Death penalty repeal appears poised to pass New Hampshire state Senate

By Adam Sexton, Political Director, WMUR CONCORD, N.H. — A repeal of New Hampshire’s death penalty is poised to pass the state Senate for the first time in almost 20 years, but there are concerns that the bill could overturn the capital sentence of the state’s only death row inmate. Thirteen state senators have signed on to a […]

North Carolina Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Racial Justice Act Death-Penalty Cases

The North Carolina Supreme Court announced on March 2 that it will hear appeals from three of the four prisoners whose death sentences were reduced to life without parole under the state’s Racial Justice Act, then reinstated after the legislature repealed the law. Passed in 2009 and repealed in 2013, the landmark legislation allowed death-row […]

New Polls in Two Florida Counties that Heavily Use the Death Penalty Find Voters Prefer Life Sentences Instead

Recently released poll results from two Florida counties that have heavily used the death penalty suggest that voters actually prefer life-sentencing options instead. Polls conducted by North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling on January 22-23, 2018, indicate that three-quarters of Miami-Dade County respondents preferred some form of life imprisonment rather than the death penalty as the […]

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 […]

Father Who Survived Shooting Asks Texas Not to Execute His Son

Kent Whitaker, who survived a shooting in which his wife, Tricia and younger son, Kevin were murdered, has asked the state of Texas to spare the life of his only remaining son, Thomas “Bart” Whitaker, who was convicted and sentenced to death for their murders. Kent Whitaker told the Austin American-Statesman, “I have seen too […]