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Man charged in killing of Scott County deputy could face

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The man accused of killing a Scott County deputy could face the death penalty.Steven Sheangshang is charged with the murder of deputy Caleb Conley.Conley was killed on May 22 during a traffic stop on Interstate 75 in Georgetown. Conley had been with the Scott County Sheriff’s Department for four years. Prior to that, he served his country for eight years in the United States Army.Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office filed that it intends to seek the death penalty for Sheangshang.Sheangshang is facing several charges in connection to the murder, including the capital offense — murder of a police officer.Sheangshang pleaded not guilty. His trial is set for March 2025.

The man accused of killing a Scott County deputy could face the death penalty.

Steven Sheangshang is charged with the murder of deputy Caleb Conley.

Conley was killed on May 22 during a traffic stop on Interstate 75 in Georgetown. Conley had been with the Scott County Sheriff’s Department for four years. Prior to that, he served his country for eight years in the United States Army.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office filed that it intends to seek the death penalty for Sheangshang.

Sheangshang is facing several charges in connection to the murder, including the capital offense — murder of a police officer.

Sheangshang pleaded not guilty. His trial is set for March 2025.

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SMU celebrates entrance into ACC. It’s quite the contrast

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DALLAS (AP) — SMU athletic director Rick Hart shot a small batch of red and blue confetti from a fake…

DALLAS (AP) — SMU athletic director Rick Hart shot a small batch of red and blue confetti from a fake champagne bottle before machines showered the stage with plenty more.

The scene celebrating the university’s acceptance into the Atlantic Coast Conference on Friday was quite the contrast to the somber, and eerily silent, setting of 36 years ago, when SMU received what is still the only so-called death penalty over NCAA recruiting violations.

The Mustangs have wandered in the wilderness of college athletics for nearly three decades since the breakup of the Southwest Conference, seven years after the shutdown of the SMU football program.

Hart was told by several people the ACC celebration was the biggest moment since that dark day in February 1987.

“I can empathize,” Hart said. “I’ve been here long enough, 11 years, and I have enough relationships with people who lived that and who were a part of it, that moment’s not lost on me. I hope I have a lot of moments in my career going forward that feel really special. But I don’t know that this will be matched.”

Hart shared the stage with SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Board of Trustees Chair David Miller. The trio had been working for two years to find a path to a so-called Power Five conference.

The move, which becomes official on July 1, 2024, will end an 11-year run in the American Athletic Conference. After being in the SWC from 1918-95, SMU spent nine football seasons in the Western Athletic Conference and eight in Conference USA before joining the AAC.

The latest change is a subtle one on paper — just one letter, to the ACC — but substantial in so many other ways.

“We’re finally back where we belong,” Miller told several hundred supporters in the football team’s indoor practice facility, an upgrade the Mustangs believe played a role in their move out of the Group of Five.

A $100 million project under construction in the south end zone of Ford Stadium played an even bigger role, Turner said as he acknowledged the donor whose name will be on the building. Garry Weber was in the first row of chairs set up in the middle of the shortened football field that has “SMU” painted in both end zones.

“As several of the conference commissioners said to us,” Miller told the crowd, “‘You already do everything like a Power Five school.’”

There were reports of SMU pushing for entrance into the Pac-12 before that conference began to crumble with Southern California and UCLA announcing their intention to leave for the Big Ten.

The Pac-12 is now on the brink of extinction with Stanford and California joining SMU in the move to the ACC, which had some resistance from current members.

North Carolina and Florida State voted against the move, meaning the conference had one more vote than necessary to approve the additions. North Carolina State voted for it.

“I’m a graduate of North Carolina, and I’ve said two things today that I’ve not said before and not sure I will again,” Hart said. “I said, ‘Go (Duke) Blue Devils and go (N.C.) State.’”

SMU will forgo all media rights in the ACC for nine years, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the school was not making its strategy public. The Dallas school gets about $9 million annually from the American Athletic.

Hart declined to comment directly on the issue of media rights, and Turner said there were other revenue streams the Mustangs wouldn’t get without the move.

“I don’t think it’s as simple as people want to make it out to be,” Hart said. “We’re not going to take a step back, resource-wise, even from a conference perspective. So this is all positive. It’s all plus. It’s an investment.”

