AP) — A leading international human rights group on Thursday condemned Egypt's execution of 49 people so far this month — some arrested during a deadly crackdown on a mass protest in 2013 — and urged authorities in Cairo to grant fair retrials to those on the death row. Between Oct. 3...

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2020, file photo shows the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind. A woman convicted of fatally strangling a pregnant woman, cutting her body open and kidnapping her baby is scheduled to be the first female inmate put to death by the U.S. government in more than six decades, the Justice Department said Friday, Oct. 16. Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Dec. 8 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Feds to execute woman who killed victim, cut baby from womb

Oct. 16, 2020 8:34 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A woman convicted of fatally strangling a pregnant woman, cutting her body open and kidnapping her baby is scheduled to be the first female inmate put to death by the U.S. government in more than six decades, the Justice Department said Friday. Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to be executed...

FILE - In this March 30, 2019, file photo, Alexanda Amon Kotey, left, and El Shafee Elsheikh, who were allegedly among four British jihadis who made up a brutal Islamic State cell dubbed

US charges British IS members in deaths of American hostages

Oct. 7, 2020 10:29 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Islamic State militants from Britain were brought to the United States on Wednesday to face charges in a gruesome campaign of torture, beheadings and other acts of violence against four Americans and others captured and held hostage in Syria. El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey are...

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Justices reject South Dakota's only death row inmate's case

Oct. 5, 2020 1:30 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court refused on Monday to take up an appeal from South Dakota’s only death row inmate, who pleaded guilty to taking part in a torture killing 20 years ago. The court did not comment in leaving in place the death sentence for Briley Piper, 39, of Anchorage, Alaska, who...

8th federal execution since July scheduled for Nov. 19

Sep. 30, 2020 7:49 PM EDT

CHICAGO (AP) — A Black death-row inmate who was convicted of kidnapping and killing a Texas teenager in 1994 has been scheduled for execution in November, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. If the lethal injection goes ahead as scheduled Nov. 19, Orlando Hall would be the eighth person executed...

This undated image taken from video provided by attorney Susan Otto shows Christopher Vialva in the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind. Otto, the lawyer for Vialva, the first Black inmate set to die in a series of federal executions this year says race played a central role in landing him on death row for slaying a white couple from Iowa. Otto says just one juror was Black and 11 white at Vialva's 2000 federal trial in western Texas. Vialva's execution is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Susan Otto via AP)

Feds put first Black inmate to death since execution restart

Sep. 24, 2020 10:52 PM EDT

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A man who killed a religious couple visiting Texas from Iowa was executed Thursday, the first Black inmate put to death as part of the Trump administration’s resumption of federal executions after a nearly 20-year pause. Christopher Vialva, 40, was pronounced dead shortly...

U.S. government puts first Black inmate to death since resumption of federal executions this year

Sep. 24, 2020 6:50 PM EDT
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — U.S. government puts first Black inmate to death since resumption of federal executions this year.

Lawyer: Case of Black inmate set to die reveals racial bias

Sep. 23, 2020 7:37 PM EDT

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — The lawyer for the first Black inmate scheduled to die this year as part of the Trump administration's resumption of federal executions says race played a central role in landing her client on death row for slaying a young white Iowa couple and burning them in the trunk of their...

In this undated photo, provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, is Gilmar Guevara. For the second time in as many weeks, Texas' highest criminal court on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, commuted the death sentence of Guevara after agreeing with findings that he was ineligible to be executed because of an intellectual disability. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals changed the death sentence that Guevara had faced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

2nd Texas death row inmate declared intellectually disabled

Sep. 23, 2020 6:09 PM EDT

HOUSTON (AP) — For the second time in as many weeks, Texas’ highest criminal court on Wednesday commuted the death sentence of an inmate after agreeing with findings that he was ineligible to be executed because of an intellectual disability. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals changed the death...