Complete coverage on

Capital Punishment

The United Nations Tuesday urged the tiny West African country of Gambia to refrain from executing 39 more death-row inmates, after nine others were recently put to death.

Latest Stories

Court strikes down Arkansas law on execution methodsupdated: Fri Jun 22 2012 13:33:00

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Friday struck down the state law governing how death-penalty inmates are executed by lethal injection.

California death row inmate found dead hanging in his cellupdated: Wed May 30 2012 15:30:00

A 68-year-old California inmate on death row in San Quentin State Prison was found dead hanging in his cell, authorities said Tuesday.

States urge feds to help import lethal injection drugsupdated: Mon May 21 2012 18:22:00

A nationwide shortage of a commonly used imported drug used in capital punishment has prompted 15 states on Monday to urge the U.S. Justice Department to intervene.

Connecticut becomes 17th state to abolish death penaltyupdated: Wed Apr 25 2012 17:41:00

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a bill into law Wednesday that abolishes the death penalty, making his state the 17th in the nation to abandon capital punishment and the fifth in five years to usher in a repeal.

N.C. man no longer faces death after judge invokes 'Racial Justice Act'updated: Sat Apr 21 2012 04:28:00

A North Carolina judge set aside the death sentence of a convicted killer after concluding Friday that race played a role in the case, a landmark ruling that may call into question a number of death row cases in the state.

Connecticut lawmakers vote to repeal death penalty updated: Thu Apr 12 2012 05:37:00

Connecticut's governor says he will sign a bill abolishing the death penalty, making it the 17th state to abandon capital punishment.

Connecticut lawmakers to vote on death penalty repealupdated: Wed Apr 11 2012 13:06:00

Lawmakers in Connecticut's House of Representatives are expected to vote Wednesday on a bill that would abolish the state's death penalty, one week after the bill passed the state Senate.

Petit family hopes for speedy executionupdated: Thu Apr 05 2012 08:44:00

The Petit family addresses the media after learning a jury sentenced Joshua Komisarjevsky to death

Connecticut may be latest state to repeal death penaltyupdated: Thu Apr 05 2012 08:44:00

The Connecticut Senate on Thursday voted to repeal the death penalty, setting the stage for Connecticut to join several states that have recently abolished capital punishment.

Connecticut lawmakers to vote on death penaltyupdated: Wed Apr 04 2012 19:21:00

Lawmakers in Connecticut are grappling with a bill that would do away with the death penalty and make their state the fifth in five years to abolish capital punishment.

Fewer countries using death penaltyupdated: Tue Mar 27 2012 19:13:00

Max Foster talks to human rights advocate, Bianca Jagger, about Amnesty International's report on capital punishment.

Amnesty International: Fewer nations execute moreupdated: Tue Mar 27 2012 19:13:00

Only 10% of countries carried out executions last year, but those employing the death penalty are doing so at an alarming rate, a new report says.

Human rights group calls for Iraq to end executionsupdated: Fri Feb 10 2012 05:33:00

A human rights group expressed alarm Thursday at the pace of executions in Iraq and called for Iraqi authorities to abolish the practice.

Utah inmate asks to die by firing squadupdated: Thu Feb 09 2012 19:40:00

A Utah death row inmate, convicted of beating a man with a tire jack and puncturing his liver with an inserted tire iron, has requested that he be allowed to die by firing squad, officials said Thursday.

Justices rule for death row inmate after legal mistakesupdated: Wed Jan 18 2012 13:35:00

The Supreme Court gave an Alabama death row prisoner another chance Wednesday to appeal his conviction after a mailroom mistake and other circumstances initially left him unable to pursue further claims in court.

Delaware governor commutes death sentenceupdated: Tue Jan 17 2012 17:33:00

Delaware's governor commuted the death sentence Tuesday of a convicted murderer who was set to be executed later this week.

Lawyers demand death sentence for Mubarakupdated: Mon Jan 09 2012 06:08:00

Civil rights lawyers demanded the death penalty for former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Monday, joining prosecutor's calls for him to be executed.

EU's foreign policy chief demands Iran halt executions of woman, pastorupdated: Fri Jan 06 2012 08:14:00

The Europe Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton demanded Friday that Iran halt the pending executions of a woman sentenced to die by stoning and a Christian pastor convicted of apostasy.

Prosecutor seeks death sentence for Mubarakupdated: Thu Jan 05 2012 14:04:00

Prosecutors in the trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak formally requested a penalty of death by hanging for Mubarak and several of his fellow defendants Thursday, an attorney at the court said.

