Arkansas has scheduled an unprecedented eight executions over the span of eleven days in April. For information on the scheduled executions and the changing status of the pending litigation, see Background on Arkansas April 2017 Executions. For an in-depth review of the scheduling issue, see DPIC Analysis: What is the Most Executions Conducted in the U.S. in the Shortest Time Span?
BREAKING NEWS (4/25): The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit has granted rehearing en banc on Ohio's challenge to a District Court preliminary injunction against the state's midazolam three-drug execution protocol. The court's order vacates a 6th Circuit panel decision upholding the preliminary injunction.
BREAKING NEWS (4/25): The Judiciary Committee of the Louisiana state senate has approved SB 142, which would abolish the state's death penalty, by a vote of 6-1. The bill now moves to the full Senate.
NEWS (4/24): Arkansas carried out the first double execution in the United States since August 9, 2000, executing Jack Jones and Marcel WIlliams. They were the 8th and 9th executions in the U.S. in 2017, and the 2nd and 3rd in Arkansas this year.
NEWS (4/20): Arkansas carried out one of the two executions it scheduled for 4/20. The Arkansas Supreme Court granted a stay of execution to Stacey Johnson to permit consideration of his claim that DNA testing may establish his innocence and identify the actual killer in his case. It denied a similar stay request from Ledell Lee, who was executed—Arkansas' first execution since 2005 and the 7th in the U.S. in 2017.
NEWS (4/20): Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has granted clemency to Ivan Teleguz. He was scheduled to be executed on April 25.
NEWS (4/20): The Florida Supreme Court has reversed two more non-unanimous death sentences under Hurst v. Florida, granting new sentencing hearings to Elijah Brookins and Donald Banks. Two jurors had voted to recommend life sentences in each case. The court upheld a death sentence imposed by the trial court on Juan Rodriguez following a unanimous jury recommendation for death in his case.
NEWS (4/20): Connecticut continued the process of formally removing all of its formerly condemned prisoners from death row, resentencing Richard Reynolds to life without parole.
NEWS (4/18): By a vote of 25-8, the Alabama Senate passed a bill that would authorize the electric chair and nitrogen hypoxia as alternate methods of execution in the state. By a vote of 28-5, the state senate passed a bill that would shorten the amount of time available for post-conviction appellate review of capital convictions and death sentences. The bills were referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.
NEWS (4/17): Neither of the two executions scheduled in Arkansas was carried out. The Arkansas Supreme Court issued stays of execution to Don Davis and Bruce Ward pending the outcome of U.S. Supreme Court litigation in McWilliams v. Dunn. The Court previously granted a stay to Ward to permit his lawyers to litigate his competency to be executed.
NEWS (4/17): Rodricus Crawford, wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in Caddo Parish, Louisiana in 2012, was formally exonerated when a trial court dismissed all charges against him. He is the 158th person exonerated from death row in the U.S. since 1973. The Caddo Parish District Attorney's office had announced on April 14 that it would not not seek to retry Crawford, who was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death on charges that he had murdered his young son. Medical evidence showed that the child had sepsis and most likely died of pneumonia. Crawford will become the 158th person to be exonerated from death row.
NEWS (4/13): The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has formally granted habeas corpus relief to Duane Buck, vacating the death sentence imposed by a Harris County, Texas jury after Buck's lawyer presented an expert witness who testified that Buck was more likely to pose an increased risk of future violence because he is black.
NEWS (4/13): The Mississippi Supreme Court has upheld the state's execution secrecy law and ruled that the the state does not have to turn over information on its execution process to prisoners who are challenging the state's method of execution.
NEWS 4/13: The Florida Supreme Court has reversed another non-unanimous death sentence under Hurst v. Florida, granting a new sentencing to Justin McMillan. Two jurors in McMillan's case had voted to recommend sentencing him to life.
NEWS (4/7): The United States Senate voted 54-45 to confirm Neil Gorsuch as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, filling the seat that became vacant with the death of former Justice Antonin Scalia and the refusal of the senate to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland.
NEWS (4/7): The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a stay of execution for Paul Storey, who was scheduled for execution on April 12. The case was sent back to the trial court to review claims that the prosecution presented false evidence about the victim's parent's views on the death penalty.
DISCUSSIONS WITH DPIC PODCAST: Women and the Death Penalty, With Professor Mary Atwell.
In observance of Women's History Month, DPIC staff members Anne Holsinger and Robin Konrad interview Mary Atwell, Ph.D., one of the nation’s foremost experts on women on death row. The podcast discusses Dr. Atwell's research and highlights the themes and patterns present in capital murder cases in which women were the defendants.
DPIC 2016 Year End Report
DPIC Podcast Series: We have begun a new set of podcasts on the death penalty in each state, each with interesting historical facts. The following are now available: Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. Check out our podcasts now! Also listen to DPIC's podcasts on death penalty issues.