Alabama Execution Blocked, Mississippi Next?

News Update 10.25.07

North Carolina

Nothing to report.


The 11th Circuit stayed the execution of Alabama’s Daniel Lee Siebert, pending the resolution of Baze. You can read the per curiam decision here. Attorneys are still trying to procure a stay for Earl Wesley Berry of Mississippi. (c/o CDW)

Berry is one of three inmates whose executions are scheduled to go forward by the end of the year. Arkansas’ Don William Davis and Flordia’s Mark Dean Schwab have also not yet received stays of execution.

Murder Victims’ Families for Human Rights was in Massachusetts this week, testifying before the state legislature as it considered a bill to reinstate the death penalty. Among the speakers was Robert Curley, whose son’s brutal murder in 1997 sparked the push to bring capital punishment back to the Bay State. In the decade since his son’s death, Curley has become an opponent of the death penalty due to its disproportionate application to the poor.

The Onion (a satirical newspaper) shows the hidden consequences of a pause in executions: “To all outward appearances, “Kevin” is a typical Southern state governor. He enjoys vetoing bills, attending ribbon-cutting ceremonies, and hanging out with friends. But the recent suspension of lethal injections in 10 states has put Kevin’s political life in serious jeopardy. Unable to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether the practice constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, Kevin, like many young governors who find themselves saddled with an unwanted death row inmate, has been forced to take desperate action and obtain an illegal back-alley lethal injection.” (c/o SLAP)

(For the record, this is DeathWatch’s favorite criminal law-related Onion article ever.)

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