FEATURED POST

'Express lane to death': Texas seeks approval to speed up death penalty appeals, execute more quickly

Image
Texas is seeking to speed up executions with a renewed request to opt-in to a federal law that would shorten the legal process and limit appeals options for death-sentenced prisoners.
Defense attorneys worry it would lead to the execution of innocent people and - if it's applied retroactively, as Texas is requesting - it could potentially end ongoing appeals for a number of death row prisoners and make them eligible for execution dates.
"Opt-in would speed up the death penalty treadmill exponentially," said Kathryn Kase, an longtime defense attorney and former executive director of Texas Defender Services.
But a state attorney general spokeswoman framed the request to the Justice Department as a necessary way to avoid "stressful delays" and cut down on the "excessive costs" of lengthy federal court proceedings.
Robbie Kaplan, co-founder of the #TimesUp movement, says sweeping changes to laws in recent years have dissuaded attorneys from taking on har…

Louisiana serial killer Derrick Todd Lee dies while awaiting execution

Derrick Todd Lee
Derrick Todd Lee
A Louisiana serial killer linked to the gruesome murders of 7 women died Thursday as he awaited execution, officials said.

Derrick Todd Lee's cause of death was not immediately released.

The 47-year-old was moved from the Louisiana State Penitentiary's death row to a hospital Saturday for unknown medical reasons.

An autopsy will be performed by the West Feliciana coroner's office, Pam Laborde, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, told the Advocate.

Lee - who was connected to 7 murders between 1998 and 2003 in the Baton Rouge and Lafayette - appealed his death sentence earlier this year. The Louisiana Supreme Court rejected his bid in September, putting him 1 step closer to execution.

A date had not been set for the execution.

Lee was sentenced to death in 2004 for killing and mutilating LSU graduate student Charlotte Murray Pace in her Baton Rouge home in 2002. The 22-year-old was raped, bludgeoned and stabbed more than 80 times, officials said.

He received a separate life sentence for the 2002 killing of 21-year-old Geralyn Barr DeSoto, of Addis.

Authorities suspect Lee killed 5 other women - Trineisha Dene Colomb, Randi Mebruer, Pam Kinamore, Carrie Lynn Yoder and Gina Wilson Green - between 1998 and 2003, but he was never tried in those cases.

The 6-year killing spree petrified Southern Louisiana, Sinquefield said.

"For a period of time, you had 600,000 people in South Louisiana that were terrified. People afraid to go out of their homes, taking extra security precautions," he told the newspaper.

Source: New York Daily News, January 21, 2016

- Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com - Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Iran: Execution Of A Sports Coach In Hamadan

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Alabama executes Walter Moody

Warden Describes Life on Texas Death Row in Delacruz Testimony

California death row inmate to be freed; no retrial planned

Aging death row: Is executing old or infirm inmates cruel?

Jeff Sessions: It's OK with feds if Alabama executes judge's killer

Oklahoma Officials Endorse Nitrogen Executions As 'Humane,' But Some Medical Experts Aren't Sure

A 10-Minute Trial, a Death Sentence: Iraqi Justice for ISIS Suspects

Two Germans to be caned, jailed for Singapore train graffiti