High Court Stays Execution Where Judge Overrode Jury Recommendation

By Christopher Zoukis A little over two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court in Hurst v. Florida ruled 8-1 it was unconstitutional for state judges to overrule jury sentencing recommendations in death penalty cases. The high court ruled a criminal defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury was…

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High Court Will Hear Inmate’s Challenge to Lawyer’s Admission of His Guilt

lady justice figure

By Christopher Zoukis During its new term started in October, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of McCoy v. Louisiana, which asks whether a Death Row inmate can appeal a death sentence because his lawyer, over the inmate’s strenuous objections, admitted his client’s guilt during his trial. Robert…

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Inmates Lose Court Challenge to Ohio’s Execution Drugs

syringe and three vials of medication

By Christopher Zoukis A divided federal court of appeals has rejected a challenge to the three-drug execution protocol Ohio plans to use. The state had suspended executions for more than three years due to litigation attacking its three-drug lethal injection method, and to its inability to obtain barbiturates formerly used…

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Georgia Executions Resume, Inmate’s Firing Squad Request Denied

By Christopher Zoukis The state of Georgia, which carried out the highest number of executions in the nation last year, putting nine convicted criminals to death, recorded its first for this year May 17 by administering a three-drug lethal injection protocol to J.W. Ledford Jr., a criminal who spent years…

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Supreme Court Sets Aside Death Sentence for Triple Murderer

By Christopher Zoukis In a brief, unsigned opinion handed down October 11, the U.S. Supreme Court has thrown out the death sentence an Oklahoma jury gave Shaun Michael Bosse after convicting him in 2010 of the first-degree murders of his former girlfriend and her two young children. Bosse fatally stabbed…

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