From this week’s edition
The Lede this edition comes from Illinois. As most know, Illinois this week became the latest state to repeal its death penalty. DPIC notes “the governor also commuted the death sentences of the 15 people on the state’s death row to life without parole. The ban on capital punishment comes after an eleven-year moratorium on executions declared by former Republican Gov. George Ryan.” Thanks to Steve Hall for making available links to the statement from Governor Pat Quinn on Senate Bill 3539 and an archived streaming video of the bill signing.
In the Courts, two cases that nearly went below the radar are noted. The Seventh Circuit in United States v Styles Taylor and Keon Thomas, a case where a jury convicted of capital murder but returned life, ordered a new trial where the Government was held to have violated Batson v. Kentucky. In State v. Derrick Allen, the trial court threw out sexual assault and murder charges in a 46 page order as the lab technician “intentionally chose to write her report in such a way as to omit any reference to the testing that she conducted that failed to confirm the presence of blood,” as well as because the state “intentionally” and “willfully” hid exculpatory evidence.
In the news, Ohio killed Johnnie Baston last week, the first time a state carried out an execution by using a single dose pentobarbital. Federal authorities report they have run out of sodium thiopental. Texas judges have ordered four serious dates in the coming months but, like the feds, it no longer possesses any usable socks of sodium thiopental. In North Carolina the Supreme Court on Monday heard argument on the interplay between lethal injection and the state’s administrative procedures act. In New Mexico attempts at a death penalty reinstatement died last week in committee.
As always, thanks for reading. – k