Death row inmate Marcus Robinson listens in 2012 as a judge concludes that racial bias played a role when he was sentenced to death. Robinson was resentenced to life, but he was sent back to death row years later after the state's Racial Justice Act was repealed.
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The Supreme Court has long upheld the right of access to a wide range of judicial proceedings and records. An order Monday unsealing records in an Alabama death penalty case continued that tradition.
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Rob Spencer prays as New Hampshire lawmakers debate prior to a death penalty vote at the State House in Concord, N.H., on Thursday. The legislature abolished capital punishment by overriding a veto by Gov. Chris Sununu.
Amid controversy and criticism from religious groups on the right and left about their decisions in recent death penalty cases, the U.S. Supreme Court's five-man majority is striking back.
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Death penalty opponent Herve Deschamps holds a sign during a vigil outside St. Francis Xavier College Church in St. Louis, hours before the 2014 scheduled execution of death row inmate Russell Bucklew.
This undated photo shows the death chamber at the Georgia Diagnostic Prison in Jackson, Ga. Public support for the death penalty has declined sharply in the past two decades, according to polls.
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"We are confident that the association between race and the death penalty is not attributed to random chance," the state's supreme court justices wrote in a majority opinion.
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