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Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

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In the past, abolition efforts have faced a backlash—but Gavin Newsom’s moratorium may be different.
The American death penalty is extraordinarily fragile, with death sentences and executions on the decline. Public support for the death penalty has diminished. The practice is increasingly marginalized around the world. California, with its disproportionately large share of American death-row inmates, announces an end to the death penalty. The year? 1972. That’s when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty inconsistent with the state’s constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishments—only to have the death penalty restored a year later through popular initiative and legislation.
On Wednesday, again, California walked back its commitment to the death penalty. Though not full-fledged abolition, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on capital punishment lasting as long as his tenure in office, insisting that the California death penalty has been an “abject…

In Nevada, path unclear after twice-delayed execution

Midazolam
Court blocks state from using never-tried combination of drugs

LAS VEGAS — Nevada twice has come close to carrying out its first execution in 12 years. And twice it failed.

Condemned killer Scott Raymond Dozier says he wants to die, but the state has no clear path forward after courts blocked it from using a never-tried combination of drugs that it created after struggling to get lethal injection supplies.

The delays are raising questions about whether Nevada can overcome legal hurdles to execute its first inmate since 2006 and whether the political will exists to find a way to carry out capital punishment at all.

States, including Nevada, have increasingly run up against pharmaceutical companies who don’t want their products used in executions, with states like Texas, Georgia and Virginia changing laws to shield information about the drugs they use and others coming up with backup methods such as gas chambers and firing squads.

In an election year, few Nevada politicians are talking about possible changes to keep the death penalty viable while the state faces a court battle that’s expected to be lengthy.

Hours before Dozier was to die July 11, a judge blocked use of the sedative midazolam until at least September after drugmaker Alvogen sued. The state was expected to appeal the postponement to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Nevada’s three-drug plan would follow the sedative with fentanyl, the potent synthetic opioid that’s fueling overdose deaths nationwide, and a muscle paralytic called cisatracurium. Neither has been used in an execution, and critics have raised concerns that Dozier could be conscious, unable to move and suffocating.

Dozier, a 47-year-old twice-convicted murderer who insists he doesn’t care if his death is painful, had his execution previously delayed in November.

Source: Altona Mirror, Ken Ritter, Michelle Price, July 20, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?