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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…

Come on, you know as well as I do what it is...



'Of course,' he said, 'you know what it is, Rieux, don't you?'
'I'm waiting for the results of the tests.'
'Well, I know. I don't need tests. I spent part of my life working in China, and I saw a few cases in Paris, twenty years ago - although no one dared put a name to it at that time. Public opinion is sacred: no panic, above all no panic. Then a colleague told me: "It's impossible, everyone knows it has vanished from the West." Yes, everyone knew that, except the dead. Come on, Rieux, you know as well as I do what it is...'
'Yes, Castel,' he said. 'It's almost impossible to believe. But it appears that it must be the plague.'

-- Albert Camus, The Plague, 1947



- Naturellement, vous savez ce que c'est, Rieux ?
- J'attends le résultat des analyses.
- Moi, je le sais. Et je n'ai pas besoin d'analyses. J'ai fait une partie de ma carrière en Chine, et j'ai vu quelques cas à Paris, il y a une vingtaine d'années. Seulement, on n'a pas osé leur donner un nom, sur le moment. L'opinion publique, c'est sacré : pas d'affolement, surtout pas d'affolement. Et puis, comme disait un confrère : "C'est impossible, tout le monde sait qu'elle a disparu de l'Occident." Oui, tout le monde le savait, sauf les morts. Allons, Rieux, vous savez aussi bien que moi ce que c'est...
- Oui, Castel, dit-il, c'est à peine croyable. Mais il semble bien que ce soit la peste.

-- Albert Camus, La peste, 1947

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