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Q&As: Kirsten Han, anti-death penalty advocate in Singapore

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In the third of the DPRU's (Death Penalty Research Unit, University of Oxford, Faculty of Law) series of Q&As with death penalty experts from around the world, Kirsten Han, an anti-death penalty advocate in Singapore, tells DPRU Research Officer Jocelyn Hutton about her current work and about her involvement in the case of the recently executed Nagaenthran Dharmalingam . Can you tell us a little bit about the work that you do in relation to the death penalty? A lot of my contribution to the campaign to abolish the death penalty in Singapore has to do with storytelling, since that fits with the skills that I have as a writer and journalist, and because abolitionist perspectives, or any in-depth coverage of capital punishment, are missing from the local government-controlled mainstream media. I write about death row prisoners and the experiences of their families, try to humanise this issue. For many Singaporeans, it’s so distant and so abstract that it’s very easy to dismiss; so

Oklahoma: Group wants doctor's name in botched execution unsealed

Oklahoma death chamber
Oklahoma death chamber
A group of doctors have filed a brief in the federal court of appeals saying the doctor who oversaw Oklahoma's troubled execution should be named and be held accountable for any "professional errors." It's claim is the public should know which doctors are participating in executions and their role in them.

The amicus curiae, or friend of the court, brief was filed by the Doctors for the Ethical Practice of Medicine.

At issue is a decision by the court to seal records that name the doctor who was the supervisor of the medical procedures during the execution of Clayton Lockett. The state wants to keep the name secret to protect the doctor from threats.

It all stems from a civil lawsuit filed by the family of Clayton Locket against the state, the prison warden, the director of the department of corrections and the doctor.

The group, through its attorney Katherine Toomey, contends that medical ethics still apply to doctors assisting in executions and that withholding the name could keep professional groups from disciplining doctors who make mistakes during the procedure.

In this case, the group claims the doctor, referred to as "Dr. Doe", "failed repeatedly to locate a vein" for the IV injections of drugs, "improperly placed" the IV, causing Lockett to writhe in pain, before dying 43 minutes later.

The state contents the doctor wasn't engaging in a normal medical procedure and cannot be held responsible, according to its response. They also claim that his actions aren't "negligence" because the doctor has no patient relationship with the inmate.

The ACLU also filed suit, saying not releasing the name amounted to "prior restraint."

Source: okcfox.com, Sept. 12, 2015

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Q&As: Kirsten Han, anti-death penalty advocate in Singapore