The Marshall Project has published its analysis of the state of the Death Penalty as we enter into 2018. See, "What to Know About the Death Penalty in 2018," by Maurice Chammah of the Marshall Project and published in the ABA Journal.
It’s a good read. Taking everything that has happened – and which we know will be happening this year (like the pending SCOTUS decisions), the Marshall Project has collected them into four specific areas:
1. The Supreme Court of the United States
There’s a great discussion on what might happen if Justice Kennedy retires. And while Florida is still dealing with Hurst v. Florida, and now we’ve got Hidalgo v. Arizona pending before the High Court.
2. The Attorney General for the United States
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is all for the death penalty. That’s not news. But the article has some interesting discussion on his dropping of the death penalty back in Alabama. And how there is a way Sessions could "speed up executions in the states."
3. The States (Florida and Texas playing a big part here)
Big issue here, really, is getting those lethal injection drugs in order to carry out executions. The Marshall Project points to fentanyl being used, and how the FDA blocked importing drugs from India.
4. The Counties in those States
There are certain counties in Florida and Texas that are hot beds for death penalty issues. Among them, the state attorneys prosecuting cases in Tampa and Orlando. Can they implement their own ban on capital punishment simply by failing to file a notice of intent to seek the death penalty?
Another interesting thing to ponder in the Marshall Project synopsis: what about life without parole? How merciful is it, or it is just as cruel as death, or even more so?