capital punishment

Updated at 12:30 pm ET

A federal judge in Washington has blocked federal executions scheduled for this week, citing concerns that the lethal injection protocol involved is "very likely to cause extreme pain and needless suffering."

Judge Tanya Chutkan said the last-minute ruling only hours before executions were set to resume for the first time in 17 years was "unfortunate," but she blamed the Justice Department for racing ahead before legal challenges had been fully aired.

Capital punishment is on the decline in the United States, with only 13 new death sentences and seven executions so far this year.

But the U.S. Justice Department is moving in the other direction. Authorities are preparing the death chamber in Terre Haute, Ind., for the first federal executions in 17 years, starting Monday.

Death row inmates, their spiritual advisers and even one set of victims' relatives are moving to the courts to try to stop or delay the process. They're using a novel argument: the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland
Jay LaPrete / AP

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is officially joining the effort to repeal the death penalty, saying he regrets the way he handled capital punishment while he was in office. 

Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

Some Republicans are pushing back against a group of fellow conservatives who want to repeal the death penalty.

In this November 2005 file photo, Larry Greene, public information director of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, demonstrates how a curtain is pulled between the death chamber and witness room at the prison in Lucasville, Ohio.
Kiichiro Sato / Associated Press

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the conservative movement to end the death penalty, an effort that usually gets support from liberal activists. Josh Culling of the group Conservatives Concerned About The Death Penalty joins the show.

State Rep. Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) during a House session on April 11, 2018.
Ohio House

A new group called Ohio Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty is releasing a list of prominent legislators, politicians and citizens who are calling for an end to the practice. Former Gov. Bob Taft and former Rep. Pat Tiberi have both signed onto the list.

Abortion rights advocates protest the Down Syndrome ban on abortions at the Ohio Statehouse in 2017.
Julie Carr Smyth / Associated Press

Opponents of the death penalty say they are concerned about a newly proposed abortion ban in Ohio that could charge a woman who gets an abortion and a doctor who provides it with a capital crime.

A tribute to two Westerville officers, who were killed in an apparent ambush while responding to a 9-1-1 call.
Nick Evans / WOSU

A Franklin County jury has put a period on the murder of two Westerville Police officers who were killed while responding to a domestic violence incident. Jurors recommended two life sentences without the possibility of parole for Quentin Smith. 

Changing Views On The Death Penalty

Nov 7, 2019
prison lock
File photo / Creative Commons

Governor Mike DeWine delayed execution dates again last week for two death-row inmates as the state continues its search for a pharmaceutical company willing to sell drugs for use in executions.

It marks the first time in three years Ohio will not hold any executions in a calendar year.

Today on All Sides, the death penalty in Ohio.

 

Guests:

Jonathan Quilter / Pool Photo

Sentencing proceedings began Monday in the case of the man convicted of murdering two Westerville Police officers.

Quentin Smith was found guilty in the deaths of Westerville Police officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli on Friday, November 1, 2019.
Fred Squillante / Pool/Columbus Dispatch

Jurors head back to court Monday for the sentencing phase of the trial for Quentin Smith, the man convicted of murdering two Westerville police officers.

Gov. DeWine Delays Two More Executions

Oct 31, 2019
lethal injection chair
Wikipedia Commons

Gov. Mike DeWine has delayed two more executions, citing Ohio’s continuing struggles to find supplies of lethal injection drugs.

Sister Helen Prejean, author of "Dead Man Walking"
Scott Langley

This weekend, Journey Of Hope From Violence To Healing is hosting a conference in Ohio on the death penalty.

Weekly Reporter Roundtable

Aug 26, 2019
The Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus.
Wikimedia

Gov. Mike DeWine reiterated his stance on executions, saying the state’s current lethal injection protocol will not be used and Ohio needs to find another process.

However, DeWine’s office has given what some call mixed messages, as news state lawyers told the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that executions were still on the table.

Today on our weekly reporter roundtable, the death penalty and more politics news.

 

Guests:

In this November 2005 file photo, Larry Greene, public information director of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, demonstrates how a curtain is pulled between the death chamber and witness room at the prison in Lucasville, Ohio.
Kiichiro Sato / Associated Press

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown talk about whether capital pubishment will be able to continue in the state or not.

Andrew Welsh Huggins, a reporter with the Associated Press in Columbus and author of the book No Winners Here Tonight: Race, Politics, and Geography in One of the Country's Busiest Death Penalty States, joins the show.

Pages