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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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  • 1202_seg3_panetti
    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed the execution of Scott Panetti, who had been scheduled for execution in Texas tonight at 6 p.m. CT. Watch our in-depth coverage of his case.
    December 03, 2014 | Web Exclusive
  • 1202_seg3_panetti3
    We look at the case of a Texas prisoner scheduled to be executed Wednesday despite the wide belief he is mentally ill. Scott Panetti was convicted of killing his wife’s parents in 1992, more than a decade after he was first diagnosed with schizophrenia. His mental health history until that point included hallucinations that prompted his dismissal from the Navy, and 14 hospitalizations for schizophrenia and depression, often under a court...
    December 02, 2014 | Story
  • 2014-1126_seg3_jackson-3
    An Ohio man has been freed from prison after spending 39 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. Ricky Jackson, a 59-year-old African-American man, had been jailed since 1975 on a murder conviction. The prosecution’s case was based on the testimony of a 13-year-old witness. After a 2011 investigation, the witness recanted his testimony, saying he had implicated Jackson and two others under police coercion. The witness,...
    November 26, 2014 | Story
  • Stevenson-2
    Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative, discusses pending executions, the history of lynching, and how Rosa Parks and others inspired him to "stand with the condemned and incarcerated."
    November 20, 2014 | Web Exclusive
  • Freedprisoners
    Two African-American half-brothers have been exonerated of rape and murder after more than 30 years behind bars in North Carolina. Henry Lee McCollum and Leon Brown were found guilty in 1984 of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl. There was no physical evidence tying them to the crime, but police obtained confessions that McCollum and Brown have always said were coerced. Police at the time failed to investigate another man, Roscoe...
    September 04, 2014 | Story
  • Needle
    This page features Democracy Now! coverage of executions, problems with lethal injection, and related interviews about capital punishment in the United States.
    July 24, 2014 | DN! In Depth
  • 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...
    July 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_640x360_2014
    By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan

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

    April 30, 2014 | Columns & Articles