Latest Death penalty controversy News

FILE - In this May 16, 2001, file photo, the entrance to the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. A Zen Buddhist priest wants a federal judge to stop the execution of a federal death row inmate he’s been counseling and argues he would be put at high risk for the coronavirus if the execution happens this month. Dale Hartkemeyer goes by the religious name Seigen. He filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Indiana. The 68-year-old wants the court to delay Wesley Ira Purkey’s execution until a coronavirus vaccine is available or there’s a widespread effective treatment. Purkey is one of four federal death row inmates scheduled to be executed in July and August. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Priest sues to stop federal execution over coronavirus risk

Jul. 2, 2020 11:08 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Zen Buddhist priest, who is a spiritual adviser to one of three federal death row inmates scheduled to be executed this month, filed a lawsuit Thursday arguing the Bureau of Prisons is putting him at risk for the coronavirus by moving forward with executions during a nationwide...

The sun rises behind the Supreme Court on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 29, 2020. The Supreme Court has refused to block the execution of four federal prison inmates who are scheduled to be put to death in July and August. The executions would mark the first use of the death penalty on the federal level since 2003. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Supreme Court refuses to block upcoming federal executions

Jun. 29, 2020 11:28 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday refused to block the execution of four federal prison inmates who are scheduled to be put to death in July and August. The executions would mark the first use of the death penalty on the federal level since 2003. The justices rejected an appeal from four...

Joseph James DeAngelo, center, charged with being the Golden State Killer, is helped up by his attorney, Diane Howard, as Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman enters the courtroom in Sacramento, Calif., Monday June 29, 2020. DeAngelo pleaded guilty to multiple counts of murder and other charges 40 years after a sadistic series of assaults and slayings in California. Due to the large numbers of people attending, the hearing was held at a ballroom at California State University, Sacramento to allow for social distancing. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Golden State Killer admits to dozens of rapes, 13 murders

Jun. 29, 2020 11:14 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A former police officer who terrorized California as a serial burglar and rapist and went on to kill more than a dozen people while evading capture for decades pleaded guilty Monday to murders attributed to the Golden State Killer. Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. had remained almost...

Illinois man freed after 2008 murder conviction gets vacated

Jun. 24, 2020 7:27 PM EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois man is free after getting his 2008 murder conviction vacated following new evidence that revealed he was not responsible for the death of his infant son, partly because of efforts from a group in the state that’s cleared more than a dozen people wrongfully...

Court nixes retrial for man in notorious '94 rape, murder

Jun. 23, 2020 4:49 PM EDT

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A man convicted twice in a notorious 1990s rape and murder in New Jersey has lost his bid for a new trial based on bite-mark evidence. Steven Fortin was convicted in the 1994 attack along Route 1 in Avenel, which was featured on the cable TV series “Forensic Files." He also...

In this March 26, 2009 file photo, Connecticut state Supreme Court Justice Richard Palmer, center, questions attorneys at the Connecticut Supreme Court in Hartford, Conn. Palmer, who authored the landmark Connecticut Supreme Court rulings that legalized same-sex marriage and abolished the state's death penalty, is stepping down after 27 years on the high court. He reached the state's mandatory retirement age of 70 for judges late last month, but will continue to work on cases he heard before then. (AP Photo/Bob Child, Pool)

Justice who led gay marriage, death penalty rulings retires

Jun. 21, 2020 9:01 AM EDT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — During his nearly 30 years on the Connecticut Supreme Court, Justice Richard Palmer’s views about the law and society changed with the times, leading him to write some of the court’s most consequential opinions in a generation. He was the author for narrow 4-3...

CORRECTS THE EXECUTION DATE TO JUNE 16, NOT 15 - This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Ruben Gutierrez. Texas was set on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, to end its more than four-month delay in executions due to the coronavirus pandemic with the scheduled lethal injection of Gutierrez, a death row inmate condemned for fatally stabbing an 85-year-old woman more than two decades ago. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

US Supreme Court halts Texas execution over clergy question

Jun. 16, 2020 7:08 PM EDT

HOUSTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court granted a reprieve Tuesday to a Texas inmate scheduled to die for fatally stabbing an 85-year-old woman more than two decades ago, continuing a more than four-month delay of executions in the nation’s busiest death penalty state during the coronavirus pandemic....

Attorney General William Barr speaks during a roundtable with President Donald Trump about America's seniors, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, June 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

AP Exclusive: New dates set to begin federal executions

Jun. 15, 2020 7:36 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has set new dates to begin executing federal death-row inmates following a monthslong legal battle over the plan to resume the executions for the first time since 2003. Attorney General William Barr directed the federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the executions,...

A Chinese paramilitary policeman wearing a face mask to protect against the new coronavirus stands guard outside the Australian Embassy in Beijing, Saturday, June 6, 2020. China is advising its citizens not to visit Australia, citing racial discrimination and violence against Asians, in what appears to be Beijing's latest attempt to punish the country for advocating an investigation into the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Australia 'disheartened' by death sentence in China

Jun. 15, 2020 2:10 AM EDT

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia on Sunday described as “deeply disheartening” a death sentence China imposed on an Australian man accused of drug smuggling, and the trade minister said it shouldn’t be linked to ongoing friction over trade and the pandemic. Karm Gilespie was arrested in 2013...

Should death-penalty juries learn about death penalty costs?

Jun. 14, 2020 10:00 AM EDT

OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Debate over Utah’s death penalty is intensifying in 2nd District Court as attorneys prepare for the trial of an Ogden couple accused of starving and fatally abusing their 3-year-old daughter. Prosecutors said earlier they will seek the death penalty against Miller Costello, 28,...