State capitals are buzzing as lawmakers return for this year’s state legislative sessions. It’s no surprise that the death penalty is on the agenda in so many places, given the growing movement away from executions.
There has long been strong support for death penalty repeal in Kansas, but due to many circumstances, repeal bills haven’t received committee hearings in recent years. This year, a diverse range of Kansans – murder victims’ family members, faith leaders, those with law enforcement experience, and legal experts – were able to express their support for repeal in front of a House committee. The hearing room was standing room only with supporters of the bill, and those testifying in favor of repeal outnumbered opponents 9 to 1.
Update 10/1/15, 9:42pm: Alfredo Pieto was executed in Virginia tonight at 9:17pm. His lawyers had just filed an application for a stay with the U.S. Supreme Court when news of his execution was announced.
Update 10/1/15, 7:36pm: After a change of venue, a Federal Court in Virginia heard arguments about the lethal injections drugs to be used in tonight’s execution in Virginia. In his ruling following the hearing, the judge lifted an injunction, clearing the way for the execution to go forward.
Update 10/1/15, 7:29pm: The Attorney General in Oklahoma has asked for an indefinite suspension in executions, including that of Richard Glossip as well as two others that were scheduled for next week. In a request to the highest court in Oklahoma, the A.G. indicated it “needs time to evaluate the events that transpired” leading up to Glossip’s scheduled – and ultimately stayed – execution on Tuesday.
Update 10/1/15, 9:33am: Though a hearing originally scheduled for this afternoon has been canceled, an injunction still stands, staying today’s scheduled execution of Alfred Prieto in Virginia. Lawyers for Prieto are seeking a more information about the drugs the State plans to use for the execution, which were acquired from Texas prison officials. Continue Reading →