FEATURED POST

No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

Image
Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. The state shouldn't get a second chance.
The pathos and problems of America's death penalty were vividly on display yesterday when Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. Immediately after its failure Gov. John Kasich set June 5, 2019, as a new execution date.
This plan for a second execution reveals a glaring inadequacy in the legal standards governing botched executions in the United States.
Campbell was tried and sentenced to die for murdering 18-year-old Charles Dials during a carjacking in 1997. After Campbell exhausted his legal appeals, he was denied clemency by the state parole board and the governor.
By the time the state got around to executing Campbell, he was far from the dangerous criminal of 20 years ago. As is the case with many of America's death-row inmates, the passage of time had inflicted its own punishments.
The inmate Ohio strapped onto the gurney was a 69-year-old man afflicted with serious ailm…

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs bill: Judges can no longer override juries in death penalty cases

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey today signed into law a bill that says juries, not judges, have the final say on whether to impose the death penalty in capital murder cases.

Ivey signed the bill, which had been passed by the Alabama House of Representatives on April 4.

Rep. Chris England, one of the legislators who had supported a bill to do away with override confirmed Ivey had signed it into law through a tweet.

Alabama had been the only state that allows a judge to override a jury's recommendation when sentencing capital murder cases.

The bill approved on April 4 was one submitted by Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Montgomery. It passed the House on a vote of 78-19 for signature by then Gov. Robert Bentley, who had said he planned to sign it into law after a standard legal review. Bentley, however, didn't get a chance to sign it, resigning Monday amid a sex scandal and a plea agreement with prosecutors.

At least one Alabama judge was happy to see the law changed.

"I'm glad to be stripped of this power," Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff Circuit Judge David Carpenter told AL.com Tuesday. "Also, this is long overdue. Our Capital Murder sentencing statute would eventually have been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court."

Robert Dunham, executive director of the Washington-D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center, said that the new law is "important" and significant. "Judicial override has been responsible for some of the unfairest and most unreliable death sentences in the United States," he said.

Judicial override was initially designed to prevent runaway juries and an extra level of procedural safeguards to prevent the unjustified imposition of the death penalty, Dunham said. "That has not been the way it has worked historically in Alabama," he said.

"It has been used to impose death sentences against the will of the community and has been disproportionately used in election years in cases of white victims and African am defendants," Dunham said.

Alabama was an outlier with judicial override, becoming the last state to allow its use by judges for overriding life without parole recommendation to impose death, Dunham said.

➤ Click here to read the full article

Source: al.com, April 11, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Comments

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Ohio: Alva Campbell execution delayed indefinitely

Here's as Crazy a Death Penalty Story as You'll Find

Nevada releases detailed manual on how it plans to execute death row inmate

A Travelling Executioner

No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

Ohio: Alva Campbell will get wedge-shaped pillow for execution; his death could become a “spectacle”

Nevada death row inmate placed on suicide watch

Arizona: Man sentenced to death in 2011 death of 10-year-old locked in storage box

Too Old and Too Sick to Execute? No Such Thing in Ohio.

Nevada refuses Pfizer demand to return drugs state plans to use in execution