Texas: Gov. Abbott should grant death row inmate Rodney Reed a reprieve, before it’s too late

Convicted murderer Rodney Reed is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Nov. 20, but Gov. Greg Abbott has the power to stop it.
As it stands, there’s no indication that Abbott will. He has only stopped one execution since becoming governor 5 years ago.
Reed was sentenced to death in 1998, after being convicted of the brutal 1996 rape and killing of a 19-year-old woman from central Texas, Stacey Stites. And though the governor has yet to weigh in on this specific case, he supports capital punishment, as do most voters in the state. According to a June 2018 poll from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune, fully three-fourths of Texans strongly or somewhat support the death penalty.
But the question at hand has nothing to do with the death penalty, per se. Granting a reprieve would simply be the right thing to do — and a necessary precaution against the doubts that would linger, if Reed is executed as scheduled.
Reed has consistently maintained his innocence, and legitimate questions …

Albert Pierrepoint: El Verdugo Más Famoso De Inglaterra

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Albert Pierrepoint trabajó la mayor parte de su vida como dependiente en una verdulería y en un bar de su propiedad. Pero fue su otro trabajo, el que realizaba de manera eventual y sin un cargo oficial, el que lo hizo pasar a la historia.
Pierrepoint fue el verdugo más prolífico del Reino Unido: ejecutó a más de 400 personas, lo que le llevó a ser considerado por el gobierno inglés “el verdugo más eficiente”, aunque con el tiempo Pierrepoint se volvió un férreo crítico de la pena de muerte.
Durante 24 años este ejecutor repitió una misma rutina. Miraba fijamente a los condenados, después los inmovilizaba de pies y manos, para luego cubrir su rostro con una capucha.
Finalmente, rodeaba su cuello con la soga y accionaba la trampa que ponía fin a la vida del condenado. Tras la ejecución, inspeccionaba la herida y registraba todo en su diario.
La limpieza y eficacia de su trabajo fue legendaria, tanto que…

Georgia: As execution nears, co-defendant says Cromartie likely isn't killer

A co-defendant of Georgia death row inmate Ray "Jeff" Cromartie, sentenced to be executed for murder, said recently he had no idea who pulled the trigger.
With the planned execution just one day away, co-defendant Thad Lucas says he's been keeping a secret the past 25 years that makes him believe Cromartie most likely wasn't the gunman.
"I keep hearing that Jeff Cromartie is the shooter and I know that is probably not true," Lucas wrote in an affidavit released Monday, claiming he overheard a third defendant confess to the shooting. 
Lucas was the getaway driver for the 1994 store robbery turned shooting in South Georgia. He and the third defendant, Corey Clark, testified for the state, avoiding the death penalty and murder charges.
At the time, Clark testified that Cromartie was the gunman. Cromartie said it was Clark.
Now Lucas, who is Cromartie's half-brother, says he overheard Clark confess to the crime. He said he didn't come forward before no…

Parents face execution in Singapore for killing their five-year-old son by pouring boiling water over him

Azlin Arujunah and Ridzuan Mega Rahman, both 27, allegedly subjected their five-year-old boy to a waking nightmare of repeated torture and abuse 
A couple who allegedly killed their five-year-old boy by pouring boiling water over him three years ago began their trial on Tuesday at Singapore's High Court.
Azlin Arujunah and Ridzuan Mega Abdul Rahman, both 27, were in the dock today facing charges of murder, which dictates a mandatory death penalty, or life imprisonment with caning. 
Prosecutors said Azlin, the boy's mother, and Ridzuan, his father, caged the five-year-old in a cat box and tortured him with heated spoons and pliers for months before he died. 
His death was caused by blows to the head and a deluge of 198F water poured over his back and calves.
In court, the prosecution's first witness, Associate Professor Loh Tsee Foong, recounted the injuries the boy presented at the hospital.
Among the list of horrors were second to third degree burns, which covered 75 per …

Lukashenko opines on possibility of abolishing death penalty in Belarus

VIENNA, 12 November (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko answered a question about a possibility to abolish capital punishment in Belarus as he attended a press conference in Vienna on 12 November, BelTA has learned. 
“My answer is simple: this matter was decided at the referendum. Only a referendum can abolish capital punishment. We are moving in this direction,” the head of state said. 
Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that the European Union is demanding that Belarus abolish death penalty. 
“We cannot disregard this matter, to be honest. We often conduct opinion polls on death penalty. Nothing has changed since the referendum took place. Do we have to hold another referendum knowing that the abolition of capital punishment will be rejected by the public? I think this referendum will not make any sense. Therefore, we agreed with politicians in Brussels to start working on this matter together. We worked out some plan, a roadmap on interacting with the Belarusian society. We …

