Death penalty limbo: Supreme Court, states give laws another look

Categories: Latest News

February 7, 2016

A guard escorts a hearing-impaired inmate down a corridor during a media tour of death row at San Quentin State Prison in California. This year several states are looking at legislative reform of the death penalty and some are considering repealing it. (CNS photo/Stephen Lam, Reuters) See WASHINGTON-LETTER-DEATH Feb. 5, 2016.

A guard escorts a hearing-impaired inmate down a corridor during a media tour of death row at San Quentin State Prison in California. This year several states are looking at legislative reform of the death penalty and some are considering repealing it. (CNS photo/Stephen Lam, Reuters)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The death penalty in the United States is repeatedly getting hit by the pause button — which doesn’t mean it is going away anytime soon, but at the very least it is getting a second look by state legislatures, courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

This year, several states are looking at legislative reform of the death penalty and some are considering repealing it. In early February, both Delaware and Florida announced they were halting executions until the states’ Supreme Courts determine the constitutionality of death penalty laws.

And already this year, the U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in a few times, with mixed messages, on capital punishment. In mid-January, the court declared Florida’s death penalty statute unconstitutional, a decision that came five days after the state executed a man who had been on death row for 23 years.

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