Penal System
Associated Press/Photo by Juan Lozano

Texas executes man for racist killing

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 4/25/19, 11:36 am

The state of Texas executed John William King, 44, on Wednesday for orchestrating one of the most gruesome racially motivated crimes in U.S. history. King, who was white and a self-avowed racist, was convicted of the 1998 dragging death of James Byrd Jr., an African American man, in Jasper, Texas. The killing attracted national attention to the East Texas town, which was branded with a racist stigma it has struggled to shake off ever since.

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Mel Evans/AP

Bail reform and results

Criminal Justice | New Jersey courts reveal the outcome of removing cash bail almost entirely from their system
by Emily Belz
Posted 4/24/19, 02:40 pm

A New Jersey moment: 

A year ago I sat in a Manhattan courtroom watching arraignment after arraignment as the judge assigned bail amounts to different criminal cases. At that time, New Jersey had recently eliminated cash bail almost altogether, replacing it with a risk assessment system that would incarcerate only those who were a flight risk or a risk to the community.

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Associated Press/Nebraska Department of Correctional Services

Nebraska completes first fentanyl execution

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 8/14/18, 02:05 pm

Nebraska on Tuesday carried out its first execution since 1997 and the nation’s first lethal injection with a drug combination including the powerful opioid fentanyl. Carey Dean Moore was put to death for murdering two Omaha cab drivers in 1979. He was one of the nation’s longest-serving death row inmates. Nebraska abolished the death penalty in 2015, but it was reinstated via a ballot initiative championed by Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican. His administration changed the state’s lethal injection protocol to overcome challenges in purchasing the necessary drugs.

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