Louisiana: No decision yet on death penalty for woman accused of killing infant

NATCHITOCHES — A decision hasn't been made yet on whether to seek the death penalty for a woman accused in the burning death of a 6-month-old baby, said prosecutors Tuesday during a hearing on multiple motions.
Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith, 27, sat between her two attorneys from the New Orleans-based Louisiana Capital Assistance Center during the hearing. 
She was indicted in August 2018 on a first-degree murder charge in the July 18, 2018, death of Levi Cole Ellerbe.
The baby was found in a ditch off Breda Avenue late the night before, less than two hours after his mother, 24-year-old Hanna Nicole Barker, called 911 to report the infant had been kidnapped after two men knocked on the door of her travel trailer off La. Highway 1 and sprayed her in the face with a substance.
Levi died at a Shreveport hospital, suffering second- and third-degree burns over more than 90% of his body.
Prosecutors allege Barker asked Smith to kill the baby. The two women were involved in a relationship,…

51 Children Hurt in Chemical Attack at Chinese Elementary School

Three teachers were also injured in the attack, in which a man entered a kindergarten in Yunnan Province and sprayed a caustic chemical, the official state news agency said.
A man sprayed a corrosive chemical inside a kindergarten in southwest China, injuring 51 students and three teachers, according to the official state news agency.
The attack, which took place Monday afternoon in the Yunnan Province city of Kaiyuan, left two people with serious injuries that were not considered life-threatening, according to the Xinhua news service.
An hour after the attack, the police detained a 23-year-old man, whose surname they gave as Kong. The authorities said he sprayed the chemical, called caustic soda, “as a revenge on society,” Xinhua reported.
RELATED | Attack at School in China Leaves at Least 8 Children Dead, Sept. 3, 2019
Caustic soda, also known as sodium hydroxide, can be a colorless to white substance appearing as flakes, beads or a granular form, according to the Centers for Diseas…

2019 has given us yet more examples of the inherent injustice of capital punishment

Since the beginning of the year, seven states have executed 19 men convicted of murder. That ranks among the lowest annual execution totals since the practice resumed in 1976 after a U.S. Supreme Court decision, according to statistics maintained by the Death Penalty Information Center. But it’s only November, so there’s still time for more. In fact, Georgia has scheduled an execution for Wednesday, and Texas has one set for a week later.
And after a 16-year hiatus, the federal government plans to resume executions next month by killing Daniel Lewis Lee, one of two white supremacists convicted of the 1996 murders of a married Arkansas couple and their 8-year-old daughter. The other person convicted in that case, Chevie Kehoe, who by most accounts was the instigator of the violence, received a life sentence. That disparity is a microcosm of one of the key flaws of capital punishment: It is fundamentally arbitrary in its application. Two men were convicted of the same murder; one was m…

Nevada: Man who allegedly killed his 14-year-old son for being gay appears in court

A man who allegedly shot and killed his 14-year-old son for being gay appeared in court in Nevada on Wednesday, November 6.
53-year-old father Wendell Melton was arrested and accused of the murder of his son Giovanni on November 2 2017, but is yet to go to trial and is currently under house arrest.
According to Advocate, he faces charges of open murder, felony possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, and first-degree felony child abuse.
Wendell originally claimed that he shot and killed his son by accident and that he didn’t mean to fire the gun, but Giovanni’s mother Veronica Melton told KTNV that she disagrees.
She said her former husband “always trying to find out if my son was gay”, and that Giovanni had come to her two months before his death. She believes that he came out to his father around the same time.
She added: “He couldn’t deal with it because, when I was married to him, he would make very disparaging remarks against people that were gay, and to me I know that he…

Utah: Death Row Inmate Ron Lafferty Dies Of Natural Causes

After more than three decades on death row, Utah inmate Ron Lafferty died in prison Monday of natural causes.
Lafferty was convicted in the 1984 killings of his sister-in-law Brenda Lafferty and her 15-month-old daughter Erica.
The religious-motivated murders were featured in the Jon Krakauer book “Under the Banner of Heaven.” Lafferty’s brother, Dan Lafferty, is serving life in prison for helping carry out the killings.
Lafferty was likely only months away from being executed after an appeals court rejected his latest appeal in August. And the 78-year-old’s execution had not yet been scheduled. He had chosen to be executed by firing squad.
“Our family is grateful to everyone involved in this lengthy process,” Brenda Lafferty’s sister, Sharon Wright Weeks, wrote in a message Monday.
Attorney Therese Day described her client as a “mentally ill man” who did not receive proper treatment.
“Mr. Lafferty believed his incarceration and conviction were the result of a conspiracy between the …

Missouri: Female accused of drowning son to face death penalty

Prosecutors seek death penalty for former Quincy resident accused of drowning son
A former Quincy resident accused in the 2017 drowning of her 8-year-old son appeared in custody with her attorney last week.
According to court documents, Aushena Warren and her attorney waived formal arraignment and a preliminary hearing.
Prosecutors filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Warren.
The former Quincy woman is charged with 1st-degree murder, abandonment of a corpse and 1st-degree assault.
The charges were filed in connection to the June 13, 2017 death of her son Audrick Warren, 8.
The boy was found unresponsive in the family's bathtub on North London Avenue in North Kansas City, Missouri.
About an hour before that, Kansas City police said the boy's mother, Aushena, was rescued after jumping from the Bond Bridge.
She was taken into police custody.
A jury trial has been set for September 2020.
KHQA interviewed family members who live in Quincy following the boy'…