Judge rejects California's death-penalty procedureupdated: Fri Dec 16 2011 22:44:00

California's use of a three-drug combination in executing prisoners was declared invalid Friday by a Marin County judge, who ruled that a one-drug method should have been considered.

Public discomfort leads to plunge in death sentencesupdated: Thu Dec 15 2011 14:20:00

Death sentences plunged this year and the number of executions continued a steady decline as a result of "growing discomfort" felt by many Americans on the application of capital punishment.

Jury recommends death in Connecticut home invasion caseupdated: Fri Dec 09 2011 19:33:00

A jury recommended Friday that Joshua Komisarjevsky receive the death penalty for his role in a deadly Connecticut home invasion in 2007.

Philadelphia prosecutors drop death penalty against Abu-Jamal updated: Wed Dec 07 2011 13:11:00

Philadelphia prosecutors have dropped their pursuit of the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of shooting a police officer three decades ago.

Oregon's death penalty halt merciful and rightupdated: Fri Nov 25 2011 23:13:00

Some found it shocking when Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber granted convicted double-murderer Gary Haugen a reprieve Tuesday, setting aside Haugen's scheduled December 6 execution. Haugen, who killed another prisoner while serving a life sentence for a previous murder, had waived all appeals.

Oregon governor blocks executions for rest of termupdated: Tue Nov 22 2011 22:24:00

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber blocked the execution of a death row inmate on Tuesday and said no more executions will take place in the state as long as he is governor.

Hate crime? Killing caught on videoupdated: Mon Oct 24 2011 01:36:00

White teen faces possible hate crime charges in the killing of a black man captured on video. Drew Griffin reports.

Death penalty's unlikely opponentsupdated: Mon Oct 24 2011 01:36:00

Charisse Coleman has no real compassion for the man who walked into the Thrifty Liquor Store in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1995 and put three bullets in her brother, Russell.

High court ruling means execution unlikely in 1981 cop-killingupdated: Tue Oct 11 2011 13:33:00

The Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the way for death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal to get a new sentencing hearing for the killing of a Philadelphia police officer 30 years ago.

Stay of execution upheld for Georgia inmateupdated: Thu Oct 06 2011 01:25:00

A stay of execution for a man scheduled to die by lethal injection Wednesday evening in Georgia has been upheld by the state's Supreme Court.

Big cases await U.S. Supreme Court's 2011-12 termupdated: Mon Oct 03 2011 02:18:00

Outlined below are some key cases the Supreme Court is scheduled to tackle in its 2011-12 term, which starts Monday.

Justice Stevens: Supreme Court changedupdated: Sun Oct 02 2011 16:27:00

CNN's Jeffery Toobin interviews retired Justice John Paul Stevens. See the rest of the interview Friday on John King USA.

Justice Stevens reveals his thoughts on 'radical' courtupdated: Sun Oct 02 2011 16:27:00

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens arrives for our conversation looking dapper in a three-piece dark suit and trademark bow tie. But do not mistake the "retired" that comes with his title as a sign the 91-year-old Stevens is slowing down.

Family, friends celebrate Troy Davis' life at funeralupdated: Sun Oct 02 2011 11:20:00

It was inevitable that the fiery politics of the death penalty would punctuate Saturday's remembrance of Troy Anthony Davis.

Witness: I believe Davis is innocentupdated: Sun Oct 02 2011 11:20:00

In a CNN exclusive, Quianna Glover talks about her testimony before the Georgia parole board on behalf of Troy Davis.

Meet the 'Death Row Chef'updated: Sun Oct 02 2011 09:42:00

The man who prepared hundreds of last meals for those condemned to die talks about the last requests. KSAT reports.

Mississippi teen pleads not guilty in hate crime caseupdated: Fri Sep 30 2011 18:06:00

A white Mississippi teenager accused of murdering an African-American man in a hate crime pleaded not guilty in his arraignment Friday.

World shocked by U.S. execution of Troy Davisupdated: Thu Sep 22 2011 21:27:00

Troy Davis may be dead, but his execution Thursday in the American state of Georgia has made him the poster boy for the global movement to end the death penalty.

Davis case to become global 'scandal'updated: Thu Sep 22 2011 21:27:00

Amnesty International's Laura Moye said the reputation of Georgia's justice system is on the line if it executes Troy Davis.

Officer's mom: Davis 'deserves' deathupdated: Thu Sep 22 2011 16:15:00

Anneliese MacPhail reacts to news that the Supreme Court has denied a last-minute appeal to halt Troy Davis' execution.

