[JURIST] Authorities in the US state of Texas on Tuesday executed a 33-year-old man accused of killing a city code enforcement officer. Adam Ward has been on death row in Texas since 2007 [Newsweek report]. The US Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Adam Ward last October, despite arguments from his lawyers that Ward had an IQ below 70 and he suffered from extreme mental illness and he was delusional. Lawyers for the state of Texas presented evidence that Ward’s IQ was as high as 123. Ward is the fifth individual to be executed by lethal injection in Texas this year [AP report] and the ninth nationally.
Capital punishment [JURIST op-ed] remains a controversial issue in the US. This week a Missouri state judge ordered [JURIST report] the Missouri Department of Corrections to disclose the source of the execution drug used by the state in order to comply with the Missouri sunshine law. Last week the Supreme Court of Ohio ruled [JURIST report] that the state can execute a man whose execution was halted in 2009 after a failed attempt to administer lethal injection drugs. Earlier in March Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill [JURIST report] revamping the state’s death penalty law. The changes are in response to the US Supreme Court ruling in January that the state’s previous sentencing scheme was unconstitutional [JURIST report]. In February the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rejected [JURIST report] a Georgia death row inmate’s legal challenge to the death penalty. In January Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood stated that he plans to ask lawmakers to approve the firing squad, electrocution or nitrogen gas as alternate methods of execution if the state prohibits lethal injection [JURIST report].