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BREAKING NEWS (5/23): The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a new trial to Timothy Foster, ruling that Georgia prosecutors improperly exercised discretionary strikes to exclude African Americans from jury service. The vote was 7-1. with Justice Thomas dissenting.
NEWS (5/12): The U.S. Supreme Court split 4-4 on Alabama's motion to lift a stay of execution for Vernon Madison that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has issued earlier in the day. Under the Court's rules, a tie vote leaves the lower court's decision intact. Madison had been scheduled to be executed 5/12. The Circuit granted a stay to determine whether the federal courts could grant habeas corpus relief on Madison's lawyers' claim that he was mentally incompetent to be execution. See Stays of Execution
NEWS (5/11): Missouri has executed Earl Forrest. He was the 14th person executed in the U.S. in 2016 and the 1st in Missouri. Forrest was the 19th prisoner executed by Missouri since November 2013. See Executions.
NEWS (5/10): The United States Department of Justice has announced that it will not seek the death penalty against Ahmed Abu Khattala, who, the indictment alleges, led the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed.
NEWS (5/9): A Miami-Dade trial judge has ruled that the portion of the new Florida death penalty statute permitting non-unanimous death verdicts violates the state's constitution. The case is State v. Karon Gaiter.
NEWS (5/9): California has again extended the deadline for public comment on the state's proposed lethal injection protocol. The new deadline is 7/11.
NEWS (5/6): A Cuyahoga County, Ohio trial judge has ordered the release of Anthony Apanovitch on bond under electronic monitoring and court-supervised house arrest pending his retrial on capital murder charges. On 5/5, a panel of the Ohio Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's order acquitting Apanovitch of rape charges based upon the results of DNA testing and ordering a new trial on the murder charges. The prosecution has appealed the rulings.
NEWS (5/5): The Kentucky Supreme Court held in White v. Commonwealth that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Hall v. Florida applies retroactively. Hall declared it unconstitutional for states to use a bright-line 70-IQ cutoff score as a prerequisite to determining whether a death-row inmate was inelligible for the death penalty because of Intellectual Disability. Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia used the 70-IQ cutoff. However, the Court also held that indigent death-row inmates were not entitled to funds for a psychological assessment by an independent expert, saying that courts could require the examination be performed by Kentucky prison psychologists.
NEWS (5/5): A Los Angeles County, California jury has convicted Lonnie Franklin Jr., dubbed "the Grim Sleeper," of 10 counts of first-degree murder. The penalty phase of his capital trial is expected to start on 5/12.
NEWS (4/27): Georgia has executed Daniel Lucas. He was the 5th prisoner executed by Georgia in 2016 and the 13th in the United States this year. Georgia's 7 executions in the past 12 months are the most the state has conducted in any one-year period since the United States upheld the state's death sentencing statute in 1976. See Executions.
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.