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Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

Missouri representative files bill to 'optimize' death row

Missouri's death chamber
Missouri's death chamber
New rule would expedite execution process for those without further chance of appeal

State lawmakers will soon discuss House Bill 1647, which would reform Missouri's execution process.

State Rep. Mike Kelley, R-Lamar, said the bill would require the state Supreme Court to perform a review on all pending death row cases within 30 days of it passing.

The bill would also require the court to schedule an execution within 60 days of the review's completion.

Kelley said the bill would both save the state about $30,000 a year per inmate. 

He said it would more effectively carry out the court's decision to impose the death penalty.

"My goal is not to ever execute anyone that's innocent. That's no one's goal," Kelley said. "When you have a person who's admitted they are guilty, once there are no more appeals available, that sentence needs to be carried out."

There are currently 27 inmates facing the death penalty in Missouri.

Source: ABC news, December 11, 2015

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