death penalty

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There’s only a week left in the Delaware state legislative session.

And state Senate leaders told the Wilmington News Journal that they do not intend to hold votes on issues like hiking the minimum wage or re-instating the death penalty.

Much of the discussion is being taken up with last minute negotiations over the state budget which is facing a $350 million shortfall.

Legislative leaders say proposed tax hikes are still up in the air along propose budget cuts that proved extremely unpopular during the early going of the budgetary process.

amnestyusa.org

DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have voted to reinstate Delaware's death penalty.

Tuesday's 24-to-16 vote came amid public outcry over the killing of a correctional officer during a prison riot and hostage-taking in February, and the fatal shooting of a state trooper two weeks ago.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

Under the bill, jurors would have to find unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant should be executed.

amnestyusa.org

DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers are set to vote on a bill reinstating Delaware's death penalty.

Tuesday's scheduled vote comes amid a public outcry over the killing of a correctional officer during a prison riot and hostage-taking in February, and the fatal shooting of a state trooper two weeks ago.

Under the bill, jurors would have to find unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant should be executed.

amnestyusa.org

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Democratic lawmaker who opposes the death penalty has introduced legislation stripping Delaware's Department of Correction of its authority to carry out executions and to obtain and use drugs in lethal injections.

Rep. Sean Lynn of Dover said Tuesday that he doubts his bill will pass, but that he wants people to better understand the drugs that are used in executing condemned criminals.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A judge is holding an evidence suppression hearing for a murder suspect whose case led to Delaware's death penalty being overturned by the state Supreme Court.

Wednesday's hearing comes in the prosecution of Benjamin Rauf, who is charged in the 2015 drug-related killing of 27-year-old Shazim Uppal of Hockessin, a fellow Temple University law school graduate.

law enforcement

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's decision to spare the life of a death row inmate came down to concerns about the fairness of his trial, not doubts about his guilt.

For weeks, supporters of Ivan Teleguz urged McAuliffe to halt his execution because they believe he may be innocent.

Teleguz was scheduled to be put to death next week, but on Thursday, McAuliffe commuted his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's Democratic governor is facing mounting pressure to halt next week's scheduled execution of an inmate whose case has seen two witnesses recant, years after he was convicted of ordering his ex-girlfriend's killing.

Ivan Teleguz is scheduled to receive a lethal injection April 25 unless granted clemency by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

McAuliffe is Catholic. He's said he personally opposes capital punishment but will uphold the law as governor. He hasn't stopped an execution during his tenure.

law enforcement

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Council of Churches is urging Gov. Terry McAuliffe to halt the execution of an inmate convicted of hiring a man to kill his ex-girlfriend.

The group plans to deliver a letter to McAuliffe Monday asking him to spare 38-year-old Ivan Teleguz's life.

Teleguz is scheduled to be executed on April 25. He was convicted in 2006 of hiring a man to kill Stephanie Sipe in Harrisonburg.

amnestyusa.org

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Lawmakers are poised to introduce bipartisan legislation to reinstate Delaware's death penalty, which the state Supreme Court declared unconstitutional last year.

Under the bill, the death penalty could not be imposed unless jurors unanimously found the existence of one or more aggravating circumstances. Jurors also would have to unanimously find that aggravating factors alleged by prosecutors had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt and outweighed mitigating factors cited by the defense.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has refused to put a Virginia death row inmate's execution on hold so he can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond issued an order Thursday declining the request from Ivan Teleguz, who is scheduled to be executed April 25.

Teleguz was sentenced to death in 2006 for hiring a man to kill his ex-girlfriend but maintains he's innocent. He asked the 4th Circuit last week to stay his execution so the high court could review his argument that he was denied the right to effective counsel.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a Virginia death row inmate who killed two people during an escape in 2006.

William Morva argued that he should have been allowed to present evidence that he wouldn't pose a risk of future violence if he was spared the death penalty.

But the justices on Tuesday left in place an appeals court ruling that rejected those claims.

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JARRATT, Va. (AP) - Virginia has executed a man convicted of killing two young girls and their parents during a New Year's Day home invasion more than 11 years ago.

Authorities say 39-year-old Ricky Gray was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. Wednesday following a lethal injection at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia.

Asked if he had any last words, he responded, "Nope."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia inmate scheduled to be put to death this week for the slayings of two young girls has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution.

Ricky Gray filed an emergency appeal with the high court on Tuesday. Gray is scheduled to be executed Wednesday for the slayings of 9-year-old Stella Harvey and her 4-year-old sister Ruby. Gray was convicted of killing the girls and their parents at their home on New Year's Day 2006.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge has refused to halt the execution of a man convicted of killing a family of four in Virginia.

Ricky Gray's attorneys had asked U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson for a delay to enable him to challenge the state's plan to use lethal injection drugs from a secret compounding pharmacy. Gray's attorneys say the state risks "chemically torturing" the man.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Kent County judge is holding a bench trial for a former death row inmate facing retrial in a drug-related killing.

Monday's bench trial was set after attorneys for Isaiah McCoy told the judge last month that he wanted to waive his right to a jury trial.

amnestyusa.org

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorneys of a condemned Virginia inmate are asking a federal judge to halt his scheduled execution so they can challenge the state's plan to use drugs from a secret compounding pharmacy.

