Latest Death penalty controversy News

FILE - In this Oct. 31 1997 file photo Danny Lee waits for his arraignment hearing for murder in the Pope County Detention Center in Russellville, Ark. A federal judge in Indiana on Friday, July, 10, 2020, halted the first federal execution planned in 17 years scheduled three days from now over COVID-19 concerns. Daniel Lee had been scheduled to die by lethal injection. Lee, 47, of Yukon, Okla., was convicted of the 1996 killings of gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and her 8-year-old daughter, Sarah Powell. (Dan Pierce/The Courier via AP, File)

US appeals to proceed with 1st federal execution in 17 years

Jul. 10, 2020 7:37 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Determined to proceed with the first federal execution in nearly two decades, the Justice Department plans to appeal a judge’s ruling that would halt authorities from carrying it out on Monday. The family of the victims in the case had requested that it be called off because their...

California death row inmate has sentenced reduced to life

Jul. 9, 2020 11:38 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California death row inmate had his sentence reduced to life with a chance of parole after San Francisco's district attorney called capital punishment “undeniably cruel." Clifford Bolden, 65, was the last San Francisco person on death row at San Quentin State Prison. On...

This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows Billy Joe Wardlow. Wardlow is scheduled to be executed Wednesday, July 8, 2020. A five-month delay in executions in Texas due to the coronavirus pandemic is set to come to an end with the scheduled lethal injection of Wardlow, condemned for fatally shooting an 82-year-old man nearly three decades ago. (Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP)

Texas resumes executions after 5-month delay due to pandemic

Jul. 8, 2020 8:44 PM EDT

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas inmate received lethal injection Wednesday evening for fatally shooting an 82-year-old man nearly three decades ago, ending a five-month delay of executions in the nation’s busiest death penalty state because of the coronavirus pandemic. Billy Joe Wardlow was put to...

FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2019, file photo the guard tower flanks the sign at the entrance to the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. The Justice Department plans to resume federal executions next week for the first time in more than 15 years, despite the coronavirus pandemic raging both inside and outside prisons and stagnating national support for the death penalty. Three people are slated to die by lethal injection in one week beginning Monday. The executions will take place at USP Terre Haute. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Justice Department plows ahead with execution plan next week

Jul. 8, 2020 10:23 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is plowing ahead with its plan to resume federal executions next week for the first time in more than 15 years, despite the coronavirus pandemic raging both inside and outside prisons and stagnating national support for the death penalty. Three people are...

FILE - In this Oct. 31 1997, file photo, Daniel Lewis Lee waits for his arraignment hearing for murder in the Pope County Detention Center in Russellville, Ark. On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, family members of the victims of Lee, who is scheduled to be put to death next week, asked a federal judge to delay his execution, saying the coronavirus pandemic puts them at risk if they travel to attend it. (Dan Pierce/The Courier via AP, File)

Victims' family asks for delay of federal inmate's execution

Jul. 7, 2020 7:27 PM EDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Family members of the victims of an inmate scheduled to be put to death next week asked a federal judge to delay his execution Tuesday, saying the coronavirus pandemic puts them at risk if they travel to attend it. The family members of Daniel Lewis Lee's victims asked that Lee's...

Pastor Steve Klemz of Zion Lutheran Church poses for a portrait in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Thursday, June 25, 2020. Pastor Klemz is retiring after 28 years. He has worked tirelessly on social justice issues, including capital punishment, civil rights and immigration reform, as well as helped create the Interfaith Roundtable to bring together religious leaders from many faiths at the time of the 2002 Winter Olympics. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

Retiring Utah pastor brings caring, courage to causes

Jul. 5, 2020 11:33 AM EDT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — It was not until Aug. 7, 1970, when his brother, Ken, was buried alive while sand-surfing down a Michigan dune, that Steve Klemz began to lean toward the ministry. Sure, young Steve was reared in a devout Lutheran home. He took religious education classes every Saturday for four...

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...