The U.S. is on course to have fewer executions in 2011 than in 2010. Last, year there were 46 executions nationwide. The last execution was of John David Duty carried out in Oklahoma on December 16.
As of today, there have been 37 executions in 2011. There are seven more execution scheduled between October 20 and the end of the year. There has not yet been an execution this month. The last execution was that of Manuel Valle on September 28 in Florida.
Last year, there were only four execution in the U.S. after October 18. The late fall is traditionally a slow period for executions. It is unlikely even that the seven executions scheduled will be carried out. Four out of six executions scheduled for this month have been stayed or commuted.
The next scheduled execution is for Christopher Johnson in Alabama on Thursday. Alabama Assistant Attorney General Clay Crenshaw said Johnson essentially volunteered for execution because he refused to pursue any appeals and filed court papers in May saying he didn't want anyone to seek any on his behalf.
According to the Associated Press, Johnson served as his own attorney at his trial in Escambia County in 2006. He testified that he intentionally hit and suffocated his son, Elias Ocean Johnson, at their home on Feb. 20, 2005, because he hated his wife, didn't want to be near her and didn't want to worry about her threats of putting him in jail for alimony or child support.
He asked for the death penalty. The jury obliged by unanimously recommending the death penalty and the judge agreed.
To read more: http://blog.al.com/wire/2011/09/convicted_child_killer_from_at.html
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