America divided on death penalty, Troy Davisupdated: Thu Sep 22 2011 16:15:00

What was a somber mood following convicted cop killer Troy Davis' execution Wednesday night turned to disgust and outrage by morning.

Man executed for dragging death of James Byrd updated: Thu Sep 22 2011 13:13:00

Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed in Texas Wednesday evening for his involvement in the infamous dragging death of a black man 13 years ago.

Troy Davis put to death in Georgiaupdated: Thu Sep 22 2011 05:37:00

Troy Davis, whose case drew international attention, was put to death by lethal injection for the 1989 killing of an off-duty police officer in Savannah, Georgia, prison officials announced Wednesday night.

Davis case sparks death penalty debateupdated: Thu Sep 22 2011 05:37:00

Troy Davis' pastor believes the 22-year old case raises serious questions about America's criminal justice system.

Death penalty statistics: More than 3,200 inmates await execution updated: Thu Sep 22 2011 02:40:00

The high-profile execution of Troy Davis in Georgia has brought the death penalty back into the spotlight. Here are some facts on the current state of the death penalty, the clemency process and statistics in Georgia.

Mother of slain officer reacts to executionupdated: Thu Sep 22 2011 02:14:00

Anneliese MacPhail, the mother of a murdered police officer, reacts to the execution of Troy Davis.

Troy Davis denied clemencyupdated: Tue Sep 20 2011 22:40:00

The Georgia Parole Board rejected clemency for Troy Davis, who is scheduled to be executed Wednesday.

Advocates for Troy Davis promise last-minute pushupdated: Tue Sep 20 2011 22:40:00

Supporters of death-row inmate Troy Davis vowed Tuesday to continue fighting to stave off his scheduled execution, despite a decision by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles to deny clemency.

Texas death row inmate granted another Supreme Court reprieve updated: Tue Sep 20 2011 18:42:00

The Supreme Court for the third time this year has stopped the pending capital punishment of a Texas inmate, giving lawyers for the man more time to file their appeals.

Death row inmate awaits clemency rulingupdated: Tue Sep 20 2011 07:22:00

A Georgia death row inmate is in what could be the final fight for his life. Greg Black reports.

Death row inmate's last chanceupdated: Mon Sep 19 2011 10:04:00

Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis is scheduled for a hearing which may be his last chance. CNN's Don Lemon reports.

Georgia parole board hearing last-ditch appeal from death-row inmateupdated: Mon Sep 19 2011 10:04:00

Georgia's parole board convened Monday morning to hear a last-minute appeal by Troy Davis, who is set to die by lethal injection for the murder 21 years ago of a Savannah police officer.

Victim celebrates stay of executionupdated: Fri Sep 16 2011 18:24:00

Texas death row inmate Duane Edward Buck is granted a temporary stay of execution. CNN's Andrew Spencer reports.

Texas death-row inmate gets last-minute reprieveupdated: Fri Sep 16 2011 18:24:00

The U.S. Supreme Court has delayed the scheduled execution on an inmate on death row in Texas amid questions about a psychologist who testified that blacks and Hispanics were more likely to commit future crimes.

Davis case helps focus on what's wrong with death penaltyupdated: Fri Sep 16 2011 17:33:00

The applause that erupted during last week's NBC/Politico debate among Republican presidential hopefuls at the mention of the executions carried out during Rick Perry's tenure as Texas's governor cut off co-moderator Brian Williams' question in midstream.

Troy Davis supporters rally in solidarityupdated: Fri Sep 16 2011 17:33:00

People seeking to stop the execution of a convicted cop killer deliver a massive petition bearing some 663,000 names.

Texas execution is first of 4 scheduled over 2 weeksupdated: Tue Sep 13 2011 20:08:00

Texas is set to execute four inmates over two weeks, including one who died by injection Tuesday evening and another execution scheduled in the next two days.

Georgia prisoner executedupdated: Fri Jul 22 2011 01:48:00

In a case that drew national attention because it was to be videotaped, convicted murderer Andrew Grant DeYoung was executed by lethal injection Thursday night, a corrections department spokeswoman said.

Texas inmate set to die for hate crimes in 9/11's wakeupdated: Sat Jul 16 2011 11:27:00

"I cannot tell you that I am an innocent man. I am not asking you to feel sorry for me, and I won't hide the truth," Mark Anthony Stroman said from Texas death row at the Polunsky Correctional Unit in Livingston. "I am a human being and made a terrible mistake out of love, grief and anger, and believe me, I am paying for it every single minute of the day."

