Oklahoma | I went inside death row, what I saw made me sick - Henry McLeish

The evolution of civilised behaviour, indicating a retreat from barbarism, has become a distinctive feature of most modern western democracies, but America often disappoints, retaining practices that shock, sadden, and in my case, nearly made me physically sick.
My visit to death row at McAlester State Penitentiary, Oklahoma, brought home to me, how the final setting for government sponsored killings, combined with execution by lethal injection, brought a brutal end to lives. And made a mockery of the idea of justice, offering instead a violent, humiliating, and inhuman act of revenge, with no serious pretence that any of these end of life dramas, provide any deterrence in criminal justice terms. Formerly known as “Indian Territory”, and home of the Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, with a population of over 4 million, became a state in 1907. Located in America’s “Bible” belt, where there is a strong fundamentalist Christian tradition and powerful Republican politics, Oklahoma remains a pro…


August 12, 2008: Vehari Jail officials in Pakistan hanged a man for murder, the first execution since the establishment of the jail. Prisons Department officials reported that Munir Ahmed killed Zakkaullah with the help of an accomplice, Ahmed Zargar, and buried the victim’s body in Ahmed’s courtyard. The culprit was presented in the Vehari Additional District Court Session Judge Javed Iqbal awarded him capital punishment in 2001. All attempts regarding settlements with the victim’s family failed. The man was executed in the presence of Vehari Jail Superintendent Muhammad Qadeer Alam, Jail Doctor Muhammad Javed Khalid and Magistrate Civil Judge Chuadhary Nasir Mehmood. Several other jail officials were also present at the execution. Tara Maseeh’s cousin, Sadiq Meseeh, hanged Ahmed till death.

Source: Daily Times, 13/08/2008


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