death penalty

When State Attorney Aramis Ayala, a Democrat, announced in March that she would no longer seek the death penalty in capital cases, Republican Gov. Scott took away more than 20 murder cases in her jurisdiction. Now, Ayala is suing Scott to get them back.

At issue is whether Gov. Rick Scott has the authority to remove cases from a state attorney who refuses to seek capital punishment.

The state Supreme Court is considering where the power resides.

Four men convicted of a notorious gang rape in New Delhi will be hanged to death, after India's Supreme Court rejected their appeals over the 2012 crime that drew worldwide attention and prompted mass demonstrations and calls to stop the harassment of women — calls that the court repeated today.

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This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and former House Speaker Steve Lewis about a 300-page bipartisan review of Oklahoma's death penalty process and a task force to look into untested rape kits in the state.

The trio also discusses the current state of the legislature with just four weeks left in the session and the increase in the number of people officially running for statewide office in 2018.

Claire Donnelly / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

A bipartisan group of Oklahomans is urging the state to keep its temporary ban on the death penalty.

The independent group, the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, spent more than a year reviewing the state’s death penalty process, from the initial arrest and questioning of a suspect through the execution.

Updated 10 a.m. ET Tuesday

Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request by Arkansas to lift a stay that would have allowed officials to conduct the state's first execution in nearly a dozen years.

But while Monday's two scheduled executions were blocked, a path has been cleared for the state to carry out other killings scheduled this month; the next two are set for Thursday night.

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Amnesty International says there were fewer executions worldwide last year than the year before — but the number of death sentences handed down is the highest it has ever recorded.

In its annual report, Amnesty estimates that China carried out more executions than all the other countries put together. The human rights group says China put thousands of people to death. The exact figure is classified as a state secret and is not included in Amnesty's worldwide total.

Arkansas Plans Rapid Execution Schedule

Apr 1, 2017

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Faced with an expiring supply of a controversial sedative, the state of Arkansas plans to execute eight men over 11 days — a pace that is unprecedented in recent U.S. history and that has been criticized by lawyers and former corrections officials.

The state is set to carry out the executions two a day on four days between April 17 and April 27. Multiple lawsuits have been filed over the schedule, citing concerns about the speed. Arkansas' governor and attorney general say the deaths will bring closure to victims' families.

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