News on the go: January 17, 2014

Matthew Merchant

The execution of a death-row inmate in Lucasville, Ohio is being called “a failed, agonizing experiment” after an untried method of lethal injection was used in the process. Officials said it took nearly 25 minutes for Dennis McGuire to be pronounced dead after gasping for air and struggling to breathe. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Madden said that the U.S. Constitution bans cruel and unusual punishment but that “you’re not entitled to a pain-free execution.” (Read full story at

The Supreme Court could hear appeals as early as Friday of those advocating for warrantless cellphone searches. The Fourth Amendment says that a warrant of probable cause is needed to conduct a search. With the presence of cell phones capable of holding thousands of documents and potential evidence, the Supreme Court must decide if police have the authority to search a person’s personal possessions.

“American Hustle” and “Gravity” were both nominated for 10 Academy Awards Thursday, followed closely by “12 Years a Slave” with nine nominations. The 86th Academy Awards will be on March 2. “It’s an extremely competitive year,” David O. Russell, director of “American Hustle” said. Other notable nominations include five for Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” and a first-time best actor nomination of Matthew McConaughey for his role in “Dallas Buyer’s Club.” (Read full story at

Contact Matthew Merchant at [email protected].