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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 -…

120-day Delay Requested in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Death Penalty Appeal

D. Tsarnaev
D. Tsarnaev
As a second man rejoins Massachusetts' short list of convicts sentenced to death, lawyers are reportedly seeking another delay in the appeals process that would spare the life of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dhzokar Tsarnaev.

The Boston Herald's Laurel Sweet reports Monday that the team appealing Tsarnaev's sentence is requesting another two-month delay to build their case.

Those arguments were initially due last October, but the team received a 120-day delay at that time. They requested another today, according to Sweet.

Tsarnaev was sentenced to the death penalty in summer of 2015 for his role in the 2013 bombings that killed three people and injured 250 more. He also killed a police officer in the ensuing manhunt. The jury's unanimous decision followed 14 hours of deliberation.

Also on Monday, convicted killer Gary Lee Sampson lost his second bid to avoid death row. A jury added him back to a short list of federal convicts on death row and an even shorter list of people from Massachusetts receiving the sentence. The death penalty is illegal in Massachusetts, but both Sampson and Tsarnaev's cases are federal, and therefore an exception.

Source: Boston Patch, Alison Bauter, January 9, 2017

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