Turner came to SMU in 1995, the final year of SWC football, when the Mustangs were still reeling from the death penalty and didn’t have an on-campus stadium. It’s a full-circle moment for the 77-year-old.

“I think it’s a very healing moment,” Turner said. “There’s still a lot of resentment about that as well as hurt feelings. This is sort of like a new beginning. It’s a fresh start. It’s an affirmation that the university’s athletic programs have come back.”

___

AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

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© 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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Is it time to bring back the death penalty? South Holland

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All violent crimes harm. Some though are darkened by such calculated, calm cruelty as to be barely comprehensible.

Following the trial of Adolf Eichmann, one of the perpetrators of the Nazi Holocaust, the writer Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil”; in an attempt to capture the ‘terrifyingly normal’ demeanor of a man whose ruthlessness knew no bounds.

Eighty years after wartime German atrocities, the sickening crimes of Lucy Letby, the nurse recently convicted of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six others, affirm that, far from being ineffably reasonable, human minds and hands are capable of every kind of barbarity.

South Holland MP Sir John Hayes
South Holland MP Sir John Hayes

The apparently ‘normal’ 33-year-old nurse was, on the face of it, an ordinary young woman, without past traumas or obvious personal problems.

The only meaningful explanation for the monster she is and the horror she wrought is the ferocity of absolute wickedness.

Letby’s refusal to accept guilt for her, apparently motiveless, acts adds callous impunity to her haunting crimes, as in the emotionless response to being captured and convicted she showed no regret and offered no remorse.

The killer’s cowardly refusal to attend court for the verdict and sentencing brought yet more suffering to the families of her victims; for justice must -literally- be seen to be done.

The Government is right to say that, in future, murderers like her must be forced to face the families whose lives they have shattered.

Maternity wards as places of hope and joy.

So, it impossible to reconcile our natural, intuitive delight in new life with Letby’s evil deeds; for almost all of us are captivatingly driven by their very defenselessness, to protect and nurture children.

Yet, there exists a corrupt few who feel anything but protective.

Recently, Derbyshire couple Gemma Barton and Craig Crouch were imprisoned for torturing and killing their 10-month old baby Jacob.

Such crimes against precious, fragile babies first shock, then appall and finally fill us a just determination to seek righteous retribution.

It is understandable that explanations are sought for horrifying events like these, but we will not always find them.

For there is no real reason for wickedness, beyond a recognition of the endlessness of sin.

So, when good people ask ‘Why did she do it?’ or ‘How could they have wanted to?’ the answer is plain – evil exists for evils sake.

In the fullness of time, following investigations, it is right to establish whether failures at the hospitals in which Letby’s victims died mean more should have been done to catch her earlier.

Nevertheless, the depth of her wickedness is such that she could never have been deterred, will never be cured and should never, on Earth, be forgiven.

For her crimes, Letby has been given a whole life sentence, meaning that she will reside in prison permanently.

Yet many will query whether even that punishment is enough.

Perhaps this most haunting tragedy, executed by this most vile of killers, obliges reconsideration of the relationship between crime and punishment in cases where guilt is sure and certain.

The death penalty for murder was abolished in 1969, with the last executions taking place five years earlier.

Maybe it is time to look again – through a public plebiscite – at what many of us think is the only fitting response to the most heinous crimes.

Many constituents that I have spoken to since Letby’s name was added to the list of history’s most reviled criminals have told me that they think ‘prison is too good for her’.

That was the certain view we took of the Nazi war criminals who were hanged following their convictions at the Nuremberg trials.

So, the question is – were we right then? or are we right now to allow Letby to live for decades to come, through the years of life she stole from the babies she slaughtered?



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CRIME HUNTER: Hollywood sex therapist’s alleged killer

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Hollywood sex therapist Dr. Amie Harwick was going places.

She had an A-list clientele, a bestseller, a massive profile in the media, podcasts and her own YouTube channel.

But the 38-year-old had something else: A vindictive ex-boyfriend who had slithered back — unwanted — into her life. Yet, the Pennsylvania-born PhD remained a romantic.

Two days before Valentine’s Day 2020, Harwick wrote on Instagram: “Let’s stop falling in love and start collaborating in love. Let’s remember how much control we actually have over the partners we pick and how we move forward in our romantic relationships.”

Her 2014 book,

The New Sex Bible for Women

, was a game changer. The torrid tome covered masturbation, oral sex, self-esteem and self-care, sex positions, safety and concerns, and sex aides.

In January 2018, she became engaged to funnyman Drew Carey. The duo had been dating for two years but broke things off later that year and remained friendly.

On Feb. 14, 2020 — ironically, Valentine’s Day — she went to a burlesque show with pals.

According to 48 Hours, the raven-haired beauty wore a pink dress and a rosary-beaded necklace with a cross on it. She was home just after midnight.

Minutes after sending a final text to a friend, she was attacked as she prepped for sleep in her third-floor bedroom. Unaware, her roomie slept on the main floor.

And then her roommate heard Harwick screaming. He couldn’t find his phone, so he ran across the street for help.

When cops arrived, Harwick was barely breathing on the ground where she had fallen. She had severe injuries to her neck and was pronounced dead in hospital just before 3:30 a.m.

At the crime scene, her bedroom was covered in blood and her torn dress was on the ground. For the killer, this was very personal indeed.

Her roommate told cops he had heard a noise earlier in the evening but blew it off.

An autopsy ruled the doctor died from manual strangulation and blunt force trauma. Investigators began scouring every aspect of the dead woman’s life.

And 15 hours after the 911 call, they had the name of a suspect: Gareth Pursehouse.

Harwick and Pursehouse had dated nine years before and it didn’t end well. Harwick had filed two protective orders against her onetime beau.

Pursehouse was obsessed. He broke into her apartment, sent gifts she didn’t want, and played peeping Tom outside her windows. And he had been violent, telling the doctor she “made him so mad.”

He warned: “Things will get worse.”

And then, he cooled it and Harwick hadn’t seen him in years. But a month before the slaying, she ran into Pursehouse at an event she was photographing and that allegedly renewed his sick obsession.

In court, it was revealed that he allegedly called Harwick a “bitch” at the fateful event, claiming she had ruined his life.

The trial is slated to kick-off Tuesday but prosecutors claim DNA will make it game, set and match. A syringe found at the crime scene allegedly contained the same liquid as one in the accused killer’s home — a lethal dose of nicotine.

Pursehouse is charged with capital murder and robbery. Because he was allegedly lying in wait, he’s eligible to get the big adios in the green room at San Quentin if convicted.


COLD CASE COPS SAY HUBBY KILLED LADY OF THE DUNES

She died in Cape Cod’s sandy dunes in July 1974. A little girl found her naked, battered body.

The victim’s hands had been severed to thwart identification and she had nearly been decapitated.

For decades, her identity was a mystery vexing amateur and professional sleuths alike. Was it a serial killer? Was she a transient? And was she an extra in the mega-blockbuster Jaws, filming nearby during that golden 1970s summer?

Jane Doe became known as the Lady of the Dunes.

In October, detectives finally identified her as Ruth Marie Terry, of Tennessee, who was 37 at the time of her murder. Cops said she died of blunt force trauma to the skull.

Now, detectives have determined that her husband was her killer who they zeroed in on after she was identified.

Guy Rockwell Muldavin married Terry several months before her murder. He was also the prime suspect in the double murder of his ex-wife and stepdaughter in Seattle in the 1960s.

But he will never face justice on this earthly plain: Muldavin died in 2002.

State Police learned the pair travelled to Tennessee to visit her family after they got hitched.

“When Mr. Muldavin returned from that trip, he was driving what was believed to be Ms. Terry’s vehicle and indicated to witnesses that Ms. Terry had passed away,” District Attorney Robert Galibois said in a statement. “Ms. Terry was never seen by her family again.”

[email protected]


@HunterTOSun

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2023



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K Street shooting suspects won’t face death penalty | DA

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Officials are seeking life imprisonment without parole.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The three suspects in the deadly K Street shootout could wind up in prison with a life sentence, but they won’t be facing the death penalty, according to Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.

The shootout was gang-related, leaving 12 people wounded and six dead on April 3, 2022, according to the Sacramento Police Department. 

The Sacramento County coroner identified the deceased as: Johntaya Alexander, 21; Melinda Davis, 57; Yamile Martinez-Andrade, 21; Sergio Harris, 38; Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi, 32; and De’vazia Turner, 29. 

Documents filed on April 15 by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office show that Hoye-Lucchesi, Harris, and Turner were affiliated with gangs.

The suspects Mtula Payton, Smiley Martin and Dandre Martin face murder charges in connection to the shooting. 

As the case continues in court, Chief Deputy District Attorney Scott Triplett said the district attorney’s office is not seeking the death penalty for any of the suspects.

“After a lengthy deliberative process, consultation with the victims’ families, taking into consideration all the facts and circumstances of the offense, as well as the applicable statutory and decision law of this state, the District Attorney’s Office has decided not to seek the death penalty but to instead seek life imprisonment without the possibility of parole,” said Triplett.

What’s changed in the year since the deadly K Street shooting? | ABC10 Originals

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SMU celebrates entrance into ACC, contrast from death

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DALLAS — SMU athletic director Rick Hart shot a small batch of red and blue confetti from a fake champagne bottle before machines showered the stage with plenty more.

The scene celebrating the university’s acceptance into the ACC on Friday was quite the contrast to the somber, and eerily silent, setting of 36 years ago, when SMU received what is still the only so-called death penalty over NCAA recruiting violations.

The Mustangs have wandered in the wilderness of college athletics for nearly three decades since the breakup of the Southwest Conference, seven years after the shutdown of the SMU football program.

Hart was told by several people the ACC celebration was the biggest moment since that dark day in February 1987.

“I can empathize,” Hart said. “I’ve been here long enough, 11 years, and I have enough relationships with people who lived that and who were a part of it, that moment’s not lost on me. I hope I have a lot of moments in my career going forward that feel really special. But I don’t know that this will be matched.”

Hart shared the stage with SMU president R. Gerald Turner and board of trustees chair David Miller. The trio had been working for two years to find a path to a so-called Power Five conference.

The move, which becomes official July 1, 2024, will end an 11-year run in the American Athletic Conference. After being in the SWC from 1918-95, SMU spent nine football seasons in the Western Athletic Conference and eight in Conference USA before joining the AAC.

The latest change is a subtle one on paper — just one letter, to the ACC — but substantial in so many other ways.

“We’re finally back where we belong,” Miller told several hundred supporters in the football team’s indoor practice facility, an upgrade the Mustangs believe played a role in their move out of the Group of Five.

A $100 million project under construction in the south end zone of Ford Stadium played an even bigger role, Turner said as he acknowledged the donor whose name will be on the building. Garry Weber was in the first row of chairs set up in the middle of the shortened football field that has “SMU” painted in both end zones.

“As several of the conference commissioners said to us,” Miller told the crowd, “‘You already do everything like a Power Five school.’”

There were reports of SMU pushing for entrance into the Pac-12 before that conference began to crumble with Southern Cal and UCLA announcing their intention to leave for the Big Ten.

The Pac-12 is now on the brink of extinction with Stanford and California joining SMU in the move to the ACC, which had some resistance from current members.

North Carolina and Florida State voted against the move, meaning the conference had one more vote than necessary to approve the additions. N.C. State voted for it.

“I’m a graduate of North Carolina, and I’ve said two things today that I’ve not said before and not sure I will again,” Hart said. “I said, ‘Go (Duke) Blue Devils and go (N.C.) State.’ ”

SMU will forgo all media rights in the ACC for nine years, a person with knowledge of the deal told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the school was not making its strategy public. The Dallas school gets about $9 million annually from the American Athletic.

Hart declined to comment directly on the issue of media rights, and Turner said there were other revenue streams the Mustangs wouldn’t get without the move.

“I don’t think it’s as simple as people want to make it out to be,” Hart said. “We’re not going to take a step back, resource-wise, even from a conference perspective. So this is all positive. It’s all plus. It’s an investment.”

Turner came to SMU in 1995, the final year of SWC football, when the Mustangs were still reeling from the death penalty and didn’t have an on-campus stadium. It’s a full-circle moment for the 77-year-old.

“I think it’s a very healing moment,” Turner said. “There’s still a lot of resentment about that as well as hurt feelings. This is sort of like a new beginning. It’s a fresh start. It’s an affirmation that the university’s athletic programs have come back.”

