Arizona Prosecutors Drop Death Penalty in Two Cases, Citing High Costs and Lengthy Legal Process

Prosecutors in Mohave County, Arizona announced in February that they will drop the pursuit of the death penalty in two murder cases in the county. Justin Rector and Darrell Ketchner were separately charged with first-degree murder, and officials said their defense teams had already spent over $2.2 million preparing for trials that are still far […]

Texas governor spares inmate from execution after a father’s pleas

By Meagan Flynn, Washington Post Thomas “Bart” Whitaker had already eaten his last meal. It was about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, roughly a half-hour before his scheduled execution in a Texas prison. He was supposed to be strapped to a gurney soon. Whitaker had been sentenced to death for orchestrating the ambush-style murders of his family in 2003 as they returned […]

Washington State Senate Passes Death Penalty Abolition Bill

A bipartisan bill to abolish the death penalty in Washington passed the state Senate on February 14 on a 26-22 vote. SB 6052 now moves to the House of Representatives, where the chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee has said it will be given a hearing. “Today, the Washington State Senate took an historic, bipartisan […]

As Support for Death Penalty Falls in Utah, New Study Again Says Life Without Parole Costs Less

An analysis by the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice of the cost of capital punishment has found that cases in which prosecutors seek the death penalty are more costly than cases in which life without parole was the maximum sentence. The Commission’s Death Penalty Working Group reviewed recent studies of death-penalty costs in […]

American Bar Association Resolution: Ban Death Penalty for Offenders Age 21 or Younger

On February 5, the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to adopt a resolution calling for an end to the death penalty for offenders who were 21 or younger at the time of the crime. According to a report accompanying the resolution, “there is a growing medical consensus that key areas of […]

New Mexico Bill to Restore Death Penalty Dies in Committee

The latest effort by death-penalty proponents to reinstate the death penalty in New Mexico has died in a House committee. House Bill 155, which would have brought back the death penalty for murders of children, police officers, and corrections employees, was tabled by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee by a 3-2 vote following […]