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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 -…

Colorado: New DA McCann says Denver is done with the death penalty

DA Beth McCann
DA Beth McCann, Denver, Colorado
Denver is done with the death penalty. It dies as District Attorney Mitch Morrissey leaves office on Tuesday.

His successor, Democrat Beth McCann, sat down with Next, and said she'll make good on her campaign promise to remove Denver from the list of the few remaining judicial districts in the state to seek capital punishment.

"We are (done) under my administration," she said. "I don't think that the state should be in the business of killing people."

McCann believes life in prison gets the point of a punishment across, and "the millions and millions of dollars" the state spends on capital punishment cases can be saved to prosecute others.

Morrisey sought the death penalty once. It was for Dexter Lewis, who was found guilty of stabbing five people to death in a Fero's Bar.

Gary Davis is the only person put to death in Colorado since the Supreme Court reinstated it in 1976. Davis was put to death in 1997.

McCann is not looking to lead a statewide repeal of the death penalty, and she says she'd support a voter referendum on the issue, or repeal in the legislature.

Tuesday, 9NEWS will talk to McCann about how she plans to handle prosecution of police officers accused of breaking the law, and how her work as a gun control advocate will impact how she prosecutes gun crimes in Denver.

Source: 9NEWS, Kyle Clark, Jan 9, 2017

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