Posts Tagged ‘death penalty’

An older white woman stands holding a poster that says 'Not in my name' in capitals.

An older white woman stands holding a poster that says 'Not in my name' in capitals. Image from the javacolleen Flickr stream.

In many states of the USA, one of the penalties available for first degree murder* is death. While the USA is far from the only country to retain the death penalty, it is the only western country to still have it,** and to that extent, it appears to be a bit of an anomaly.

In this context, it’s useful to know something about the relevant international instruments.


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I am against the death penalty. In all circumstances.

Ohio is planning to execute Kenneth Biros by way of an experimental lethal injection.

Currently, where a US state executes a person by lethal injection, three drugs are given. This is supposed to be a humane and painless way to die. Research has been done that suggests that it is not. (The Guardian article also recounts the attempted execution of Romell Broom, which sounds psychologically traumatising.) Death row itself is an additional form of psychological punishment.

I’m against the death penalty in all circumstances. If it’s going to be carried out anyway (and it will be, for some time to come, unfortunately), I’d like to know that it’s being done in as painless a way as possible. So in that sense, a recognition that the current three-injection procedure is or may be broken is good. (Personally, I’d like to hope that such recognition helps lead towards abolition.)

However, funnily enough, I’m also against experimenting on the people you’re trying to put to death as you put them to death. It seems to me that that can only add to the punishment.


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