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BREAKING NEWS: (9/12) The governor of Pennsylvania granted a temporary reprieve to Hubert Michael because the state was unprepared to carry out his execution on Sept. 22.
(9/10). Four Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court would have granted a stay of execution to Earl Ringo, who was executed early this morning in Missouri (Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor). Three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit dissented from that court's denial of a stay, citing the possible use of midazolam in the execution:
"The unusually large doses of midazolam Missouri has intravenously injected into inmates in its last four executions – just minutes prior to the time when the death warrants become effective – is alarming with respect to the constitutional prohibition against executing a prisoner in a state of incompetency." (Ringo v. Roper).
FORMER DEATH ROW INMATES FREED IN NORTH CAROLINA
On September 2, 2014, Leon Brown (above) and Henry McCollum (below) were exonerated and released from prison in North Carolina.
The two men, who are half brothers, had been convicted of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to death in 1984. Brown was 15 at the time of the crime and McCollum was 19. Both men have intellectual disabilities and were interrogated under duress until they confessed to the crime. In 2010, Brown turned to the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission for help. The Commission tested DNA evidence from the crime scene, which implicated a man who was convicted of a similar crime. Robeson County Judge Douglas Sasser vacated the men's convictions and said the evidence indicated their innocence. District Attorney Johnson Britt supported their release and said no further charges will be brought against them.
J. Katz, "North Carolina Men Are Released After Convictions Are Overturned," New York Times, September 3, 2014.
(8/21). California's Attorney General announced the state will appeal a federal court ruling holding the state's death penalty unconstitutional. (L.A. Times, Aug. 21, 2014).
DPIC Executive Director Richard Dieter recently appeared on "D.C. Breakdown," (watch video) where he discussed the federal ruling holding California's death penalty unconstitutional. See more about the opinion. ("D.C. Breakdown," July 21, 2014).
DPIC Podcast Series: Listen to or download DPIC's podcast series on different aspects of the death penalty.
DPIC is also starting a series of podcasts on the history of the death penalty in each individual state.
Check out our podcasts now!