Entries tagged with “Elena Kagan


Methods of Execution


Jan 26, 2024

The World is Watching”: Witnesses Report Kenneth Smith Appeared Conscious, Shook and Writhed” During First-Ever Nitrogen Hypoxia Execution

On January 25, 2024, Alabama exe­cut­ed Kenneth Smith using nitro­gen hypox­ia, a first in American his­to­ry. Though state attor­neys had assured courts that the method would cause uncon­scious­ness in sec­onds,” wit­ness­es report­ed that Mr. Smith appeared awake for sev­er­al min­utes after the nitro­gen gas began. They observed that he shook and writhed” for at least four min­utes before breath­ing heav­i­ly for anoth­er few min­utes. This was the fifth exe­cu­tion that I’ve wit­nessed in Alabama, and I have…

Facts & Research

United States Supreme Court


Apr 24, 2024

Supreme Court Roundup: Justices Hear Oral Arguments on Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Cruel and Unusual Punishment; Defend Positions on Stays

On April 17, the Supreme Court heard oral argu­ments in Thornell v. Jones, a case impli­cat­ing the test for inef­fec­tive assis­tance of coun­sel — and the first and only oral argu­ment in a death penal­ty case sched­uled this term. Arizona appealed the Ninth Circuit’s deci­sion vacat­ing the death sen­tence of Danny Lee Jones, which found that Mr. Jones was prej­u­diced by his attorney’s fail­ure to present key mit­i­gat­ing evi­dence as to Mr. Jones’ brain dam­age, child­hood phys­i­cal and sex­u­al abuse, and…