The first US execution of 2007 took place Tuesday, when the state of Oklahoma executed a man by lethal injection for the 1992 murders of four people. The US Supreme Court denied Corey Duane Hamilton's request for a stay of execution and certiorari review on Monday, with Justices Souter and Stevens voting to grant the request. The Death Penalty Information Center said Hamilton is one of thirty people in the US scheduled to be executed in 2007. Death sentencing in the US hit a 30-year low in 2006.
Earlier this month, a New Jersey State commission recommended abolishing capital punishment in that state altogether, replacing it with a life sentence without the possibility of parole. If the commission's report makes its way into law New Jersey will become the first US jurisdiction to ban capital punishment in over 35 years. In December, Florida Governor Jeb Bush suspended all executions in that state after a lethal injection execution there was botched, and a federal judge effectively suspended capital punishment in California by ruling that that state's lethal injection procedure creates "an undue and unnecessary risk" of cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution.