It’s not official, but a “creeping moratorium” on the death penalty in the United States is taking hold as the Supreme Court prepares to hear a challenge to the method of lethal injection. The latest inmate to win a reprieve was Earl Wesley Berry of Mississippi, whose execution was stayed on Tuesday by the U.S. Supreme Court just 19 minutes before he was scheduled to die. He had already eaten his “last meal.” Support for the death penalty remains strong in the United States, one of only a handful of democracies that still carries out capital punishment. But the unofficial hold on executions comes amid a steep decline in the number of death sentences imposed and rising concern about wrongful convictions. All of this suggests that the death penalty is under a significant review in a way that we haven’t had in almost four decades,” said Jordan Steiker of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.
The Boston Globe
Execution “Moratorium” Takes Hold