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Death Penalty Information Center

February 3, 2007 | Andrew Cohen, ANDREW COHEN is CBS News' chief legal analyst.
LURKING LARGELY beneath the radar the last few weeks, while media coverage has focused on the perjury and obstruction-of-justice trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and the Bush administration's flip-flop on domestic surveillance, were a series of important legal and political developments in the increasingly muddled world of capital punishment in the United States. Nearly 13 years after U.S.
June 14, 1994 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
North Carolina death-row inmate David Lawson and talk show host Phil Donahue were waiting Monday to see whether the U.S. Supreme Court would allow the killer's execution to be shown on television. Lawson, 38, is scheduled to be put to death by cyanide gas at 2 a.m. EDT Wednesday; Donahue wants to videotape the event and televise it. Lawson has said he was suffering from depression when he broke into what he thought was empty house in 1980.
September 18, 2003 | From The Baltimore Sun
A Circuit Court judge Wednesday refused to eliminate the prospect of a death sentence for teenage sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo, the younger of a pair of men accused in a three-week shooting spree that left 10 people dead in the Washington, D.C., area a year ago. Malvo's lawyers had argued that foreign countries and international treaties banning the death penalty for juveniles combined to rule out execution for Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the shootings last fall.
Oklahoma inmate Sean Sellers, scheduled this morning to become the first U.S. resident in 40 years to die for crimes committed as a 16-year-old, never stopped insisting he had changed from the confused Satan worshiper who murdered his mother, stepfather and a shop clerk. The planned execution of Sellers, now 29, has drawn international protest and debate over the age at which a criminal should be eligible for the death penalty.
December 16, 2002 | From Associated Press
The number of death-row prisoners dropped last year for the first time since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976, the Justice Department reported Sunday. The decline was part of a trend that has seen fewer people sentenced to die in recent years. The death-row population fell from 3,601 in 2000 to 3,581 in 2001, the first year-to-year decrease in 25 years. Last year's total of 155 was the lowest number sentenced to die and put on death row since 1973.
San Quentin's death row attacks illustrate the tensions present at many of California's 33 state prisons. One reason: Housing about 160,000 inmates, the state penitentiary system--the nation's largest--is bursting at the seams with some prisons handling double their capacity. Death row is no different. California leads the nation in the number of condemned prisoners--580 men and 12 women--more than Texas, which has 450, and Florida with 372. There are 38 states with death rows.
February 11, 2004 | Steve Lopez
Were we about to execute the wrong guy? Hard to say. As death row cases go, convicted killer Kevin Cooper has neither the strongest nor the weakest claim of innocence I've seen. Cooper, who got a temporary reprieve Monday just as his needle was being prepared, was convicted of using a hatchet and buck knife in 1983 to murder and mutilate a Chino Hills couple and two children.
December 21, 2003 | Henry Weinstein, Times Staff Writer
For the fourth consecutive year, the number of death sentences imposed by juries declined in the U.S., according to a study by the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington organization that opposes capital punishment. In addition, the number of executions declined, as did the number of states where executions were held. The report released last week is based on statistics from the Justice Department, state courts and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which tracks capital cases.
April 15, 2007 | Tim Jones, Chicago Tribune
About once a week, a convicted murderer is put to death in a state penitentiary, most often in Texas, where 11 of this year's 12 executions have occurred. But nationwide, capital punishment is under siege. Since the first of the year, individual states have acted on long-festering questions about the equity of the death penalty and made bold moves aimed at repealing it, slowing the practice or temporarily halting it because of rising costs.
With the jury's verdict of capital punishment, Sandi Nieves is due to join a rare sorority of approximately 55 women nationwide facing execution. Like the rest of her macabre sisterhood of convicted killers, Nieves' chances of being put to death remain slim. Working in her favor are her gender and the reality that most death sentences are overturned on appeal. "The system has just been very reluctant to order the death of a woman," said Victor L.
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