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Alabama nitrogen hypocrisy: America’s latest fantasy

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The state of Alabama now says it is ready to try again to put Kenneth Smith to death. Smith has twice been convicted of murdering a woman named Elizabeth Sennett in 1988, in an apparent contract killing arranged by her husband.. 

On Nov. 17, 2022, Alabama officials tried to execute Smith by lethal injection, but were forced to abandon the attempt when the execution team failed repeatedly to insert the IV necessary to carry the lethal chemicals. That was the third time since 2018 that the state had failed to complete an execution.

Last week, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall asked the state Supreme Court to set a new execution date for Smith. In an added twist to the Smith saga, Marshall told the court that this time the state intends to put him to death by nitrogen hypoxia, which Alabama added to its execution menu in 2018. 

Unlike virtually all other nations that use capital punishment, which stick to one consistent method of execution, the U.S. has, for more than a century, engaged in a restless quest to find ever better ways to kill those who are sentenced to death. Since 1900, various states have carried out executions by hanging, electrocution, firing squad, the gas chamber and lethal injection. 

Now Alabama intends to add nitrogen hypoxia to the list. 

According to a report in the Guardian, Alabama state Sen. Trip Pittman described nitrogen hypoxia as a “more humane option” for putting condemned prisoners to death. Pittman compared the method to the way that passengers on a plane may pass out when the aircraft depressurizes. 

Unlike other nations that use capital punishment, the U.S. has, for more than a century, engaged in a restless quest to find ever better ways to kill people who are sentenced to death.

Michael Copeland, one of the country’s leading proponents of nitrogen hypoxia as an execution method, anticipated this claim several years ago in testimony before the Oklahoma legislature. He told the lawmakers that it would be a painless way to put someone to death. 

“The condemned person,” Copeland argued, “might not even know when the switch to pure nitrogen occurs, instead he would simply lose consciousness about 15 seconds after the switch was made. Approximately 30 seconds later, he would stop producing brain waves, and the heart would stop beating about two to three minutes after that.”

Humane, painless and quick — these are the words used every time death penalty supporters market a new execution method. With the invention of new technologies for killing or, more precisely, with each new application of technology to killing, they have proclaimed previous methods to be barbaric, or simply archaic, and have promised a vastly improved solution. 

For example, in the 1880s as New York considered replacing hanging with the electric chair, proponents assured state officials that “The velocity of the electric current is so great that the brain is paralyzed; is indeed dead before the nerves can communicate a sense of shock.” They estimated that “the interval necessary for nerve communication with the brain at one-tenth of a second” and “that the electric discharge occurs in one-hundred-thousandth of a second, or 10,000 times more rapidly than nerve transmission.” 

In the early part of the 20th century, when states began to consider the gas chamber as an alternative to the noose and the electric chair, proponents claimed that it would produce death “without preliminaries” and “without the possibility of accidents.” They said it would “leave the criminal little more to dread of the future than the common lot of all mankind.” 

And in 1977, when Oklahoma led the way in adopting lethal injection, its legislative sponsors assured their colleagues that executions by lethal injection could be accomplished with “no struggle, no stench, no pain.” Such assurances have led judges and others to conclude that “lethal injection is at present the most humane type of execution available and is far preferable to the sometimes barbaric means employed in the past.”

But these repeated promises have turned out to be hollow, without exception. 

If Alabama goes forward with its plan, Kenneth Smith will join a dubious list that includes William Kemmler, Gee Jon and Charles Brooks Jr., the first people executed by electrocution, gas chamber and lethal injection, respectively.

None of the advertised virtues of those execution methods have been realized in practice. Each new and supposedly improved method has had its crippling flaws and the record of botched executions using each method has left a trail of gruesome suffering in America’s execution chambers. 

That trail of suffering began the first time each new execution method was used.

If Alabama goes forward with its plan to kill Smith with nitrogen hypoxia, he would become the first person in the United States executed in this manner. He would join William Kemmler, Gee Jon and Charles Brooks Jr. as people with the dubious distinction of being the first to die by each new method of execution introduced over the last 125 years. 


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Kemmler was the first person executed in the electric chair, Gee was the first to die in the gas chamber and Brooks was the first to die by lethal injection. Each was also the first whose execution was botched using those respective methods.

