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Justices decline to block execution of Arizona man with schizophrenia

CAPITAL CASE By James Romoser on May 11, 2022 at 8:47 pm The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed Arizona to execute a man who suffered from severe mental illness and, according to his lawyers, did not understand why the state wanted to put him to death. No justices indicated dissent from the court’s brief order […]

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Court rejects bid to block Tennessee execution, but inmate gets reprieve when state discovers last-minute “oversight”

CAPITAL CASE By Amy Howe on Apr 21, 2022 at 8:34 pm The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to block the execution of Tennessee inmate Oscar Smith, who had been scheduled to die at 8 p.m. EDT. However, shortly after the justices turned down Smith’s appeal, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee called off the execution, citing […]

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Justices decline to halt two executions in Oklahoma amid questions about state’s lethal-injection method

CAPITAL CASE By Ellena Erskine on Jan 26, 2022 at 7:54 pm On Wednesday afternoon, in the shadow of reports of Justice Stephen Breyer’s forthcoming retirement announcement, the Supreme Court denied an application to postpone the executions of two Oklahoma men. The brief order, with no recorded dissents, cleared the way for Oklahoma to execute […]

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Court rejects request to postpone Texas execution

CAPITAL CASE By Amy Howe on Sep 28, 2021 at 8:27 pm The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to block the execution of Rick Rhoades, a Texas inmate who was sentenced to death for the 1991 stabbing death of two brothers during a robbery. There were no public dissents from the court’s one-sentence order. Shortly […]

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Court blocks execution, will weigh in on inmate’s religious-liberty claims

CAPITAL CASE By Amy Howe on Sep 8, 2021 at 10:47 pm The Supreme Court agreed to postpone the execution of John Ramirez, who was scheduled to die on Wednesday night in Texas. The last-minute respite will allow the justices to fully consider Ramirez’s request that his pastor be allowed to physically touch Ramirez and […]

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Texas inmate seeks stay of execution over request for pastor to minister to him in final moments

CAPITAL CASE By Amy Howe on Sep 7, 2021 at 10:39 pm The Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville, where the state’s execution chamber is housed. (Nick DiFonzo via Flickr) A Texas inmate asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to block his execution, arguing that the state’s refusal to allow his spiritual adviser to lay his […]

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Court won’t allow Alabama execution without a pastor

By Amy Howe on Feb 12, 2021 at 2:35 am The court issued its ruling on Alabama’s attempt to execute Willie Smith III at midnight on Thursday. (Katie Barlow) The Supreme Court on Thursday night ruled that the execution of an Alabama man must remain on hold unless the state allows the man, Willie Smith […]

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Over sharp dissents, court intervenes to allow federal government to execute 13th person in six months

The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the federal government to execute Dustin Higgs, reversing lower-court orders that had put the execution on hold and drawing strongly worded dissents from two justices. Higgs’ execution was the third federal execution this week, and it concludes a push by the Trump administration to carry out death sentences before […]

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Court allows execution of Corey Johnson to proceed after COVID-19 diagnosis

Posted Thu, January 14th, 2021 11:54 pm by Kalvis Golde The justices on Thursday night denied two last-minute appeals by Corey Johnson, who sought to postpone his execution so that he could recover from COVID-19, which he contracted in prison after spending most of his life on death row. Johnson also argued that he was […]

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Justices allow execution of Alfred Bourgeois to proceed

Posted Fri, December 11th, 2020 9:31 pm by Kalvis Golde Alfred Bourgeois became the 10th person to be put to death by the federal government this year, after the Supreme Court on Friday evening denied his application for a delay of the execution. Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor indicated that they would have granted […]