• Mother furious after finding ‘racist’ instructions on child’s toy

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A California mother is furious after she says her son’s pirate ship has racist connotations. Ida Lockett says her son was excited to receive the pirate ship set for his fifth birthday. “I spent the weekend putting it together,” she told KOVR. After putting the set together, she noticed something different about one of the characters. The dark-skinned character had no shoes and tattered pants. It also came with instructions to put some sort of neck piece on […]

  • Georgia inmate Kelly Gissendaner executed after failed appeals

    After a five-hour delay, Georgia death row inmate Kelly Gissendaner was executed early Wednesday morning for her role in the killing of her husband. Gissendaner was scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Tuesday, but her lawyers filed appeals to state and federal courts in her final hours to try to spare her life. Her children had to make a heart-wrenching choice Tuesday: go see their mother one last time, or make a final appeal in front of the Georgia Board […]

  • Botched Oklahoma execution haunts inmate as death nears

    (CNN) — Richard Glossip has spent 17 years in a tiny cell in H Unit of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, close to the death chamber. Every execution is a reminder that his turn will come one day. The last one was Clayton Lockett‘s. “I’ve seen it on TV,” says Glossip, 51, in a telephone call from death row. He says he’s reconciled with his fate, though he has always maintained his innocence. He says he has long believed that without […]

  • Oklahoma inmate said his ‘body was on fire’ prior to being executed for 1997 murder and rape

    McALESTER, Okla.– The state of Oklahoma completed its first execution, Thursday night, since the botched lethal injection of a death row inmate last April. Charles Frederick Warner was pronounced dead at 7:28 p.m. The man convicted of raping and killing 11-month-old Adrianna Waller in 1997 was put to death on Thursday after the Supreme Court denied Warner’s appeal. One of Warner’s attorneys, Assistant Federal Public Defender Dale Baich, filed a motion to stay the execution with the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. He argued the use […]

  • Oklahoma inmate Charles Warner has been put to death for 1997 murder and rape of infant

    UPDATE: 1/15/15 7:33 p.m.  The Department of Corrections confirms Oklahoma inmate Charles Frederick Warner has been executed at 7:28 p.m.   UPDATE: 1/15/15 6:20PM. The U.S. Supreme Court has denied the appeal of Charles Frederick Warner clearing the way for the execution to proceed. Four justices dissented — Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.  Writing for the four, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said questions about Oklahoma’s proposed method — and its risks — “are especially important now, given States’ increasing reliance on […]

  • Oklahoma set to execute Richard Glossip despite concerns over evidence, drugs

    McAlester, Okla. – Richard Glossip is scheduled to die Wednesday despite widespread concerns about his trial and the way Oklahoma plans to execute him. Glossip was convicted of murder for the 1997 death of motel owner Barry Van Treese, though Glossip wasn’t the actual killer. The man who bludgeoned Van Treese to death, Justin Sneed, testified that Glossip hired him for the murder. But jurors weren’t presented with evidence that Sneed gave contradictory accounts to police about what happened, wrote […]

  • Why experts say there’s no such thing as ‘humane’ execution

    Throughout the history of capital punishment in America, states have reviewed and revised execution methods in the interest of finding a more “humane” option. Hanging was the standard for much of the 19th century, as Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito noted in the court’s recent ruling related to capital punishment New York led the charge in the 1880s to trade the hangman’s noose for the electric chair based on a legislative commission’s finding that electrocution was “the most humane and […]

  • Supreme Court upholds the use of a controversial drug for lethal injections

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld the use of a controversial drug for lethal injection in executions. The ruling was 5-4 with Justice Samuel Alito writing for the majority, along with John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. “The prisoners failed to identify a known and available alternative method of execution that entails a lesser risk of pain, a requirement of all Eighth Amendment method-of- execution claims,” Alito wrote. “Second, the District Court did not establish that […]

  • Supreme Court takes up death penalty drug case

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — A sharply divided — and at times testy — Supreme Court took up Wednesday a case questioning the lethal injection protocol used for Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett’s botched execution in 2014. The hearing revealed a deep tension on the part of some of the conservatives who expressed concern that the opponents to the death penalty are making it very difficult for the states to carry out executions using lethal doses of drugs. “Let’s be honest about what’s […]

  • US Supreme Court to decide if Oklahoma’s death penalty drug cocktail is inhumane

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court heard arguments about the way Oklahoma executes death row prisoners on Wednesday. The nation’s highest court will ultimately decide if it’s constitutional for Oklahoma to use a controversial 3-drug combination. The drug Midazolam is at the center of the legal argument. It’s a sedative the state began to use after pharmaceutical companies refused to provide the sedatives formerly used to enforce the death penalty. But, when it was used to put Clayton Lockett to […]

  • UPDATE: Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin approves never-before-used execution method

    UPDATE: Gov. Mary Fallin signed House Bill 1879, which allows officials to perform executions using nitrogen hypoxia if lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional. Under current Oklahoma law, if lethal injection is ruled unconstitutional, the state can revert to the electric chair as a second alternative and firing squad as the third alternative. However, the bill makes nitrogen hypoxia the second alternative, electric chair as the third alternative and firing squad as the final alternative. OKLAHOMA CITY – State lawmakers have […]