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No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

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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…

Transplant Chief in China Denies Breaking Vow to Ban Prisoners’ Organs

BEIJING — A top Chinese health official has denied that the country’s new organ transplant system allows organs to be harvested from executed prisoners, saying that earlier comments he made suggesting that a loophole allowed the practice to continue had been misconstrued.

The official, Dr. Huang Jiefu, said his statements that prisoners were also citizens and therefore should be allowed to donate organs under the new rules had been meant “philosophically,” and he denied that the government was allowing it in practice.

“I never said that,” Dr. Huang said in an interview here last week. “It is a lie. It distorts my words. The context, the words are from a philosophical level.”

“As a doctor, we cannot reject the kindness and the conscience of the prisoners,” he added. “However, on a practical level, we cannot do that, to put them into the civilian donation.”

Dr. Huang’s earlier comments, reported in the official Chinese news media and cited in The New York Times, drew outrage from medical ethicists and human rights advocates, who have long criticized China’s practice of harvesting organs from death row inmates. 

They said the comments showed that China never really abandoned the policy, as Mr. Huang had promised it would last December, but instead had simply reclassified prisoners as citizens and continued to take their organs.


Source: The New York Times, Didi Kirsten Tatlow, November 25, 2015

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