April 22, 2014 |
A divided Oklahoma Supreme Court has granted two death row inmates a reprieve, while throwing the state's legal system into a tizzy on how to administer the death penalty. In a 5-4 ruling, the state Supreme Court ordered a stay in Tuesday's planned execution of Clayton Lockett, convicted in the 1999 shooting of a 19-year-old woman. The court also ordered a stay in the April 29 scheduled execution of Charles Warner, convicted in the 1997 death of an 11-month-old girl. In both cases, the court acted after lawyers for the inmates said they needed more information on the drugs the state planned to use to execute the prisoners.
April 22, 2014 |
Sanity prevailed in Oklahoma on Monday. Oklahoma County District Court Judge Patricia Parrish recently ruled that the state's secrecy-shrouded lethal-injection protocol denies condemned prisoners due process. The compelling point: How can prisoners weigh the constitutionality of their executions if they are barred from knowing with what drugs they will be killed? The state, naturally, is appealing that decision. But in a Kafka-esque twist of legal absurdities, one of the men, Clayton Lockett, came awfully close to execution anyway.
April 15, 2014 |
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Prosecutors announced murder charges Tuesday against the Missouri white supremacist suspected in the fatal shootings of three people outside a Jewish Community Center and retirement home in this Kansas City suburb. Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 73, is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon to face a charge of capital murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Will Corporon, 69, and his grandson Reat Griffin Underwood,...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 15, 2014 |
Two homeless sex offenders accused of killing four women in Orange County could face the death penalty after being charged with m urder in the commission of rape and lying in wait, authorities said. Franc Cano, 27, and Steven Dean Gordon, 45, were formally charged Monday , three days after they were arrested in an industrial area of Anaheim not far from the trash-sorting facility where the body of 21-year-old Jarrae Nykkole Estepp was found last month on a conveyor belt.
April 8, 2014 |
It's hard to get executions right. This week, the Supreme Court denied appeals by Louisiana and Missouri death row inmates who argued that they were entitled to know the source of the drugs with which they are to be executed, and that denial of that information compromises their right to due process. It's unclear why the court refused to hear the cases, but the underlying argument remains potent. Another challenge is underway in Oklahoma, where two inmates are seeking stays of execution because state officials have revised protocols on the fly as the lethal drugs they usually use have become more difficult to obtain.
April 1, 2014 |
If the state of Mississippi had finished what it started, Michelle Byrom would be dead right now. Instead, based on revelations about confessions kept from a jury and an alleged case of perjury, the state's Supreme Court on Monday tossed out Byrom's murder conviction and ordered a new trial - but also ordered that a new judge conduct it. And this is after the case had already gone through the regular channels of appeal, as Oxford, Miss.,...