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November 17, 2011

Two more states with two more executions make for pre-holiday capital flourish

As reported in this AP story, in Texas "convicted sex offender was put to death Wednesday evening for slipping into a San Antonio apartment in the middle of the night, snatching a 7-year-old girl and raping and strangling her." Meanwhile, as reported in this local piece, Idaho is scheduled to conduct an execution tomorrow morning.  If the Idaho execution goes forward, which seems likely now that a Ninth Circuit panel has refused to grant a lethal injection stay (opinion here), this week will have four executions in the United States (prior executions reported here); this pre-Thanksgiving week has thus been the busiest capital punishment period since seven murderers were executed in four states back in May 2010.

This "Upcoming Executions" page at the Death Penalty Information Center indicates that there is only one tentative execution date in December (in Oregon).  This means, as detailed on this DPIC page, that 2011 will likely end with slightly fewer executions (43 or 44) than 2010 (which had 47 US executions) and 2009 (which had 52 US executions).  But in part because there are already five executions scheduled in Ohio and Texas for the first two months of 2012, I do not expect this slight recent downward trend in yearly execution totals to continue into 2012 absent some surprising new litigation or policy developments in the death penalty arena.

November 17, 2011 at 02:08 PM | Permalink


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Texas alone already has 6 scheduled in 2012.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Nov 17, 2011 3:36:27 PM

Ohio has 7 scheduled for 2012 and 5 for 2013 already. Texas better pick up its game...

Posted by: Doug B. | Nov 17, 2011 3:58:30 PM

Florida, I suspect will schedule a bunch in 2012. At some point, the Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri LI litigation has got to come to an end, so you may see a bunch of executions scheduled in those states. The Arizona AG has requested that dates be set for a bunch of killers as well.

One of the reasons the numbers are down this year is that there were a ton of BS stays handed down by SCOTUS. Buck should have been executed already, and the Cleve Foster stays were absolutely ridiculous.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 17, 2011 4:59:41 PM


Let us hope so. I wonder how Florida Governor Scott chooses inmates to sign death warrants for out of 40+ eligible? I suppose he has his own "proportionality review."
Why is the Alabama Supreme Court taking so long to schedule Thomas Arthur's execution now that SCOTUS denied certiorari?

Posted by: DaveP | Nov 17, 2011 5:13:46 PM

Doug B.

keep an eye on Nunley vs. Missouri at SCOTUS, now at briefing stage. It will be interesting how this plays out.

Posted by: DaveP | Nov 17, 2011 5:16:35 PM

i'm so excited that that executions are taking place--I'm grabbing my knitting needles and pulling up a chair.

Posted by: Bubba from Texas | Nov 17, 2011 6:29:59 PM

Bubba --

"i'm so excited that that executions are taking place--I'm grabbing my knitting needles and pulling up a chair."

How excited are you that murders are taking place? Or do you just want to talk about the result without talking about the cause?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 17, 2011 7:07:33 PM

It seems that Florida actually has upwards of 75 death-row inmates who have exhausted their appeals.


US executions could also increase next year if there is ever a ruling on the federal lethal-injection litigation.

As far as Missouri's concerned, they appear to have as many as 15 death-row inmates who have exhausted their appeals.


Posted by: alpino | Nov 18, 2011 1:26:58 AM

I didn't think it was that many. The way Gov Scott is headed, it is only going to be 1 a month like Ohio. He has waited until the scheduled execution is carried out before signing another one.

Posted by: DaveP | Nov 18, 2011 7:20:06 AM

You're in for a long wait in regards to the federal lethal injection litigation. The last movement in that case was in 2009 and I doubt Obama will seriously push the issue.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Nov 18, 2011 8:45:43 AM

Doug, if you post your snail mail address, I'm sure several of us regular readers would be happy to send you some pom-poms.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 18, 2011 1:54:27 PM

Anon --

"Doug, if you post your snail mail address, I'm sure several of us regular readers would be happy to send you some pom-poms."

Or, instead of sending Doug pom-poms, you could always make an argument about why a person so cruel and depraved that he would rape and strangle to death a defenseless child should be spared the judgment of a unanimous jury that knew incomparably more about the case than you do.

Oh.....wait..........I forgot. Abolitionists take a powder on discussing the revolting facts of particular cases in favor of talking about pom-poms.

Then they can't figure out why their "arguments" are rejected by such a commanding majority.

Far out.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 18, 2011 6:20:26 PM

Nail, meet hammer. Bill hits it right on the head.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 19, 2011 11:05:08 AM

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