U.S. broke international law by executing Mexican national, says U.N.updated: Fri Jul 08 2011 16:13:00

The United States breached international law by executing a Mexican national without having granted him consular access, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said Friday.

Mexican national executed in Texasupdated: Fri Jul 08 2011 16:13:00

Humberto Leal Garcia Jr. was executed by lethal injection on Thursday evening in Texas.

Mexican national executed in Texasupdated: Thu Jul 07 2011 21:30:00

Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., a Mexican national convicted of raping and killing a 16-year-old girl in 1994, was executed by lethal injection Thursday evening in Texas.

Mexican national executedupdated: Thu Jul 07 2011 21:30:00

Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., a Mexican national convicted of killing a teen, was executed by lethal injection, Thursday.

One Mexican's death row case spills far beyond borders of Texasupdated: Thu Jul 07 2011 07:35:00

When he was arrested in Turkey in 1970, Billy Hayes was given a choice of whom to call. For a scared young man facing serious charges, it was an easy decision: The U.S. consulate in Istanbul.

This video is no longer available.updated: Mon Jun 27 2011 19:24:00

This video is no longer available.

Casey Anthony declared competent; trial proceedsupdated: Mon Jun 27 2011 19:24:00

Casey Anthony, accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2008, was determined competent to proceed with her capital murder trial after she was examined by three psychologists over the weekend, the judge said Monday.

CNNMoney: One California budget fix: Abolish death rowupdated: Mon Jun 20 2011 16:06:00

Taxpayers have spent $4 billion since 1978 on California's capital punishment system -- and with only 13 executions to show for it.

Saudi Arabia executions on the rise, Amnesty International saysupdated: Sat Jun 11 2011 14:26:00

Saudi Arabia must halt the death penalty, as state-sanctioned beheadings increased exponentially in the past six weeks, the London based Amnesty International said Saturday.

Final verdict not yet decided on Iranian woman sentenced to stoningupdated: Fri May 13 2011 11:36:00

A final verdict has not been decided yet on the case of the Iranian woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for committing adultery, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Religious leaders seek clemency for Georgia man on death rowupdated: Thu May 05 2011 20:52:00

Religious leaders called Thursday on their peers to join them in seeking clemency for a man on Georgia's death row, citing doubts about whether he is guilty.

CNNMoney: California cancels new San Quentin death rowupdated: Thu Apr 28 2011 18:17:00

California's San Quentin prison, famous for hosting both Johnny Cash concerts and the state's most dangerous inmates, won't be getting a new death row facility as planned.

Convicted cop killer wins new sentencing hearing in Philadelphiaupdated: Tue Apr 26 2011 18:35:00

A former Black Panther convicted nearly 30 years ago of gunning down a Philadelphia police officer was granted a new sentencing hearing Tuesday by a federal appeals court, sparking a threat by the prosecutor to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Texas, Arizona executions stayed by high courtupdated: Tue Apr 05 2011 16:29:00

The Supreme Court for the second time this week has stopped a pending execution, giving lawyers for the condemned inmates more time to file their appeals.

Amnesty International: Executions worldwide drop 25%updated: Mon Mar 28 2011 04:47:00

Thirty one countries have abolished the death penalty but China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United States and Yemen remain amongst the most frequent executioners, according to a new report from Amnesty International released Monday.

DEA takes lethal drug from Georgia Department of Correctionsupdated: Wed Mar 16 2011 17:08:00

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration confiscated a potent drug commonly used in lethal injections from a state correctional facility cache.

Ohio uses new, untested drug to execute death row inmateupdated: Thu Mar 10 2011 21:37:00

An Ohio death row inmate was executed Thursday with a new single-drug method, using a chemical commonly employed to euthanize animals but never tested on humans for such a purpose.

Illinois abolishes death penaltyupdated: Wed Mar 09 2011 18:06:00

Illinois put an end to capital punishment Wednesday as Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation abolishing the practice and commuting the sentences of his state's remaining death row inmates.

Illinois governor ends death penaltyupdated: Wed Mar 09 2011 18:06:00

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says abolishing the state's death penalty was the most difficult decision he's ever made.

13 states ask for federal help on execution drug shortageupdated: Thu Feb 10 2011 12:18:00

The U.S. Justice Department is reviewing a request from 13 states on how to acquire an execution drug no longer made in the United States and whether the federal government would share its supplies, a federal spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Cuban court commutes prisoner's death sentenceupdated: Mon Jan 03 2011 09:12:00

A Cuban court Tuesday commuted the sentence of the nation's only prisoner facing the death penalty, and instead sentenced him to 30 years in prison, according to the official Cubadebate website.