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson heard arguments Tuesday from attorneys for Ricky Gray, who are seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction in his case. Hudson also heard from attorneys for the state, who say the execution should proceed.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether its ruling declaring the state's death penalty law unconstitutional can be applied retroactively to a dozen men already sentenced to death.

Wednesday's oral arguments come in an appeal filed by Derrick Powell, who was sentenced to death in 2011 for killing Georgetown police officer Chad Spicer in 2009.

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This week the Delaware Supreme Court will take up whether its decision that the state death penalty is unconstitutional should be applied retroactively for 12 men who are currently on death row.

The high court is set to hear arguments in Dover on December 7th.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that prosecutors will argue that doing so would violate precedent after a criminal case has been finished.

The case involves 29 year-old Derrick Powell who was sentenced to death for killing Georgetown police officer Chad Spicer.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A Virginia death row inmate convicted of hiring another man to kill his ex-girlfriend is planning to ask Gov. Terry McAuliffe to halt his execution.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear Ivan Teleguz's appeal.

Attorney Michael Williams said in an email that Teleguz will now ask the Democratic governor for clemency. Williams said McAuliffe will decide "whether to prevent the Commonwealth from executing an innocent man."

A McAuliffe spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

amnestyusa.org

RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- In the span of a year, the cost for the state of Virginia to obtain lethal injection drugs has leapt from about $525 per execution to $16,500.
    
The price rose after the General Assembly passed a law allowing the state to buy execution drugs from compounding pharmacies whose identities are secret.
    

The law, which took effect July 1, was passed after lawmakers feared executions in the state would grind to a halt as pharmaceutical companies stopped participating in the death penalty nationwide.
    

amnestyusa.org

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's attorney general says he will not appeal a state Supreme Court decision declaring the state's death penalty law unconstitutional, but that he believes the ruling cannot be applied retroactively to the 13 men currently on death row.

In a statement Monday, Democratic Attorney General Matt Denn's office said he has decided not to appeal the Aug. 2 decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

amnestyusa.org

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court says the state's death penalty law is unconstitutional in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year.

In a 148-page opinion Tuesday, a majority of the justices said Delaware's law violates the U.S. Constitution because it allows a judge to sentence a person to death independently of a jury's recommendation.

The court also said the law is unconstitutional because it does not require jurors to be unanimous in finding that aggravating circumstances that weigh in favor of the death penalty.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on the constitutionality of the state's death penalty.

The court agreed in January to answer questions from Delaware's Superior Court to determine whether the state's death penalty law meets constitutional muster. Meanwhile, all death penalty trials in Delaware are on hold.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal of a Virginia death row inmate who killed two people during an escape.

William Morva's attorney argued before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in March that he was improperly denied a chance to show that he wouldn't do it again if spared the death penalty.

But a three-judge panel of the court rejected his claims Thursday and affirmed the lower court's ruling.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments on the constitutionality of the state's death penalty.
The court has asked the attorney general's office and state public defender's office to prepare for arguments June 15.

The court agreed in January to answer questions from Delaware's Superior Court to determine whether the state's death penalty law meets constitutional muster. Meanwhile, all death penalty trials in Delaware are on hold.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's attorney general says he doesn't believe a proposal to allow the state to obtain lethal injection drugs from anonymous compounding pharmacies would violate federal law.

Republican Del. Jackson Miller had asked Attorney General Mark Herring for an opinion before lawmakers reconvene Wednesday to consider Gov. Terry McAuliffe's proposal.

In his opinion released late Tuesday, Herring rejected the argument that federal law allows pharmacies to compound drugs only with a valid prescription.

amnestyusa.org

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A coalition of several hundred religious leaders is urging Virginia lawmakers to reject a proposal to conceal the identities of pharmacies supplying drugs to be used in executions.

Several representatives of the interfaith coalition are scheduled to discuss their objections at a news conference Monday at the General Assembly Building in Richmond.

Lethal injection drugs have been hard to obtain in Virginia and other states. That situation prompted Del. Jackson Miller to propose allowing Virginia to use the electric chair if drugs aren't available.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Religious leaders are urging Gov. Terry McAuliffe to veto a bill that would allow the state to force condemned inmates to die in the electric chair.

Three hundred faith leaders from Virginia and across the county said in a statement Thursday that the electric chair is a "barbarous relic" that kills inmates with "unspeakable cruelty." They say they have a "moral responsibility" to preserve all lives, even those whose actions they "deplore."

amnestyusa.org

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia death row inmate is taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court after his execution was stayed by a federal appeals court.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily halted Ivan Teleguz's execution, pending review of his petition by the nation's highest court. Teleguz was set to be executed on April 13.

Teleguz was convicted in 2006 of hiring another man to kill his former girlfriend. Since then, two key prosecution witnesses have recanted.

amnestyusa.org

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Prosecutors are arguing to the Delaware Supreme Court that the state's capital punishment process is constitutional, despite two recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings that raise questions about the state's law.

Attorneys from the Delaware Department of Justice earlier this week filed a 44-page brief refuting arguments made by public defenders that Delaware's statute is unconstitutional because judges, not juries, have the final say in imposing a death sentence.

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