Full coverage of the death penalty and capital punishment in the United States and breaking news about prison inmate executions and lethal injection protocols
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
In the wake of the botched Oklahoma lethal injection, Americans' support for the death penalty has not wavered, but they are open to other methods.
The reprieve for Robert James Campbell came two hours before he was scheduled for a lethal injection.
Robert James Campbell filed a new round of appeals the day before his scheduled lethal injection.
Robert James Campbell is due to be executed next week — the first lethal injection since a debacle in Oklahoma last month.
Russell Bucklew, 45, says a tumor in his head could lead to a bloody, prolonged lethal injection.
A stay of execution was issued because the state is still investigating the botched lethal injection of Clayton Lockett last month.
Robert James Campbell is scheduled to be put to death May 13.
The governor gave Charles Warner a two-week reprieve but his lawyers have asked an appeals court for a six-month postponement.
Robert James Campbell is due to be put to death May 13, the first execution since the death of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma.
President Barack Obama said Friday that a botched execution this week in Oklahoma is "deeply troubling."
New details of Clayton Lockett's execution reveal he was Tasered and cut his own arm in the hours before the lethal injection.
Relatives of Clayton Lockett are considering civil action against the state in the wake of a lethal injection gone wrong.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin holds a press conference to announce a review of the state's execution protocols, and a temporary halt the the next planned execution, following the botched death of Clayton Lockett.
Gov. Mary Fallin named one of her commissioners to lead an "independent review" into the death of Clayton Lockett.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney comments on a botched execution recently in Oklahoma.
Clayton Lockett appeared to be in pain and convulsing minutes after he was pronounced unconscious during Tuesday night's lethal injection.
A look at what happened at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary on Tuesday night and some of the history behind it.
Death row inmate Clayton Lockett jerked his body and mumbled about three minutes after he was supposedly unconscious, a witness said.
Oklahoma prison officials put a halt to the execution of an inmate after botching the delivery of a new three-drug lethal injection cocktail.
The condemned men lost their challenge to the secrecy surrounding the source of the lethal injections that will be used.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says an internal review of Dennis McGuire's execution has determined he felt no pain.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court apparently cleared the way for the execution of two convicted murderers by reversing a lower court’s ruling.
Lawyers for the two death row inmates had filed a renewed application earlier Monday for an emergency stay of execution.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition about an hour before the scheduled execution.
Tommy Lynn Sells is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Thursday night for murdering a 13-year-old girl in a frenzy of violence.
Texas officials have insisted the identity of the drug supplier must be kept secret to protect the company from threats of violence.
A federal judge has told state officials they cannot execute convicted murderer Tommy Lynn Sells until they disclosed where they got the lethal injection.
Last month, officials in that state revealed in court papers that the state had not been able to find two of the drugs it needs to carry out executions.
Michelle Byrom was convicted of capital murder even though her son has repeatedly confessed to killing his father.
Lawyers for Michelle Byrom — who was convicted of a murder-for-hire scheme to kill her abusive husband — say the planned injection is unconstitutional.
Two death-row inmates went to court to force the prison system to say where it's buying execution chemicals.
The state Attorney General intends to appeal the ruling, while defense lawyers are calling for executions to be put on hold indefinitely.
Defense lawyers for two men on death row say the state's new protocol includes five different types of lethal injection.
The state's current stockpile expires April 1 but it says it has obtained enough to carry out all scheduled executions.