Executions continue steady nationwide declineupdated: Tue Dec 21 2010 01:41:00

Executions in the United States continued to decrease in 2010, with the 46 death sentences carried out representing a 12% drop from the year before, according to a report issued Tuesday.

Drug shortage leads to condemned man receiving anesthetic for animalsupdated: Fri Dec 17 2010 09:26:00

Oklahoma death row inmate John David Duty was executed Thursday using a drug commonly used to euthanize animals because of a nationwide shortage of the sedative normally employed in Oklahoma's lethal injections.

Death row inmate executed using pentobarbital in lethal injectionupdated: Thu Dec 16 2010 20:24:00

An Oklahoma death row inmate received a drug commonly used to euthanize animals Thursday because of a nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental, the drug usually used as the sedative in its three-drug execution cocktail.

Iranian TV to air interview with woman sentenced to death by stoningupdated: Fri Dec 10 2010 08:11:00

A program on Iran's government-backed Press TV recently took a woman convicted of adultery and murder back to her home in Osku "to produce a visual account" of the death of her husband "at the crime scene."

Christian faces blasphemy death sentenceupdated: Wed Nov 24 2010 11:15:00

A Pakistani court sentences a Christian woman to death on blasphemy charges. CNN's Reza Sayah reports.

Iranian official: Woman sentenced to death by stoning could be sparedupdated: Mon Nov 22 2010 19:58:00

An Iranian woman whose death sentence has sparked an outcry outside Iran may yet be spared, the Islamic Republic's chief human rights official said Monday, according to the state-run Press TV.

Pope calls for Pakistani Christian woman to be freedupdated: Wed Nov 17 2010 18:13:00

Pope Benedict XVI called Wednesday for the release of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Judge in Hasan hearing recommends court martial, seeking death penaltyupdated: Wed Nov 17 2010 17:31:00

The investigating officer in the case of the accused Fort Hood, Texas, shooter has recommended that the military pursue the death penalty against Maj. Nidal Hasan.

Three decades after death sentence, Texas murder convict dies in cellupdated: Mon Nov 15 2010 20:10:00

Nearly 35 years after a Texas judge sentenced him to death, Ronald Chambers was found dead Monday morning on the floor of his cell.

Abu-Jamal death sentence to be argued in courtupdated: Tue Nov 09 2010 03:11:00

The death penalty imposed on Mumia Abu-Jamal will be argued again in a federal appeals court Tuesday.

Iranian woman has not been executed, official saysupdated: Wed Nov 03 2010 12:00:00

A woman sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery has not been executed, Iran's official news agency reported Wednesday, rejecting "Western media" reports that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani had been executed.

Report: Iranian authorities give go-ahead to execute womanupdated: Tue Nov 02 2010 15:22:00

Authorities in Tehran, Iran, have given the go-ahead to execute a woman who initially was sentenced to death by stoning, according to an activist working on her behalf.

Reaction to Aziz death sentenceupdated: Wed Oct 27 2010 13:22:00

Iraqis and others react to the death sentence handed down against Tariq Aziz. CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom reports.

Aziz sentenced to deathupdated: Wed Oct 27 2010 06:31:00

Former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz has been sentened to death. CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom has the details.

Iraqi court sentences Tariq Aziz to deathupdated: Wed Oct 27 2010 06:31:00

Tariq Aziz, one of the best-known faces of the Iraqi government for more than two decades, was sentenced to death Tuesday by the Iraqi High Tribunal for his role in eliminating religious parties during Saddam Hussein's regime, court officials told CNN.

Judge puts off Arizona execution, saying state not forthcomingupdated: Mon Oct 25 2010 22:44:00

A federal judge halted the execution of convicted strangler Jeffrey Landrigan on Monday, hours before he was set to die by lethal injection.

Psychiatrist: Petit killer has attempted suicide several timesupdated: Wed Oct 20 2010 17:55:00

A man convicted of capital murder in a 2007 Connecticut home invasion has attempted suicide several times since his arrest and has said he wants to receive the death penalty, a forensic psychiatrist testified Wednesday.

Jurors to decide on death sentence in Connecticut home invasionupdated: Mon Oct 18 2010 18:58:00

A man convicted of killing a mother and her two daughters during a 2007 Connecticut home invasion can be "quite likable," but has struggled with drug addiction for years, a defense attorney told jurors Monday.

We recommend