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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…

Juvenile protester was among Saudi mass-execution victims, new information shows

Public executions in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public executions in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
A protester who was under 18 at the time of the alleged offenses for which he was convicted was among the 47 people executed in a single day in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, research by international human rights organization Reprieve has found.

Ali al Ribh was arrested while at school on February 12th, 2012 due to his involvement in activities calling for reform between February and October 2011 – when he was just 17 years old.

Ali – whose date of birth was December 2nd, 1993 – should therefore have been treated as a juvenile by the Saudi legal system. His execution on January 2nd this year was a breach of the absolute prohibition on the execution of juvenile offenders, and illegal under international law. The Saudi authorities did not inform his family of the execution and are keeping the location of his burial secret.

Ali’s execution will raise concerns about the position of other juveniles convicted for protest-related offences in the Kingdom. Dawoud al Mahroon, Ali al Nimr and Abdullah al Zaher remain under sentence of death for alleged offences which took place when they were aged 17, 17 and 15, respectively.

The British Government has said that it has raised their cases with the Saudi authorities and does not expect them to be executed. However, Reprieve is calling for renewed action in light of the fact that the Saudi authorities have executed at least one juvenile protester already this year.

Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at Reprieve said: "Ali al Ribh's tragic case shows that the Saudi authorities are quite happy to execute juvenile protesters if they think no one is looking. Ali was seized by police at his school and subsequently executed, even though he was a child when the alleged protest offences were committed.

"Abdullah al Zaher, Ali al Nimr and Dawoud al Marhoon - all of whom were sentenced to death as children - remain imprisoned and could be executed at any time, without warning. Until the Saudi Government officially commutes their sentences, the sword will continue to hang over their heads. Britain must redouble its efforts to convince the Saudi Government to commute Abdullah, Ali and Dawoud's sentences – and those of any other juveniles facing execution – before it is too late."

Source: Reprieve, January 24, 2016

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