Death penalty

Supreme Court rules Constitution doesn't guarantee "painless" execution

United States Supreme Court
Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 along ideological lines Monday that the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits "cruel and unusual punishment," does not mean death row inmates are guaranteed a "painless" execution.

"The Eighth Amendment does not guarantee a prisoner a painless death — something that, of course, isn’t guaranteed to many people, including most victims of capital crimes."
— Justice Neil Gorsuch

Details: Russell Bucklew, a convicted murderer sentenced to death 22 years ago, argued that a rare medical condition he has would make lethal injection extremely painful, per the Washington Post. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that Bucklew failed to propose an alternative method of capital punishment that would be less painful, arguing that it shouldn't be a difficult task unless the inmate is simply seeking to delay his execution.

Gov. Newsom will halt executions in California

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says the death penalty is discriminatory and immoral.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom will sign an executive order Wednesday to place a moratorium on the death penalty in the state.

QuoteI do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people"

Details: The indefinite moratorium will annul California’s lethal injection protocol and force the closure of the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison, in Marin County. There are 737 inmates on death row in California.

Go deeper: Trump: U.S. needs to stiffen death penalty laws