By Christopher Zoukis What will happen with the one U.S. Supreme Court vacancy after the death last February of Justice Antonin Scalia will undoubtedly be decided after the results of November’s election. But the high court new term, which began October 3rd, already includes several major cases that could redefine the validity of sentences handed…

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By Christopher Zoukis Iran’s dismal record on human rights has been reinforced once again, via the latest wave of mass executions, prisoner abuses, and clampdowns on those who stand against its theocratic regime. On August 4, 2014, 40 prisoners were killed at Shahr-e Kord prison in an intentional slaughter when firefighters were denied access to…

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Prisoner executions in the U.S. last year fell to the lowest level in almost a quarter-century, with only 28 death sentences carried out. So far this year, the pace has remained just as slow, with 14 executions carried out by five states (one apiece by Alabama, Florida and Missouri, five in Georgia, and six by…

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By Christopher Zoukis Pfizer, Inc., the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical manufacturer, recently announced new restrictions on the distribution of drugs used to execute prisoners. The May 13, 2016 announcement detailed “distribution restrictions” that the company is placing on certain drugs used in lethal injection protocols, including pancuronium bromide, potassium chloride, propofol, midazolam, hydromorphone, rocuronium bromide and…

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In a landmark 7-1 decision earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court voided a nearly 30-year-old murder conviction of a black inmate in Georgia due to prosecutors’ efforts to keep black jurors from hearing the case. Timothy Tyrone Foster, an 18-year-old youth with mental disabilities (which would eventually lead a state court to find his…

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