FEATURED POST

No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

Image
Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. The state shouldn't get a second chance.
The pathos and problems of America's death penalty were vividly on display yesterday when Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. Immediately after its failure Gov. John Kasich set June 5, 2019, as a new execution date.
This plan for a second execution reveals a glaring inadequacy in the legal standards governing botched executions in the United States.
Campbell was tried and sentenced to die for murdering 18-year-old Charles Dials during a carjacking in 1997. After Campbell exhausted his legal appeals, he was denied clemency by the state parole board and the governor.
By the time the state got around to executing Campbell, he was far from the dangerous criminal of 20 years ago. As is the case with many of America's death-row inmates, the passage of time had inflicted its own punishments.
The inmate Ohio strapped onto the gurney was a 69-year-old man afflicted with serious ailm…

Norwegians protest lax penalty for shooter

Swat team on Utoya Island
The fact that Norway's maximum penalty for any crime is 21 years in prison is facing rising criticism in the wake of the twin attacks that killed 93 people, with many deeming the penalty too lax.

Ever since Norwegian media named 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik as the prime suspect, calls have been growing for the maximum penalty under the Norwegian penal code to be extended.

If found guilty, Behring Breivik's 21 years in prison would equal a penalty of 82 days per killing.

"So many innocent people have been killed that I think he doesn't have the right to live," Mari Kaugerud says on her Facebook group "Yes to the death penalty for Anders Behring Breivik" that already has 1783 members.

Dozens of similar groups have sprung up since Friday's killings, some calling for the death penalty, others for natural life in prison.

"People like that shouldn't be able to get out among normal people," says 31-year-old Mustafa. "If he gets 21 years, how old will he be? 53! No, he's ruined too much to ever get out," says the Iranian-born shopkeeper.

Like most people that AFP spoke to on Sunday, Mustafa is against the death penalty, but he wants the suspect, who has admitted responsibility, to spend his natural life in prison.

Norwegian law does allow for a convict to spend more than 21 years locked up, as experts can keep him or her behind bars up for additional five-year stretches if the prisoner is deemed dangerous.

"But how many times will that happen?" says Daniel de Francisco, a 25-year-old chef.

"European governments go too soft on this. Let's put them away for life," he says, drawing bitterly on his cigarette.

Helen Arvesen, a 21-year-old student, agrees that the sentence would be too lenient, but "I don't like the death penalty".

Even if he is released "he'll be facing a lot of angry people so he'll not be safe any more", she says, her mother standing next to her nodded in agreement.

As soon as Behring Breivik was arrested, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg tried to rally the famous spirit of tolerance in Norway, where prisons are comfortable and crime and repeat offending rates are low.

Stoltenberg said on Sunday that the response to the carnage was "more democracy, more openness, more humanity, but without naivety". He did not mention any eventual punishment.

Norway abolished the death penalty for most crimes in 1902, and for all crimes including war crimes in 1979.

The last execution dates from 1948, three years after that of Nazi collaborator leader Vidkun Quisling, who was shot for high treason.

Source: AFP, July 24, 2011

Comments

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Ohio: Alva Campbell execution delayed indefinitely

Here's as Crazy a Death Penalty Story as You'll Find

No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

Nevada releases detailed manual on how it plans to execute death row inmate

A Travelling Executioner

Iran: Prisoner Hanged in Public

Cruel and Unusual: A Second Failed Execution in Ohio

South Carolina's 1st execution in 6 years set for Dec. 1

Nevada death row inmate placed on suicide watch

Nevada refuses Pfizer demand to return drugs state plans to use in execution