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August 31, 2010

Wondering about the state and fate of the federal death penalty

A high-profile federal death penalty case that concluded earlier this week in Detroit, which is covered in this local piece headlined "Legal experts say no death penalty is no surprise: Doubtful Detroit jurors didn't put killer in the 'worst of the worst' category," got me to thinking about the current state and future fate of the federal death penalty.

Notably, there has been only three federal execution in the modern death penalty era, and none since 2003.  However, federal death row continues to grow, having roughly doubled in size over the last decade.  (Info at DPIC here and here.)

August 31, 2010 at 10:00 PM | Permalink


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The hierarchy of the CCE is among the worst of the worst. They control the most powerful criminal syndicate in history. We pity Mexico in its travails with drug cartels. However, our criminal syndicate quietly took over the three branches of our government and now makes 99% of the policy decisions. We speak of vicious drug gangs. Ours allows the assassination of 17,000 people, the deaths of millions by preventable health problems. Ours actively protects Muslim terrorists, and pure evil of massive criminality. It herds such evil into minority neighborhoods. It plunders $trillion, keeps our economic growth at nil instead of at 9%. Elected officials are figureheads, and it does not matter who is in office.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 31, 2010 10:27:41 PM

There are, apparently, six inmates who have exhausted all appeals save for the lethal injection litigation, but all four with active execution dates got stays in 2006 (James Roane, Richard Tipton, Corey Johnson) and 2007 (Bruce Webster). Anthony battle and Orlando Hall have also exhausted appeals. Roane is the lead plaintiff in lethal injection litigation stalling the executions but the last I heard of that case was April 09, dismissing the prosecutor's request for summary dismissal. Besides that, I haven't heard anything.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Aug 31, 2010 11:18:34 PM

Former BOP attorney who did nothing with the death penalty while at the Bureau, wondering if it's just a coincidence that Harley G. Lappin was sworn in as Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons on April 4, 2003, and there hasn't been a federal execution since. Can one "bureaucrat" end the federal death penalty? Might be enough to make someone believe you really can change things from the inside.

Posted by: Sarah | Sep 1, 2010 2:54:23 AM

Sarah, Considering that since 1963, there have only been 3 federal executions, it's not highly unusual that there hasn't been one during Lappin's 7-year tenure.

Posted by: DEJ | Sep 1, 2010 11:33:27 AM

It's unusual because most of the 65-01 gap in executions is accounted for by there being no federal death penalty for most of time and a lengthy appeals process. Yet, in the gap since '03 there have been many stayed executions. I chalk that up to a disinterested DOJ and courts dragging their heels for no valid reason.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Sep 1, 2010 1:02:41 PM

Another activist judge is holding things up.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 1, 2010 7:52:35 PM

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