NATIONAL NEWS

Alabama’s first execution since they were paused last November may proceed on Thursday, court says

Jul 19, 2023, 6:28 PM | Updated: 6:44 pm

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday refused to stop an upcoming execution in Alabama, rejecting an inmate’s argument that the state has a history of botched lethal injections.

James Barber, 64, is scheduled to be put to death Thursday evening at a south Alabama prison, in the first execution scheduled in the state since Gov. Kay Ivey paused them in November for an internal review.

Ivey ordered the review after two lethal injections were botched, though the state disputes that.

A divided panel from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Barber’s execution could proceed. The judges said the state conducted a review of execution procedures and his assertion that the “same pattern would continue to occur” was “purely speculative.”

Barber was convicted in the 2001 beating death of 75-year-old Dorothy Epps. Prosecutors said Barber, a handyman who knew Epps’ daughter, confessed to killing her with a claw hammer and fleeing with her purse.

Jurors voted 11-1 to recommend a death sentence, which a judge imposed.

National News

Associated Press

Hawaii says it’s safe to surf and swim in Lahaina’s coastal waters after wildfire

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii authorities say coastal waters off the wildfire-stricken town of Lahaina pose no significant risk to human health and it’s safe to surf and swim there. The state Department of Health announced the decision Thursday after reviewing water sampling test results collected by groups including University of Hawaii researchers, the Surfrider Foundation […]

31 minutes ago

Associated Press

A state trooper pleaded guilty to assaulting teens over a doorbell prank. He could face prison time

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A suspended Delaware state trooper is facing prison time after pleading guilty to criminal charges involving a brutal assault on a teenager who targeted the trooper’s house in a prank. Dempsey Walters, 30, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree assault and deprivation of civil rights, both felonies, authorities said. He also pleaded […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Sawfish rescued in Florida as biologists try to determine why the ancient fish are dying

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A large sawfish that showed signs of distress was rescued by wildlife officials in the Florida Keys, where more than three dozen of the ancient and endangered fish have died for unexplained reasons in recent months. The 11-foot (3.3-meter) smalltooth sawfish was seen swimming in circles near Cudjoe Key and […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

‘HELP’ sign on beach points rescuers to men stuck nine days on remote Pacific atoll

Three men stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island survived for more than a week and used palm fronds to spell out HELP on the beach – leading to rescue by Navy and Coast Guard aviators who spotted the sign from several thousand feet in the air. They had embarked March 31 in a 20-foot boat […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

1 dead and 13 injured after semitrailer intentionally crashed into Texas public safety office

BRENHAM, Texas (AP) — A Texas semitrailer driver rammed a stolen 18-wheeler though the front a public safety building where his renewal for a commercial driver’s license had been rejected, killing one person and injuring 13 others, authorities said Friday. The intentional crash into the single-story brick building off a highway in Brenham, a rural […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Prosecutors: South Carolina prison supervisor took $219,000 in bribes; got 173 cellphones to inmates

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A supervisor who managed security at a South Carolina prison accepted more than $219,000 in bribes over three years and got 173 contraband cellphones for inmates, according to federal prosecutors. Christine Mary Livingston, 46, was indicted earlier this month on 15 charges including bribery, conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering. Livingston […]

5 hours ago

Alabama’s first execution since they were paused last November may proceed on Thursday, court says