In brief: December 2021


In Mississippi, David Cox died by lethal injection late last month in the state’s first execution since 2012. Cox, who had asked the court to dismiss all appeals, was convicted in 2010 of killing his estranged wife. WLOX reported that among his last words were a message to his children that “I love them very much and that I was a good man at one time.”

In Idaho, Gerald Ross Pizzuto, Jr., sentenced to death row for the 1985 murder of two gold prospectors, is requesting that he be resentenced to life in prison because he is on hospice care for bladder cancer and does not have long to live. The East Idaho News reports that the state pardons and parole board met on Tuesday to consider his request.

In Nevada, witnesses began testifying at a federal court hearing to determine whether a firing squad would be more humane than lethal injection to execute Zane Floyd. Floyd is scheduled to die for a quadruple murder in a Las Vegas grocery store in 1999. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the hearings, which began last month, will continue through this month. Floyd’s lawyers maintain he prefers a firing squad to lethal injection because it would be less painful. The paper says an ER physician and a gun expert testified death by firing squad is painless.

In Florida, Republican state Sen. Aaron Bean introduced a bill that would allow prosecutors to request that a conviction be overturned if evidence of innocence surfaces. Florida Politics reports that under SB 1200, a hearing would have to be set within 90 days of the prosecutor’s motion. On evidence of innocence, a judge could then vacate the verdict.


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