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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 -…

California Death Row Inmate Dies of Natural Causes

California death row
California death row
Seventy condemned inmates have died from natural causes since California reinstated the death penalty in 1978

An inmate sentenced to death over 30 years ago was pronounced dead Saturday morning of natural causes in a California jail.

Bernard L. Hamilton, was sentenced on March 2, 1981, by a San Diego County jury for the 1979, first-degree murder and second-degree burglary of Eleanore Buchanan.

Hamilton kidnapped, murdered and dismembered Buchanan’s body after she caught him burglarizing her van. He had a prior conviction for burglary in 1973.

Hamilton had been on death row since March 4, 1981.

Seventy condemned inmates have died from natural causes since California reinstated the death penalty in 1978.

Twenty-five inmates have committed suicide, thirteen have been executed in California and two were executed in Missouri and Virginia.

Eight other inmates have died from other causes, and one cause of death is pending.

There are 747 offenders on California’s death row.

Source: nbcsandiego.com, March 28, 2016

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