Tag: death penalty

21 articles
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Revenge Killing

The death of an infant lands his father on death row in Louisiana.

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Cruel and Unusual

The events leading up to the botched execution of Clayton Lockett.

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, The Boston Marathon Bomber, Has the Most Ferocious Lawyer in America Defending Him

A profile of Judy Clarke, the publicity-shy anti-death-penalty attorney, who has defended the Unabomber, Susan Smith, and Jared Loughner.

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The Witness

A profile of Michelle Lyons, who viewed 278 executions as both a local reporter and a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

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The Last Executioner

The mysterious life and death of Dow B. Hover, the man who ran New York’s electric chair.

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If King Hammurabi

With two children in tow, a woman prepares to witness her lover's execution by lethal injection.

"Lyell gave her a shove, then she gave him a shove, and they raced to the guest bedrooms and put on their nicest outfits. Twenty minutes later they sat at Cornelia’s dining room table, waiting for her to speak. She inhaled deeply. Her fine blond hair was wrenched from her scalp into a tight, high-sitting barrette. 'Where we are about to go,' Cornelia whispered, 'must remain a secret. Can you children remember that?' They nodded. 'Today, we embark on a farewell mission,' she said, 'a goodbye mission for a friend who will enter the other side—which is to say, children, that he will be killed.'"

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The Politics of Killing

Two men named Nathan committed murders. Only one received a death sentence.

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Dallas DA Craig Watkins on Witnessing His First Execution

An interview:
Watkins: And then, all of a sudden, you notice that it appears that he is falling asleep and gasping for air—like he is snoring, basically. You could classify it as snoring or as gasping for air. You see his chest moving, and then I guess very quickly—maybe two minutes in—his chest stops moving. And we stand there, I guess, for another 10 minutes, and everybody is just kind of standing there. D Magazine: In total silence? Watkins: No one’s talking. No one’s saying anything. And then you notice that the condemned, he starts to turn this bluish color. So I guess that’s when all his functions have stopped. And then a doctor walks in and takes his vital signs and announces that the person is—he looks at the clock and announces, “The person died at 6:22.” And then they open the door and we all walk out.
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Why Americans Still Support The Death Penalty

Three primary reasons: A desire for vengeance, the sanitization of executions and, ironically, the reliability of DNA evidence.

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The Mitigator

How mitigation specialists are changing the application of the death penalty:

In Texas, the most prominent mitigation strategist is a lawyer named Danalynn Recer, the executive director of the Gulf Region Advocacy Center. Based in Houston, GRACE has represented defendants in death-penalty cases since 2002. “The idea was to improve the way capital trials were done in Texas, to start an office that would bring the best practices from other places and put them to work here,” Recer said recently. “This is not some unknowable thing. This is not curing cancer. We know how to do this. It is possible to persuade a jury to value someone’s life.”

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Could You Forgive the Man Who Shot You in the Face?

In the days after 9/11, Mark Stroman went on a revenge killing spree in Texas. Rais Bhuiyan survived and, a decade later, tried to stop Stroman’s execution.