Full coverage of the death penalty and capital punishment in the United States and breaking news about prison inmate executions and lethal injection protocols
Four justices spoke as the decision was announced, the most in recent memory
Gregory Russeau was executed Thursday evening for the slaying of a 75-year-old auto repair shop owner 14 years ago during a crack cocaine binge.
Richard Strong, 48, was convicted in the killings of Eva Washington and her daughter, Zandrea Thomas, more than 14 years ago.
Lester Bower, executed Wednesday, is the oldest prisoner put to death in Texas since the state resumed capital punishment in 1982.
Lester Bower Jr. faces lethal injection for the 1983 fatal shootings at an airplane hangar on a ranch near Sherman, about 60 miles north of Dallas.
If that vote holds in a veto override, Nebraska would become the first conservative state to repeal the death penalty since 1973.
The case out of Oklahoma centers on a claim that one lethal injection drug is too painful.
The gas would be used if lethal injection was ruled unconstitutional or the drugs were unavailable.
Georgia officials say their internal review found the drugs were not "adulterated" and they can fix the problem.
Manuel Garza Jr. said he was sorry for causing pain to his family, friends and "especially police officers" before he was put to death Wednesday.
Lawyers for Andre Cole said he was mentally unfit for execution and should be given a competency hearing, and raised issue with the all-white jury.
One of the longest serving Alabama death row inmates will walk free on Friday after a judge dismissed the capital murder charges against him.
Texas used one of its two remaining doses of an execution drug to kill Manuel Vasquez, a Mexican Mafia hitman, on Wednesday evening.
Texas' prison agency is scrambling replenish its inventory of execution drugs, which will be used up after two lethal injections scheduled this month.
Kelly Gissendaner made the statement a couple of hours before her scheduled lethal injection, which was eventually called off.
There are about 750 people on California's death row but no one has gotten a lethal injection since 2006.
Akorn Pharmaceuticals follows other manufacturers of midazolam in refusing to let their wares be used for lethal injections.
Jerry Correll was due to be executed Thursday but got a reprieve until the high court decides if the lethal injection drugs are legal.
Bills pushing for backups to lethal injection have been making progress in state legislatures.
Missouri executed convicted killer Walter Storey just after midnight Wednesday, officials said.
The move delays the six executions scheduled for 2015 until 2016, as it tries to find new drugs it plans to use to put inmates to death.
Ladd, 57, beat a woman with a hammer, strangled her, and set her on fire in 1996 — while he was on parole for killing three others.
The men's lethal injections were put on hold until the justices hear a challenge to the drugs the state uses.
Georgia has the strictest standard in the U.S. for proving intellectual disability. Walter Hill was sentenced to death for killing an inmate in 1990.
The high court has agreed to hear a challenge to the state's method of lethal injection.
In the wake of a botched execution in Oklahoma, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case brought by three death row inmates on lethal injection.
It's the first time the high court has taken up such a case since it rejected a challenge to lethal injections in 2008.
Asked by the warden if he had a final statement, Arnold Prieto replied: "There are no endings, only beginnings. Love y'all. See you soon."
Charles Warner was the first inmate put to death by Oklahoma since the botched April 29 lethal injection of Clayton Lockett.
Charles Warner is set to be the first Oklahoma inmate put to death since a botched execution in April, but his victim's mom says he should live.
Charles Warner was supposed to be executed in April but got a last-minute reprieve after Clayton Lockett's injection was bungled.
The state plans kill Charles Warner with a cocktail that includes the controversial sedative midazolam, which Ohio has just dropped.
The state said at least one execution will be delayed while it tries to get different drugs which are harder to secure.
Twenty-one Oklahoma death row inmates had argued that the use of the sedative midazolam would subject them to cruel and unusual punishment.
Botched procedures and exonerations are behind the slide, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
A Missouri inmate was put to death early Wednesday for fatally beating a 63-year-old woman with a hammer in 1998.
Death-row inmate Robert Holsey was executed in Georgia Tuesday evening.
Robert Holsey, who was found guilty of murdering a deputy, was denied clemency a day before his scheduled lethal injection in Georgia.
Scott Panetti's lawyers say he is too mentally ill to be put to death.
Scott Panetti represented himself at trial, sporting a dime-store cowboy suit and trying to subpoena the Pope.
Scott Panetti, who was convicted of capital murder in 1995, is set to die by lethal injection on Dec. 3.
The proposal from Republican Rep. Paul Ray is designed to avoid some of the legal challenges in the wake of new drug combinations.
Chadwick Banks, 43, was pronounced dead at 7:27 p.m. He was convicted in the 1992 death of 10-year-old Melody Cooper.
Lawyers say it's been seven years since Scott Panetti had a competency hearing.
Scott Panetti's lawyers say he's so mentally ill he thinks the devil is making the state put him to death.
A German company pulled its investment in Mylan, which makes a drug Alabama wants to use in executions.
The suit, filed on behalf of Clayton Lockett, a rapist and murderer who took 43 minutes to die, seeks damages for pain and suffering.
Prison officials unveiled the renovated death chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary on Thursday.
Convicted murderer Christopher Price says a three-drug cocktail will cause excruciating pain.
