U.S. | Execution by nitrogen hypoxia doesn’t seem headed for widespread adoption as bills fall short and nitrogen producers object

The day after Alabama carried out the first-known US execution using nitrogen gas, its attorney general sent a clear message to death penalty states that might want to follow suit: “Alabama has done it, and now so can you.” Indeed, in the weeks immediately following the January execution of Kenneth Smith, it appeared a handful of states were listening, introducing bills that would adopt the method known as nitrogen hypoxia or a similar one. Officials behind each framed the legislation as an alternative method that could help resume executions where they had long been stalled.

Turkey: PM Turns Strike Debate into Death Sentence Row

Amid doubts about the ruling party’s appetite for the ongoing European Union membership process and ten years after its abolition represented the most crucial step in the process, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has put the death penalty back on the agenda, suggesting that a majority of the public wants to see it back in force.

Erdoğan’s remarks on Nov. 3 came after he warned the hundreds of hunger strikers that their strike would not help in the release of Abdullah Öcalan, the convicted leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The strikers are demanding an end to the isolation of Öcalan as one of their conditions.

He then referred to the issue of capital punishment with regard to Öcalan. “A death penalty was handed to a terrorist chief who was the cause of death for tens of thousands of people, but this country abolished the death penalty due to pressure from known places. He is now serving in İmralı because of the abolition of the death penalty,” Erdoğan said. “Right now a lot of people say in public surveys that capital punishment should be reintroduced, because the relatives of the dead are hurt while others enjoy themselves at kebab parties.”

The death penalty in Turkey was abolished in 2002 by a three-party coalition government led by the Democratic Left Party (DSP). Coalition partner the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) did not block the government in going ahead with the proposal, but did vote against it.

Source: Turkish Weekly, November 5, 2012

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