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By Antero Pietila | October 5, 1996
THE OTHER DAY I needed to identify one of the 695 convicts who were executed in New York between 1890 and 1963, when $$ mandatory death penalty was discontinued for certain crimes.I tried calling the warden's office at Sing Sing. A really rude operator basically told me to get lost. ''All communication must be in writing,'' were her parting words.So what to do?''I bet I can find out the names,''said Dee Lyon, an imaginative Sun information specialist. And lo and behold: In just a few moments she discovered a Web site called www.theelectricchair.
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By Jonathan Zimmerman | September 2, 2014
Editor's note: This op-ed has been updated to reflect the correct title of Austin Sarat's new book.  Did Joseph Wood suffer when he was executed in Arizona this summer? Some witnesses reported that Wood gasped over 600 times during his July 23 execution by lethal injection, which took nearly two hours. But one official said that Wood "appeared to be snoring," while another stated flatly that the inmate "did not endure pain. " We'll never know. But here's what we do know: The quest for a pain-free mechanism of capital punishment is a fool's errand.
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NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | January 25, 2000
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court abandoned yesterday its plan to decide the constitutionality of using the electric chair to execute murderers. The court had gotten involved in that issue after three botched executions in Florida's electric chair, dubbed "Old Sparky." Not since 1890 had the court confronted that constitutional issue, and its new review had given foes of the death penalty hopes that a ruling against the electric chair would bolster the campaign for the abolition of capital punishment.
NEWS
May 10, 2014
Why is it the convicted criminals get all the sympathy from some segments of the public? ( "Death penalty limbo," April 29.) The "hysteria" over a humane way to execute a heinous, cold blooded killer is almost hysterical. The way that was developed to humanely execute a criminal has been torn apart by liberal judicial officials. No problem, Maryland still has the gas chamber that just needs some minor repairs and inspection and could be operational. Florida and some other states have the electric chair, hanging is still on the books in some states, and in Utah the firing squad is an option.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | May 20, 1992
RICHMOND, Va. -- In court appeals and television appearances a day before his scheduled execution tonight, Virginia death row inmate Roger Keith Coleman tried to plead his case for a federal hearing in a bizarre mix of law, politics and public relations that has come to symbolize the bitter issues surrounding the death penalty in America.Supporters say Coleman's case dramatizes the degree to which even substantial questions of guilt or innocence no longer merit federal hearings in death penalty cases.
FEATURES
By Kevin Cowherd and Kevin Cowherd,SUN STAFF | September 15, 1999
ROCKVILLE -- The first reaction to Ol' Sparky is priceless.They come sauntering into the cavernous game room in Dave & Buster's, the yuppie food and fun emporium at White Flint mall, and maybe they're sipping a Corona or savoring the Supreme Nachos they just knocked back when the sight stops them dead in their tracks.Dude, is that an electric chair?So they hurry over to investigate, because, tell you what, it sure looks like Ol' Sparky.It's got your spare oak design, your sturdy straight-from-Alcatraz functionality.
NEWS
By Art Buchwald | July 1, 1994
IT'S that time of year when you are preparing to go on vacation and you want to impress strangers.Therefore, as part of my service, I am providing one-liners that will get everyone's attention at a cocktail party or cookout."
NEWS
By Linda R. Monk | October 26, 1999
THE STATE of Florida is getting squeamish about electrocuting murderers. Last month, the Florida Supreme Court released an opinion complete with color photos of the executed body of Allen Lee "Tiny" Davis, his blood-soaked shirt and contorted purple face downloaded to any curious citizen via the court's Web site.During oral arguments on the case, Provenzano vs. Moore, Justice Harry Lee Anstead asked an attorney for the state: "Can you hold that picture up to the people of the state of Florida and say this is what we want to do when we are taking a person's life as a result of a heinous crime?"
NEWS
By THEO LIPPMAN JR | June 5, 1991
In 1927, Ruth Snyder, a Queens Village, N.Y, housewife, and her traveling salesman (corsets) lover, Judd Gray of Orange, New Jersey, bludgeoned her well-insured husband to death. When their alibis broke down, she accused him of the deed, and he implicated her.Their murder trial became a national event. Many celebrities attended. Alexander Woollcott explained the widespread interest in part this way: ''Ruth Snyder was so like the woman across the street that many an American husband was soon struck by the realization that she also bore an embarrassing resemblance to the woman across the breakfast table.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | April 28, 1994
RICHMOND -- Timothy W. Spencer died last night in Virginia's electric chair, becoming the first person executed in the United States for a conviction based on the DNA-matching technology popularly known as genetic fingerprinting.Spencer, known as "the Southside Strangler," was convicted of raping and strangling four women over 11 weeks in 1987. No victim survived to identify him, no fingerprints were found, and no one confessed. Then DNA tests linked semen from the crime scenes with Spencer's blood.
FEATURES
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | February 10, 2014
You might wonder what kind of relationship the creator of "Serial Mom" would have with his own mom. It turns out John Waters shared an exceptionally close bond with his mother, Patricia Waters , who died Saturday at age 89. Waters told me in the fall that he and his mother had been going on Sunday adventures in Baltimore, revisiting places that were meaningful to the filmmaker, who had grown up in Lutherville and moved to the city as...
ENTERTAINMENT
By Zach Sparks | January 10, 2013
Not everyone deserves a second chance, but most of the characters on "American Horror Story" didn't belong in the Briarcliff Manor asylum in the first place. For those who survived the torturous evil of Dr. Arden, demon Mary Eunice and Dr. Oliver Thredson, this week's episode was about redemption and starting life anew. That is, except for Pepper. The little bald mutant gets sentenced to steaming bath therapy in what might be her last appearance. And Sister Jude, who will have plenty of time to diddle herself with cucumbers now that all her friends are gone.
FEATURES
By Michael Ollove and Michael Ollove,SUN STAFF | January 2, 2002
"I love him like a brother - David Greenglass."- From Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors New York Times journalist Sam Roberts pursued David Greenglass for 13 years seeking to interview the atomic spy whose testimony in 1951 doomed his own sister, Ethel Rosenberg, to the electric chair. Then, at their very first sitdown, Greenglass made the most startling, most explosive admission: He had lied on the witness stand, sending Ethel to her death on the basis of a falsehood. It was a bombshell.
FEATURES
By Tom Blackburn and Tom Blackburn,COX NEWS SERVICE | November 28, 2001
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - David Greenglass was no James Bond. As spies go, he may have been the most lumpish, but veteran New York Times reporter Sam Roberts got a good book out of him anyway. The news is that, 36 years after Greenglass got out of prison, changed his name and settled into what for an atomic spy can only be called outrageous normality, Roberts found him and got him to talk. The story is that, for Greenglass, it's still all about him. In 1951, what he said put his sister in the electric chair and brought two families international notoriety.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | February 23, 2000
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, confronting a new tactic in the war on drugs, agreed yesterday to rule on the constitutionality of police roadblocks as a technique for finding cars that are carrying narcotics. At issue is the Indianapolis Police Department's policy of making random stops at a roadblock to check for traffic violations and at the same time using drug-sniffing dogs to check on cars and their occupants. A federal appeals court struck down the policy in July, saying it was not designed to protect highway safety, a purpose that would have made the roadblocks legal.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | January 25, 2000
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court abandoned yesterday its plan to decide the constitutionality of using the electric chair to execute murderers. The court had gotten involved in that issue after three botched executions in Florida's electric chair, dubbed "Old Sparky." Not since 1890 had the court confronted that constitutional issue, and its new review had given foes of the death penalty hopes that a ruling against the electric chair would bolster the campaign for the abolition of capital punishment.
NEWS
By Scott Higham and Scott Higham,SUN STAFF | February 22, 1996
A day away from death in Florida's electric chair, a condemned murderer from Miami will make one final plea for his life in a Baltimore courtroom this morning, claiming he should be kept alive long enough to argue he was wrongly convicted of rape two decades ago in Maryland.In the unusual, high-stakes drama, lawyers for murderer Rickey Bernard Roberts will go to Room 5B of the U.S. District Courthouse at 8 a.m today and try to persuade a federal judge to delay the Florida execution, set for 7 a.m. tomorrow.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | February 23, 2000
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, confronting a new tactic in the war on drugs, agreed yesterday to rule on the constitutionality of police roadblocks as a technique for finding cars that are carrying narcotics. At issue is the Indianapolis Police Department's policy of making random stops at a roadblock to check for traffic violations and at the same time using drug-sniffing dogs to check on cars and their occupants. A federal appeals court struck down the policy in July, saying it was not designed to protect highway safety, a purpose that would have made the roadblocks legal.
NEWS
By Linda R. Monk | October 26, 1999
THE STATE of Florida is getting squeamish about electrocuting murderers. Last month, the Florida Supreme Court released an opinion complete with color photos of the executed body of Allen Lee "Tiny" Davis, his blood-soaked shirt and contorted purple face downloaded to any curious citizen via the court's Web site.During oral arguments on the case, Provenzano vs. Moore, Justice Harry Lee Anstead asked an attorney for the state: "Can you hold that picture up to the people of the state of Florida and say this is what we want to do when we are taking a person's life as a result of a heinous crime?"
FEATURES
By Kevin Cowherd and Kevin Cowherd,SUN STAFF | September 15, 1999
ROCKVILLE -- The first reaction to Ol' Sparky is priceless.They come sauntering into the cavernous game room in Dave & Buster's, the yuppie food and fun emporium at White Flint mall, and maybe they're sipping a Corona or savoring the Supreme Nachos they just knocked back when the sight stops them dead in their tracks.Dude, is that an electric chair?So they hurry over to investigate, because, tell you what, it sure looks like Ol' Sparky.It's got your spare oak design, your sturdy straight-from-Alcatraz functionality.
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