Tag: death penalty

23 articles

The Worst of the Worst

A profile of Judy Clarke, who takes on the most heinous, notorious defendants in America, trying to save them from the death penalty. Until Dzokhar Tsarnaev, she usually succeeded.


What Happened in Room 102

The case of Richard Glossip, whose failed Supreme Court challenge of execution methods now leaves him waiting for death. But he still insists he’s innocent.


Revenge Killing

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


Cruel and Unusual

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


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.


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.


The Last Executioner

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


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.'"


The Politics of Killing

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


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.

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.