A blog produced by the Oregon Justice Resource Center discussing the death penalty (capital punishment) in Oregon and in the Ninth Circuit.
Here is an update on the Arizona litigation:
A federal judge on Thursday denied a preliminary injunction that would have stopped or postponed two upcoming executions because of recent changes in the Arizona Department of Corrections protocol for lethal injection.
The federal defender argued that the new protocol, which went into effect Jan. 12, lessens the qualifications required of executioners, gives too much discretion to Corrections Director Charles Ryan, and eliminates the possibility of the condemned to meet with their attorneys in person on the morning of their executions, among other things.
[Judge] Wake denied the request.
Also from Arizona: “Ariz. death-row inmate to get chance at clemency”
Arizona’s clemency board is set to consider a longtime death-row inmate’s request to reduce his sentence to life in prison or delay his execution scheduled for Wednesday.
The five-member board meets at a state prison in Florence on Friday to consider the requests from Robert Henry Moormann, who has been on death row for 27 years.
Moormann, 63, was serving nine years to life in prison in 1984 for kidnapping an 8-year-old girl when the state let him out on three-day “compassionate furlough” to visit his 74-year-old adoptive mother Roberta at a nearby motel…
Of the 130 inmates on Arizona’s death row, only six have been there longer than Moormann, who has had a slew of health problems over the years and most recently was hospitalized last week…
On Thursday, a federal judge declined to delay Moormann’s execution and that of another death-row inmate, Robert Charles Towery, who is set to be executed March 8. The ruling has been appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Moormann’s lawyers filed a motion Tuesday asking the Arizona Supreme Court to delay his execution until a hearing can be held on his mental capacity.
The attorneys say Moormann was diagnosed in early childhood as being mentally disabled, and the state cannot legally execute him. Arizona law prohibits the mentally disabled from being put to death, and a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision found that executing mentally disabled inmates amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
State prosecutors argue in court documents that a doctor evaluating Moormann in 1998 found that he had an estimated IQ of between 70 and 90, and that Arizona considers a person mentally disabled only if the IQ is 70 or less.
Read more here.