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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…

UK allies among world’s worst executioners – report

London
UK allies are bucking a trend towards the abolition of the death penalty worldwide, according to new figures.

A new Amnesty report has found that there are fewer executions worldwide, and fewer countries using the death penalty. However, the annual study found that far more people than in previous years are being sentenced to death.

British allies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan remained in the top ranks of the world’s executioners. Since resuming executions in 2014, Pakistan has executed innocent people as well as juveniles and other vulnerable prisoners; two brothers were recently acquitted by the Supreme Court, a year after they had been prematurely hanged.

Other countries – notably Bahrain – have recently resumed executions following a pause of several years. Three political protestors were executed in the Gulf Kingdom this year.

Egypt’s government was also highlighted in the report as a strong user of the death penalty.

All four countries have close ties with the UK. Britain has continued to provide assistance to their security forces, despite concerns over abuses such as executions, and the use of torture to extract forced ‘confessions’. 

Human rights organization Reprieve has discovered that Bahraini and Saudi police have received repeated training from UK public bodies, despite concerns over the risk of complicity in abuses. 

Reprieve has written to the Prime Minister, Theresa May, asking her to call for the release of three Saudi juveniles who face beheading – and in one case, ‘crucifixion’ – following their alleged attendance at political protests.

Mrs May visited Saudi Arabia last week to promote closer UK-Saudi ties. However, it was unclear whether she raised the cases with the Saudi leadership.

Commenting, Maya Foa – Director at Reprieve – said:

“While the overall trend towards fewer executions is welcome, it’s disturbing that certain governments are increasingly using the death penalty as a means of crushing dissent. Many of those with the worst record on executions are countries which British Prime Minister Theresa May has been actively courting in recent weeks – including Saudi Arabia, where juveniles face beheading and crucifixion, and Bahrain, where political protesters have been executed on the basis of forced ‘confessions.’ The UK government must not let the trade agenda trump concerns for human rights. Mrs May must condemn the use of the death penalty as a tool of oppression.”

Source: Reprieve, April 11, 2017

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