Recent Death Penalty Headlines

There have been several death penalty stories in the news recently.

One interesting story is that the state of Oklahoma used the wrong drug to execute Charles Warner back in January, according to National Public Radio.

Apparently, they used Potassium Acetate instead of Potassium Chloride.  In September, Governor Mary Fallin stopped the execution of inmate Richard Glossip, saying the state had received potassium acetate rather than potassium chloride.

However, in a statement released on October 8th, Governor Fallin said a doctor and pharmacist working with the Department of Corrections assured them that the “two drugs are medically interchangeable.”

Also in the headlines are two supreme court cases from Kansas that actually reversed death penalty sentences.

In one case, known as the “Wichita Massacre,” the lower court set aside the capital sentences of two brothers because they had a common trial instead of separate trials. Their sentences were seen as being “lumped together.” There were other technical issues involved.

In the other case, the Kansas court said the jury instructions had been confusing.  It was claimed by the state prosecutor that the state court had cited the U.S. Constitution instead of Kansas law, which reportedly gives more protections to the defendant.

http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/07/446632593/supreme-court-justices-deeply-divided-over-death-penalty-in-new-term

http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/07/politics/supreme-court-death-penalty-kansas/

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