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BREAKING NEWS (7/21): The Arkansas Supreme Court has voted 4-3 to deny reconsideration of its order upholding the state's lethal injection protocol and execution secrecy law. However, by a different 4-3 vote, it has stayed enforcement of its ruling. The decision effectively permits the state's death row prisoners to seek review of the lethal injection and secrecy decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court before the state may attempt to carry out executions under the challenged provisions.
NEWS (7/19): The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld a lower court order granting a new trial to Christopher Williams. It was the first case in which the newly constituted court had the opportunity to rule on a death penalty case in which a new trial had been granted. The four most avid supporters of the death penalty have recently left the court, three resigning as a result of unethical conduct or conviction for public corruption and a fourth, who the subject of recent judicial bias ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, reaching the mandatory retirement age.
NEWS (7/18): The Connecticut Supreme Court has vacated the death sentence imposed upon Daniel Webb and directed that he be resentenced to life in prison without possibility of release. Webb is the fourth of ten Connecticut death row prisoners to have been resentenced since the court ruled that the death penalty violated Connecticut's state constitution.
NEWS (7/15): Georgia has executed John Wayne Conner. Conner is the 15th person executed in the U.S. in 2016 and the 6th to be executed by Georgia. See Executions.
NEWS (7/12): Arkansas has announced that it has obtained a new supply of a paralytic drug used in its execution protocol to replace its expired drugs. Governor Asa Hutchinson indicated that he expects to issue death warrants in an attempt to carry out 8 executions before the state's supply of another drug used in its execution protocol expires on January 1, 2017.
NEWS (7/8): The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that Governor Pete Ricketts’ financial and other support for a petition drive to place a referendum on the ballot to overturn the legislature's repeal of the state's death penalty did not make him a “sponsor” of the referendum, and therefore proponents' of the referendum did not have to disclose his involvement in the petition drive. Had Ricketts been deemed a sponsor, the non-disclosure of his sponsorship would have been grounds to remove the referendum from the November ballot.
NEWS (7/6): A federal jury awarded the "Beatrice Six" a combined total of $28 million in damages against Gage County, Nebraska for reckless investigation by law enforcement that led to their wrongful prosecution in a 1985 rape/murder. James Dean, Kathy Gonzalez, Debra Shelden, Ada JoAnn Taylor, and Tom Winslow pled guilty or no contest to lesser charges to avoid the death penalty. Joseph E. White was tried and convicted ofJames Dean, Kathy Gonzalez, Debra Shelden, Ada JoAnn Taylor, and Tom Winslow pled guilty or no contest to lesser charges to avoid the death penalty. Joseph E. White was tried and convicted of murder. All were later exonerated by DNA testing. See Innocence.
NEWS (7/6): A state court judge in Houston, Texas withdrew the death warrant for Perry Eugene Williams, who was scheduled to be executed on July 14. The execution was postponed indefinitely after Texas prison officials said they had not conducted tests on the drugs to be used in the execution, as required by the terms of an agreement that settled a lawsuit brought by Williams and other Texas death row prisoners. See Stays of Execution.
NEWS (7/1): A referendum that would expedite death penalty appeals in California while limiting the ability of the state's capital appellate defender to provide assistance to appointed counsel in those appeals has qualified for placement on the November ballot in the state.
RESOURCES (6/27): The visuals accompanying DPIC Executive Director Robert Dunham's presentation on the state of the death penalty in the United States at the Sixth World Congress Against the Death Penalty can be found here.
DPIC 2015 Year End Report
DPIC Podcast Series: We have begun a new set of podcasts on the death penalty in each state, each with interesting historical facts. The following are now available: Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. Check out our podcasts now! Also listen to DPIC's podcasts on death penalty issues.