Though the death penalty is in serious decline in America, the same is not true worldwide: Amnesty International reports a 54% rise in executions globally in 2015, driven by increases in Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. Dang.
Slowly but steadily, America is losing its taste for the death penalty. Yesterday’s Supreme Court dissent by Stephen Breyer may go down as a landmark on America’s path to the death penalty’s inevitable abolition.
According to South Korea’s chief spy agency, the head of North Korea’s military was publicly executed by anti-aircraft gun late last month for disobeying Kim Jong Un and falling asleep during a meeting, the BBC reports.
Hamilton Nolan · 04/03/15 10:00AM
The American Pharmacists Association has put in place an official ban on members participating in lethal injections or other executions, saying "such activities are fundamentally contrary to the role of pharmacists as healthcare providers."
Hamilton Nolan · 03/16/15 11:45AM
The state of Texas is scheduled to use its last dose of the lethal injection drug pentobarbital on Wednesday, leaving its ability to carry out several upcoming scheduled executions in question. The drug shortage comes too late for some people.
We periodically run letters from death row inmates. Our latest letter comes from an inmate who is now deceased. Arnold Prieto, Jr. wrote us this letter on January 14, one week before he was executed by the state of Texas.
The death penalty is slowly losing prominence in America. Botched executions and problems with the supply of drugs has made lethal injection harder to carry out. Still, states are determined to balance out this trend with sheer bloodlust.
Hamilton Nolan · 01/09/15 09:30AM
The state of Ohio says it is getting rid of its two-drug lethal injection formula, which led to a botched execution last year. Now they'll use one drug that just kills you.
Last night, two men with intellectual disabilities were put to death.
Hamilton Nolan · 12/09/14 04:30PM
Robert Wayne Holsey, an intellectually disabled man who was represented at trial by an active alcoholic, is scheduled to be executed at 7 p.m. by the state of Georgia unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in. His final petition for his life can be seen here.
Last night, Willie Tyrone Trottie, who was
convicted of a 1993 double murder, was executed in Texas after spending 20 years on death row. Trottie wrote us a letter earlier this year as part of our "Letters from Death Row" series.
Michelle Dean · 08/25/14 01:53PM
The Guardian US and the Oklahoma Observerfiled suit today in an Oklahoma federal court today, demanding greater access to witness executions. They claim a First Amendment right to see more of the procedure, including the IV insertion, which was allegedly botched in Clayton Lockett's execution.
Michelle Dean · 08/21/14 11:50AM
Texas Monthly's Pamela Colloff has a new and excellent story out about a woman who, first as a journalist and then as part of the Texas corrections system's public relations apparatus, witnessed 278 executions. Go read it.
When Louisiana ran out of lethal injection drugs this year, officials announced the state would switch to a new two-drug cocktail. But what they apparently failed to disclose was that the new drugs had been purchased from a hospital that thought it was healing prison hospital patients.
Joseph Rudolph Wood's execution in Arizona on Wednesday afternoon took
nearly two hours after the lethal injection began. His lawyers, claiming that their client was gasping and snorting for an hour, filed an emergency appeal to have the execution stopped. Wood died before a court could act.