February 9, 2008 |
The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that electrocution is cruel and unusual punishment, outlawing the electric chair in the only state using it as its sole means of execution. The state's death penalty remains legal, but another method must be approved. The evidence shows that electrocution inflicts "intense pain and agonizing suffering," the court said. "Condemned prisoners must not be tortured to death, regardless of their crimes," Justice William M. Connolly wrote in the 6-1 opinion.
July 10, 1991 |
The Colorado Supreme Court found that state's capital punishment statute to be unconstitutional. The law constitutes cruel and unusual punishment because it "mandates imposition of the death penalty when the jury decides that aggravating and mitigating factors (for and against the defendant) are equally balanced," the court said in Denver. The 4-3 decision stemmed from appeals in a Denver murder case.
August 3, 1999 |
A judge in Orlando, Fla., ruled that the state's electric chair is not cruel and unusual punishment and that it functioned properly in a July 8 execution. Judge Clarence Johnson said Allen Lee Davis "did not suffer any conscious pain" when he was executed for three 1982 murders. Davis bled from his nose as he died, and lawyers for the next man scheduled for death then challenged the use of the electric chair.
October 18, 2005 |
The Tennessee Supreme Court unanimously rejected claims that the three-drug combination used to execute killers can cause extreme pain in violation of the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Lawyers for Abu-Ali Abdur'Rahman, who was sentenced to die by lethal injection in the 1986 beating death of a Nashville drug dealer, had sought to change the state's method of execution. Abdur'Rahman's lawyer Bradley MacLean said he would appeal. The U.S.
July 19, 1997 |
A judge in Jacksonville rejected a constitutional challenge to Florida's malfunctioning electric chair, ruling it did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Florida Circuit Judge A.C. Soud concluded that Pedro Medina, whose fiery execution in March spurred inquiry into the condition of the 74-year-old chair, died instantly and did not suffer conscious pain. Flames leaped from the headpiece of the execution apparatus during Medina's execution and an acrid smoke filled the death chamber.
December 30, 1992 |
A civil liberties group Tuesday filed suit to try to block the first execution by hanging in the United States in nearly 30 years, saying the method was a cruel and unusual punishment barred by the U.S. Constitution. A half-dozen of the plaintiffs told a news conference in Seattle they were not seeking to block the execution of Dodd by other means, although many of the plaintiffs, including all of those present, oppose the death penalty.