Before his August 1890 execution in Auburn, New York, Kemmler gave a short speech in which he wished everyone good luck. Then, according to a contemporaneous report, “Kemmler easily settled back into the chair … turned calmly to the Warden and in such tones as one might speak to a barber who was shaving him, said calmly: ‘Now take your time and do it all right, Warden. There is no rush. I don’t want to take any chances on this thing, you know?'” 

When the straps around Kemmler’s body, face, arms and legs were properly in place, the warden ordered the electric current turned on. A moment later, Kemmler’s body first convulsed and then became rigid as the electricity streamed through him. 

The current was switched off, and Kemmler was checked by the attending physician. He was not dead. Sometime after he received the first shock, Kemmler began to drool, his chest heaved and he made strange noises. The warden ordered the execution to resume. 

But this time, as the electricity pulsed through Kemmler’s body, white smoke appeared and a “pungent and sickening odor” filled the death chamber. The execution lasted a total of eight minutes, and for more than half that time Kemmler received electric shocks of up to 2,000 volts.

In the case of Gee Jon, a Chinese national executed in Carson City, Nevada, in 1924, officials first tried to pump cyanide gas into his cell while he slept, but this proved impossible. His death in the gas chamber that was subsequently built was not pretty: He suffocated in a toxic cloud of poison air, and witnesses could faintly smell the gas as it leaked from the chamber.

Brooks, who was executed in Huntsville, Texas, in 1982, had been led to believe that lethal injection would produce a calm, painless, almost soothing death. But this first lethal injection was none of those things. 

In a scene foreshadowing what Smith would experience four decades later when Alabama first tried to execute him, three technicians repeatedly failed in their efforts to insert an IV into a vein in Brooks’ arm — splattering blood onto the sheet covering his body. During the several minutes it took for the drugs to take effect, Brooks reportedly looked forward in terror and let out a harsh rasp.

Unlike Kemmler, Gee and Brooks, Kenneth Smith was offered a choice of the execution method used to kill him. Smith said he would prefer to take his chances with nitrogen hypoxia. Given the horrors that inmates in Alabama and other death penalty states have experienced during recent lethal-injection executions, it is understandable that he would want to avoid dying by that method.

But nitrogen hypoxia, like electrocution, the gas chamber and lethal injection, is unlikely to deliver on its proponents’ promises. As Joel Zivot, an anesthesiology and death penalty expert, puts it, “I think the nitrogen gas will not work … because even though the gas is inert, breathing it is going to be much more complicated and getting people to cooperate to breathe will be complicated.”

Alabama’s intended approach to killing Kenneth Smith promises to be just the latest episode in America’s recurring dark dream of finding and perfecting an execution method that can deliver a dignified death. Whatever happens to Smith, it is long past time that we wake up and leave that dream behind us. 

Read more

from Austin Sarat on crime and punishment

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IRAN Javad Rouhi, pro-Mahsa Amini protester, avoids death

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Judges had initially sentenced the 35-year-old to death for rioting and apostasy, but the Supreme Court overturned the sentence. Official version of death speaks of epileptic seizure. Activist groups denounce flogging, torture and lack of treatment. The wave of arrests continues nearly a year after the 22-year-old Kurdish woman was killed because of her hijab.

Tehran (AsiaNews) – An Iranian protester, who was imprisoned and sentenced to death for participating in the street protests following the killing of 22-year-old Kurdish Mahsa Amini at the hands of the morality police about a year ago, died in prison for the violence suffered under mysterious circumstances.

The judges during the trial had imposed the death penalty against Javad Rouhi, but last May the Supreme Court annulled the sentence, postponing the trial to other judges for a new hearing in the courtroom.

According to the official version, the 35-year-old died due to inadequate medical care, following hospitalization for an epileptic attack that occurred in his cell.

A version disavowed by pro-rights groups and people close to the man, for whom the death is to be attributed to the prison authorities. The Mizan website, close to the Iranian judiciary, states that “unfortunately [Rouhi] died despite the actions of the medical staff” and an investigation “has been filed to shed light on the causes”.

However, an hour before the official announcement made yesterday, several activists had anticipated his death on social networks, pointing the finger at the judicial authorities and security officials who allegedly “killed” him.

