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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 -…

Florida Senate votes down death penalty change

Florida's death chamber
Florida's death chamber
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A sharply divided Florida Senate is rejecting a proposal to require a unanimous jury recommendation in death penalty cases.

The Senate voted twice Wednesday on whether to require all 12 jurors to agree on death sentences. 

The proposal was rejected by votes of 22-18 and 23-17.

Florida doesn't require unanimous jury recommendations. But the Legislature is poised to change the law, requiring at least 10 out of 12 to recommend execution in order for it to be carried out.

The Senate originally wanted to require all jurors to agree on a death sentence. But senators agreed to switch to 10 jurors as part of a compromise with the House.

The Legislature is rewriting the death penalty law after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that the current method is unconstitutional.

Source: The Associated Press, March 2, 2016

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