Death Penalty

Death Penalty Issues - Death Penalty

Gov. Gavin Newsom Suspends Death Penalty In California

Updated March 13 at 3:29 p.m. ET AP Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a sweeping order on Wednesday putting an executive moratorium on California's troubled death penalty, thus ordering a reprieve for the 737 people on death row.

The action suspends any further executions in California as long as Newsom is governor. But only California voters can repeal the death penalty, something they rejected narrowly three years ago.
Our death penalty system has been — by any measure — a failure.

Bill would effectively abolish the death penalty in Oregon

Mar 8, 2019 Under House Bill 3268, aggravated murder would be limited to only crimes when two or more people are killed
in a terror attack. This shows the death chamber at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. Photo by Beth

A bill filed Monday would allow the death penalty only in cases involving terrorism-related killings, effectively abolishing capital punishment in Oregon.

Opinion: Gov. Brown, it’s time to commute Oregon’s death row

On the evening of Nov. 1, as day turned into night outside the Riverbend National Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee, Edmund Zagorski spoke his last words. “Let’s rock,” he said, before prison staff covered his head with a black shroud and sent thousands of volts of electricity through his body. At 7:26 p.m. he was pronounced dead.Zagorski had specifically requested to die by electrocution rather than lethal injection, which has been the standard method for many years. He wanted to avoid the seemingly torturous deaths endured when dying by lethal injection.

Jan 15, 2019 Salem Progressive Film Series First feature of the year Salem’s Grand Theater 7PM

On Jan. 15, 2019, the Salem Progressive Film Series will open with the film "In the Executioner’s Shadow" at Salem’s Grand Theater at 7PM. This film casts a penetrating look at the consequences of the death penalty through three powerful stories – the rare perspective of a former state executioner who comes within days of executing an innocent person; a Boston Marathon bombing victim who struggles to decide what justice really means; and the parents of a murder victim who choose to fight for the life of their daughter’s killer.

2018 Marked the Fourth Consecutive Year with Fewer than 30 Executions and Less than 50 Death Sentences

(Washington, D.C.) With 25 executions and 42 death sentences expected this year, the use of the death penalty remained near historic lows in 2018, according to a report released today by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC). 2018 marked the fourth consecutive year with fewer than 30 executions and 50 death sentences, reflecting a long-term decline of capital punishment across the United States.

Opinion: America Is In The Middle Of A Death Penalty Crisis

Oregon uses lethal injection as its method of execution. Although Oregon has not executed anyone recently, the death penalty is still in its constitution and the need to obtain lethal drugs may be an issue. In the article "America Is In The Middle Of A Death Penalty Crisis" by Hannah Riley, communications manager at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta addresses this issue in her recent article in the Huffington Post. 

Catechism revision adds impetus in death penalty abolition fight

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Changes in law and public opinion have had their role to play in the quest to end capital punishment in the United States, but Catholic teaching also has played a part, according to Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center.

Washington ruling on the death penalty energizes Oregon movement

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 Oregon’s back and forth

Capital punishment is now legal in Oregon. It has come and gone.

The first execution under the territorial government was in 1851. Capital punishment was made explicitly legal by statute in 1864, and executions have been carried out exclusively at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem since 1904.

Washington Supreme Court Tosses Out State's Death Penalty

Oct. 11, 2018 AP Washington’s Supreme Court unanimously struck down the state’s death penalty Thursday, ruling that it had been used in an arbitrary and racially discriminatory manner.

Washington has had a moratorium on executions since 2014, but the ruling makes it the 20th state to do away with capital punishment by legislative act or court decree. The court converted the sentences of the eight people on Washington’s death row to life in prison.

Oregonian: In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

To cope with his dread, John Kitzhaber opened his leather-bound journal and began to write. It was a little past 9 on the morning of Nov. 22, 2011. Gary Haugen had dropped his appeals. A Marion County judge had signed the murderer's death warrant, leaving Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor, to decide Haugen's fate. The 49-year-old would soon die by lethal injection if the governor didn't intervene.  Read More  

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