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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…

Hamas Calls for Resumption of Death Penalty in Gaza

Execution of alleged "collaborators" with Israel by Hamas militants in Aug. 2014
Execution of alleged "collaborators" with Israel by Hamas militants in Aug. 2014
GAZA CITY — Hamas, the militant Islamist group that rules Gaza, called on Wednesday for the resumption of the death penalty for certain crimes. Several Palestinians convicted of collaborating with Israel or of murder are now facing execution.

In a terse statement, Hamas called on “the competent judicial authorities to undertake its duties.” The statement was widely seen as a green light to begin executions, because Hamas officials had been arguing for days about reinstating the death penalty.

“We found it was important to implement the death penalty rule to maintain civil peace in society and to prevent cases of murder,” said Yehia Mousa, a Hamas legislator in Gaza.

“The death penalty exists in America,” he said. “Killings warrant the death penalty.”

“We have three or four cases that are ready for the death penalty,” Mr. Mousa said, adding that the executions would be carried out in police stations.

He did not provide more information, but on April 18, a military court in Gaza sentenced three men to death for collaborating with Israel, according to the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights. Palestinians consider such collaboration treasonous.

Hamas officials began imposing the death penalty after they took control of Gaza in 2007. Since then, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights has documented 67 executions. That figure does not include Hamas gunmen’s killings of people accused of being collaborators during wartime.

Hamas mostly stopped the executions after June 2014 because a national unity government led by President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority was officially placed in charge of Gaza.

An exception was the case of Mahmoud Ishtiwi, a Hamas commander, who was fatally shot in April for “moral crimes” after he was accused of theft and of having sex with another man.

As president, Mr. Abbas is required to ratify each death sentence before it is carried out. But he opposes the death penalty and has not ratified a sentence since he came to power in 2005.

The national unity government fell apart last year, and Hamas reasserted control over Gaza.

Hamdi Shakour, the deputy director of programs at the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, said Hamas appeared to have revived the death penalty in response to the popular sentiment that crime is increasing in Gaza, a product of years of unemployment and poverty, tight restrictions on travel and three wars in the territory.

“Instead of talking about the collapse of the economy, the social fabric and people’s living standards, they are arguing that there is no preventative punishment,” Mr. Shakour said.

Sari Bashi, a spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch, said: “It’s terrible. The court system in Gaza is rife with coercion, torture and compromised procedures, and so to execute people in Gaza is particularly egregious.”

Source: The New York Times, Majd Al Waheidi, Diaa Hadid, May 25, 2016

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