Death Penalty Topics

Death-penalty

Since 1996, Democracy Now! has closely followed the national debate over capital punishment in the United States. See our interviews with key scholars, journalists and activists over the years. We have covered extensively the death row cases of Troy Davis and Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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  • Joseph-wood-v3
    Arizona’s execution of Joseph Wood was supposed to take about 10 minutes, but stretched out for nearly two hours Wednesday night as he gasped for air after being injected with a controversial two-drug combination of the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone. Halfway through the ordeal his lawyers filed an emergency motion to stop the execution, saying it violated Wood’s Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual...
    Jul 24, 2014 | Story
  • Russellbucklew
    The U.S. Supreme Court has stayed the execution of a Missouri death row prisoner who was set to become the first to be executed since Oklahoma’s botched killing last month. Russell Bucklew’s attorneys asked for a stay because he suffers from a medical condition they say could cause him undue suffering, a violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibiting "cruel and unusual punishments." Bucklew won an initial stay on Tuesday,...
    May 22, 2014 | Story
  • Madelinecohenonbotchedexecution
    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has ordered a review of the state’s execution procedures following the botched lethal injection that induced a prisoner’s fatal heart attack. The prisoner, Clayton Lockett, had initially won a stay for challenging the secrecy surrounding the untested execution drugs. But Fallin overruled Oklahoma’s Supreme Court last week and ordered the execution to proceed. Fallin’s review is being conducted...
    May 01, 2014 | Story
  • Amys_column_default
    By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan

    The state of Oklahoma tortured a man to death this week.

    Apr 30, 2014 | Columns & Articles
  • Electric_chair
    Listen to "The Execution Tapes," 19 recordings of electrocutions carried out by the state of Georgia since 1984, including the botched execution of Alpha Otis O’Daniel Stephens on December 12, 1984.
    Apr 30, 2014 | Web Exclusive
  • An Oklahoma prisoner set to be executed April 29 died instead of a massive heart attack after his lethal injection was botched. After Clayton Lockett was injected with an untested cocktail of lethal drugs, he struggled violently on the gurney. Doctors halted the process 13 minutes in when discovering he was still conscious and trying to speak. Lockett reportedly suffered a ruptured vein, interrupting the flow of the lethal drugs. Oklahoma Governor...
    Apr 30, 2014 | DN! In Depth
  • Claytonlockett
    An Oklahoma death row prisoner has died of a heart attack after a botched execution Tuesday night. Clayton Lockett was injected with an untested cocktail of lethal drugs. After struggling violently on the gurney, doctors halted the killing 13 minutes in, when discovering Lockett was still conscious and trying to speak. Doctors say he suffered a ruptured vein, interrupting the flow of the lethal drugs. About 30 minutes after that point, Lockett...
    Apr 30, 2014 | Story
  • Executiondrugs2
    Texas has executed death row prisoner Ray Jasper after obtaining a new supply of pentobarbital, the drug it uses for executions, just days before its current batch was set to expire. Meanwhile, Oklahoma has postponed two executions because it lacks the drugs required to put prisoners to death. As death penalty drugs become scarce, the assistant Oklahoma attorney general has joked with a Texas colleague that he might be able to help Texas get the...
    Mar 20, 2014 | Story
  • Autobee
    We are joined by Bob Autobee, a Colorado resident who is opposing the death penalty for the prisoner who killed his son Eric, a prison guard, in 2002. During the original trial, Autobee supported a death sentence for Edward Montour. But the Colorado Supreme Court threw out Montour’s sentence in 2007 because it was imposed by a judge, not a jury as is required. A decade later, Autobee has now changed his mind. In the new murder trial that...
    Mar 05, 2014 | Story
  • Drug
    As drug companies refuse to let their products be used for the death penalty, states are using untested drug combinations that have resulted in deaths like that of Dennis McGuire in Ohio, where the state used an untested two-drug method despite warnings it might cause immense suffering. We speak with the reporter who witnessed the execution and with a lawyer for a man executed in Missouri with an entirely different lethal drug cocktail, made by...
    Feb 07, 2014 | Story