Death Penalty

1:36am

Thu April 19, 2012
Research News

Death Penalty Research Flawed, Expert Panel Says

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 6:17 am

Proponents of the death penalty often argue that the threat of being executed acts as a deterrent that prevents people from committing murder. But those who oppose capital punishment challenge that claim. And some researchers argue that state-sanctioned execution might actually increase homicide rates.

Now, a panel of independent experts convened by the prestigious National Research Council has taken a look at this question and decided that the available research offers no useful information for policymakers.

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3:22pm

Sat April 7, 2012
Around the Nation

Is Death Row Still Death Row If Repeal Passes?

Religious leaders stop to pray as they march to the state Capitol for a rally to support repealing the death penalty, in Hartford, Conn., on Tuesday. The state Senate passed a bill abolishing capital punishment Thursday.
Jessica Hill AP

Following a vote this week in the state Senate, it's all but certain that Connecticut will become the next state to abolish the death penalty. But residents are divided over what a repeal will mean for those currently on death row.

State Sen. Edward Meyer stressed that the bill — which makes life in prison without parole the maximum sentence — was not retroactive.

"It doesn't affect the 11 inmates that are on death row right now," he said.

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12:32pm

Fri March 23, 2012
The Two-Way

Sgt. Bales Charged With 17 Counts Of Murder; Could Get Death Penalty

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 8:48 pm

This August 23, 2011 photograph obtained courtesy of the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) shows Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (right) at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California. (Note at 10:50 p.m. ET: Earlier, we mistakenly said he was on the left.)
Spc. Ryan Hallock AFP/Getty Images

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales has been officially been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder for the March 11 killings of unarmed men, women and children in Southern Afghanistan, The Associated Press just reported from Kabul.

It adds that "premeditated murder is a capital offense and if convicted, Bales could be sentenced to death."

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4:45pm

Thu March 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Afghan Suspect To Be Charged With 17 Counts Of Murder

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales during an August 2011 training exercise at Fort Irwin, Calif.
Spc. Ryan Hallock AFP/Getty Images

The Army soldier suspected of going on a shooting rampage in Afghanistan will be charged with 17 counts of murder, the AP, NBC News and Reuters are reporting.

The news organizations are pinning the report on unnamed U.S. officials.

NBC News reports Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will face six additional counts of assault and attempted murder in connection the March 11 massacre in southern Afghanistan.

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4:03pm

Thu March 22, 2012
Law

Canadian Asked For Death, But Now Wants Life

Ronald Allen Smith is the only Canadian on death row in the United States. Since Canada has abolished the death penalty, Canadians have been advocating for clemency for Smith.
Courtesy of Montana State Prison

The only Canadian on death row in the United States is in the Montana State Prison, about an hour and a half southeast of Missoula. After almost three decades, he is asking the governor of Montana for mercy. The request for clemency is the last chance Alberta native Ronald Allen Smith has of avoiding execution.

"I've been here for 29 years," says Smith, who has spent more of his life inside the state's maximum security block than he has spent outside of it. He has tried to think about his crime as little as possible.

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