death penalty

Here & Now
12:56 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Debating The Death Penalty

The "death chamber" at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit in Huntsville, Texas, is pictured in February 2000. (Paul Buck/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 12:39 pm

On July 2, 1976, the U.S. Supreme Court reinstituted the death penalty. A year later, convicted murderer Gary Gilmore was executed by a firing squad in Utah. That same year, 1977, Oklahoma became the first state to approve lethal injection as a means of implementing the death penalty. It was in that state in April that an execution by lethal injection was botched.

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Oklahoma News
10:52 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Autopsy Requested By Death Row Attorneys Shows Lockett's Vein Did Not Collapse

Clayton Lockett
Oklahoma Department of Corrections Oklahoma Watch

A private autopsy released Friday shows more evidence that the execution of Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett wasn’t conducted properly, and the team carrying out the procedure didn’t properly place an IV into Lockett’s vein.

Forensic pathologist Joseph Cohen conducted the May 14 autopsy at the request of attorneys for several Oklahoma death row prisoners. The state initially said Lockett’s vein collapsed, which led to the drugs not being administered properly.

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Firing Squad, Hanging Or The Electric Chair?
7:33 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

GOP Lawmaker Eyes Firing Squad Option For Death Penalty

The execution chamber at the Utah State Prison that provides for both lethal injection and firing squad executions, the site of the last firing squad execution in the United States in 2010. The condemned was in the chair on the right; the riflemen were shooting through the small openings in the wall in the center.
Credit T. Woodward / Flickr Creative Commons

A Republican state representative from Oklahoma City says he plans to conduct a legislative study on possibly expanding Oklahoma's execution law to allow the firing squad, hanging or the electric chair.

Representative. Mike Christian said Tuesday that he's formally requesting an interim study on death penalty procedures in response to the botched execution of Clayton Lockett.

Representative Christian is a former Oklahoma Highway Patrolman. He says he believes the firing squad would be the most logical second option after lethal injection.

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Oklahoma News
9:48 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Prisons Board To Discuss Oklahoma Execution Probe

The Oklahoma Board of Corrections at an April 25, 2013 meeting.
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The Oklahoma Board of Corrections is expected to meet behind closed doors to discuss an ongoing investigation into the botched execution of a death row inmate.

The board is to meet at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown.

An agenda item says the board will meet in executive session to discuss the investigation and "possible litigation" regarding the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett.

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Death Penalty
12:58 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Oklahoma Lines Up Second Execution Once Lethal Injections Resume

Richard Eugene Glossip in this 2011 photo.
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

An Oklahoma inmate is scheduled for a November execution after telling a court he didn't want to be the first in line after a review of a botched try that ended with a prisoner's heart attack.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday set Richard Eugene Glossip's execution for Nov. 20. He's second in line.

Oklahoma changed its execution protocols in April, but a possible problem with a vein prevented the efficient execution of Clayton Lockett on April 29. The state prisons chief stopped the execution but Lockett died later of a heart attack.

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Politics and Government
7:34 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Rally Asks For Independent Entity To Investigate Oklahoma's Execution Policies

The death penalty chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty will host a rally in opposition to executions and to support a moratorium on the death penalty in Oklahoma.

The Halt Executions Rally is scheduled for Sunday at the state Capitol South Plaza starting at 2:30 p.m. Coalition co-chair Adam Leathers says the group will hold the rally to call on the citizens of Oklahoma to demand a halt to all executions until the governor accepts responsibility and establishes a truly independent investigation to examine every aspect of every execution in the state.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Tue May 13, 2014

With Just Hours To Go, Federal Court Halts Texas Execution

A Texas judge halted the planned execution of Robert Campbell, saying his lawyers could not fairly prepare an ineligibility claim because the state had not provided them with relevant information. Campbell is mentally disabled.
Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 12:21 pm

Update at 4:57 p.m. ET. Federal Court Halts Execution:

With just hours to go, a federal court has halted the execution of Texas inmate Robert Campbell.

The execution would have been the first since Oklahoma botched one in April.

The ruling has nothing to do with the drug shortage that's dominated the narrative over the death penalty in the country. Instead, Campbell's lawyers argued that the state knew that Campbell was intellectually disabled but did not let his defense team know that.

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speaking out against "revenge overreach"
4:01 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Death Penalty Opponents Plan Events In Oklahoma City

Credit bungasagadua /

Death penalty opponents have planned three events in Oklahoma City to call for a moratorium on executions after last week's botched lethal injection.

The first event is set downtown Friday night and will be led by church members who will speak out against what they say is the state's "revenge overreach" in seeking executions. Two more events — a day to lobby lawmakers and a halt executions rally —are planned Tuesday and May 18 at the state Capitol.

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Death Penalty
9:24 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Fallin Opponent Dorman Calls For OSBI Probe Of Execution

State Rep. Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs) speaking on the floor of the Oklahoma House.
Credit bjmccray / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin's Democratic opponent in the race for Oklahoma governor wants he calls an independent probe into last week's botched execution of a death row inmate.

State Rep. Joe Dorman of Rush Springs said Thursday he wants the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to conduct the investigation into last week's execution of Clayton Lockett. A doctor said Lockett's vein collapsed during the lethal injection.

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Around the Nation
5:16 am
Fri May 9, 2014

The Messy Legal Road That Led To Oklahoma's Botched Execution

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, here with Michael C. Thompson, state secretary of safety and security, charged that the state Supreme Court had exceeded its jurisdiction when it called for a stay of execution in the Clayton Lockett case in March.
Alonzo Adams AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 10:08 pm

Although most of the country just became aware of issues with Oklahoma's capital punishment protocols last week after Clayton Lockett's bungled execution, his lawyers had been worried for months. That's because in January, two condemned men in different states but injected with the same new drug cocktail endured executions that went badly. Lockett's lawyer, Susanna Gattoni, was unable to keep him from suffering a similar fate last week.

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