The new protocols come after an inmate writhed and moaned for 43 minutes as he was being executed in April, a case that drew criticism.
Billy Ray Irick was slated for an Oct. 7 execution, but Tennessee's highest court has put that on hold.
Lisa Coleman is scheduled to die Wednesday evening. She would be the 15th woman executed in the U.S. since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
Willie Trottie, 45, was sentenced to death for gunning down his ex-girlfriend and her brother in 1993.
Earl Ringo Jr. was put to death by lethal injection at 12:31 a.m. Wednesday for killing two people while robbing a Columbia restaurant in 1998.
A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments hours before one of the plaintiffs is scheduled to be put to death.
Among the improvements will be a new tool to help the lethal-injection team find suitable veins.
The first death-row inmate scheduled for a lethal injection is Ronald Phillips. He is one of 10 inmates scheduled to die after a year-long moratorium.
A review of an Oklahoma execution that was halted midway through says an improperly monitored IV line likely caused problems in administering three lethal drugs.
A jail official had claimed Clayton Lockett died of a heart attack after the execution was halted, but the autopsy says the injection was lethal.
A federal suit filed in Oklahoma argues witnesses should be allowed to watch lethal injections from start to finish.
Eleven condemned prisoners say the state's new backup method for executions could cause excruciating pain.
Missouri executes convicted killer and rapist Michael Worthington early Wednesday morning, the first lethal injection since one went awry in Arizona.
Michael Worthington, 43, who raped and murdered a college student, is set to be executed at 12:01 a.m. at a prison south of St. Louis.
Joseph Wood's lawyer says the disclosure he was given 15 times the specified dose proves his execution was an unconstitutional "experiment."
Eric Holder said Thursday that prisoners have a right to know the composition and sources of the death penalty drugs to be administered.
A transcript shows the judge was concerned about whether Joseph Wood was suffering during protracted lethal injection.
Some witnesses say Joseph Wood was gasping for air for well over an hour after the lethal injection began.
Witnesses say Joseph Wood gasped and snorted for well over an hour.
The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing an Arizona execution to go forward amid a closely watched First Amendment fight.
Ninth Circuit dissent says lethal-injections are doomed and the guillotine is "probably best."
An Arizona death row inmate sued after the state refused to disclose exactly which drugs and in what amounts would be used in his execution.
A former methamphetamine dealer has been executed for killing three people in rural northern Missouri.
A federal judge in San Francisco on Wednesday declared the death penalty "unconstitutional" in California.
A federal appeals court panel overturned a stay of execution for a condemned Missouri man, hours before he was scheduled to be put to death.
Florida is scheduled to execute a man Thursday who was convicted of raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl in 1994.
The state parole board on Wednesday commuted the sentence of Tommy Lee Waldrip to life in prison without parole.
Tommy Lee Waldrip challenged Georgia's execution secrecy law, while Eddie Davis had complaints about his clemency bid process.
A group of condemned inmates say the bungled lethal injection of Clayton Lockett is evidence Oklahoma's execution procedures are shoddy.
John Henry, who murdered his estranged wife and her 5-year-old, was put to death in the third execution since a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma.
Marcus Wellons was executed in Georgia, and John Winfield was put to death in Missouri after midnight.
Marcus Wellons is scheduled to die Tuesday night for the 1989 rape and murder of a 15-year-old neighbor.
Dr. Joseph Cohen performed an independent autopsy on Clayton Lockett, whose April 29 execution went so wrong that the White House condemned it.
John Winfield's lawyers claim prison officials intimidated a jail worker who planned to support clemency for the double-murderer.
John Winfield's daughter wants his life spared but her mother, a victim, favors lethal injection.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused an appeal from a Texas death row inmate who wanted the state to show where it obtained its lethal injection drugs.
Three condemned men have been given execution dates for later this month.
Ohio's highest court has agreed to hear the case of a death-row prisoner whose 2009 execution was halted after two hours of failed attempts.
Missouri's attorney general said that if the state wants to keep using lethal injections, it needs to run its own pharmacy to make the deadly doses.
Jack Kevorkian's longtime helper says carbon monoxide should replace lethal injection in the nation's death chambers.
The delay was sparked by the state's adoption of a new execution protocol in the wake of Dennis McGuire's death.
The high court said a law used by Florida and other states is too rigid.
Tennessee's decision to put 'Old Sparky' back in service if it can't obtain lethal chemicals alarms some death penalty experts.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam signed the law allowing the state to use the electric chair when it can't get drugs for lethal injections.
John Winfield is scheduled for a June 18 lethal injection but is hoping the temporary reprieve for another inmate will extend his lease on life.
The high court ruled that a stay of execution would be in effect pending the outcome of an appeal to a lower court.
Russell Bucklew's execution won't happen as scheduled after a long night of legal maneuvers.
Russell Bucklew had argued his illness would make his lethal injection too cruel.
But two justices dissented, arguing the policy could lead to a repeat of the botched execution in Oklahoma.
Russell Bucklew says a medical condition will make his lethal injection torture and the video will be evidence of that.
A new poll measures support for the death penalty in the wake of a botched execution