Rouhi was arrested a few days after the death of Mahsa Amini, who was killed in the custody of the morality police who had previously arrested her on the streets of Tehran, in mid-September last year, for not wearing the hijab correctly, the obligatory veil.

During the trial, reports the BBC, the man was found guilty of having “led” the revolt, of having “destroyed property” and of “apostasy” because – again according to the indictment – he allegedly burned a Koran during a demonstration . In reality, videos released on the net show him dancing and there are no references to alleged acts of violence.

Amnesty International reports that the 35-year-old was allegedly subjected to floggings, freezing temperatures, electric shocks and a gun was pointed at his head to force him to speak during interrogation.

Initially a court in Nowshahr, in the north of the Islamic Republic, handed down a triple death sentence for blasphemy, destruction of public property and revolt against national security.

Evidence uncovered during the review confirmed that he was participating in the protests in a personal capacity and his actions did not fall within the legal definition of “moharebeh” (war against God) and “corruption on earth”, crimes which can carry the death penalty according to the Islamic jurisprudence.

Meanwhile, the wave of arrests and repression launched by the Iranian authorities in anticipation of the first anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini continues, a sensitive date that could trigger new street protests for freedom and rights.

The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence has announced the arrest of 14 people in various provinces on charges of having carried out acts aimed at “instigating chaos and disorder”. The official note defines the detainees as “terrorists” affiliated with a “Zionist-extremist network” and refers to the seizure of “43 explosive devices”.

Finally, still with regard to the 22-year-old Kurdish woman, a court of revolution in Tehran has opened the trial against the lawyer who follows the story. Saleh Nikbakht, on bail after being arrested last March, must answer for the charge of “propaganda against the system”, most likely linked to interviews with foreign media. In the past, the lawyer has also represented director Jafar Panahi and other political activists and cultural figures critical of the Iranian authorities.



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AG Daniel Cameron’s Office seeks death penalty for Steven

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office is pushing for the death penalty for the man accused of killing Deputy Caleb Conley in May.

According to court records, Steven Sheangshang could be put to death if he is found guilty of killing Conley. Currently, Sheangshang is facing charges of:

  • Murder – police officer
  • Convicted felon in possession of a handgun
  • First-degree robbery
  • First-degree wanton endangerment (two counts)
  • First-degree persistent felony offender

The attorney general’s office said Sheangshang’s “act of killing was intentional and the victim was a state or local public official or police officer, sheriff, or deputy sheriff engaged at the time of the act in the lawful performance of his or her duties.”

If he is found guilty, per Cameron’s office, the Commonwealth will request the court instruct the jury on all penalties in accordance with the law, which would include death or imprisonment for life without the benefit of probation or parole.

Sheangshang pleaded not guilty to the above charges in late May.

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Ugandan Man Faces Death Penalty Under Anti-Gay Law

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A 20-year-old man in Uganda has been charged with “aggravated homosexuality, an offence punishable by death under the country’s new anti-homosexuality law. 

The man was charged on August 18, for having sexual intercourse with a 41-year-old man with a disability, reported CNN. 

In May, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 into law, which includes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”. Aggravated homosexuality is defined under the law as incest, sex with children, people with disabilities, the elderly or an HIV-positive person having sex with another person. 

The law bans gay marriages, punishes same-sex acts with life imprisonment and imposes a jail term of up to 20 years for those convicted of “promoting homosexuality. 

The 20-year-old is scheduled to appear before court in September, reported CNN. 

Uganda Faces Backlash

Since May, several people have been arrested for same-sex acts under the new law, reported BBC. 

Uganda’s draconian anti-gay law was criticised by UN agencies and world leaders. 

US President Joe Biden termed the law a  “tragic violation of universal human rights — one that is not worthy of the Ugandan people and one that jeopardises the prospects of critical economic growth for the entire country.”

Earlier this month, the World Bank announced it was halting all new public funding to Uganda over its anti-gay law. The World Bank said that the anti-gay law “undermines those efforts. Inclusion and non-discrimination sit at the heart of our work around the world”.

Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs Okello Oryem hit back at the World Bank decision, pointing to many US states passing laws against LGBTQI communities and laws in Middle Eastern countries, where homosexuality invites the death penalty.

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