Arizona: Execution witnesses have First Amendment right to hear entire process, 9th Circuit rules

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that witnesses to Arizona executions have a First Amendment right to hear the entire execution process to help determine if executions are done “in a humane and lawful manner.”
The ruling comes 5 years after the last execution in Arizona ended up with the condemned inmate, Joseph Wood, gasping for almost two hours and in apparent agony behind soundproof glass.
A 3-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the claim, by seven death-row inmates and the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona, that the ability to hear what’s happening in the execution room will foster a heightened level of transparency around the death penalty.

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“People might say, ‘That sounds so gory, why do you want to hear what’s happening in there?'” said Morgan Loew, an investigative reporter with CBS 5 in Arizona and the president of the First Amendment Coalition. “What we’re doing is fighting for more access to probably the most …

Catholic Church seeks international support to oppose death penalty in Papua New Guinea

The Catholic Church of Papua New Guinea has spoken out against the resumption of the death penalty, with government plans to execute 13 death row inmates by the end of the year.

The death penalty has not been used in PNG for more than 50 years, but the National Executive Council has approved 3 modes of execution - lethal injection, firing squad and hanging, although at the moment there is no suitable infrastructure in place.

Now, both Indonesia and Thailand have stepped in with offers of financial assistance and expertise.

Archbishop John Ribat says he knows the church's voice may not necessarily be heard by the government but they have to try.

Source: Radio Australia, February 17, 2015

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