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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…

13 percent of Texas death row inmates wait 25 years or more for execution

Raymond Riles
Raymond Riles, on Texas death row since February 1976
For some Texas death row inmates, being condemned can feel like a life sentence.

Roughly 13 percent (30 of 238) of the inmates awaiting execution in the Lone Star State have been on death row for 25 years or more.

That length of stay is nearly a decade above the national average time awaiting execution of 15 years and nine months.

The longest resident of death row in Texas, Raymond Riles, has been sitting in solitary confinement (except for doctor visits and court appearances) since February 1976.

Since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976, 41 inmates on death row have died either of natural causes or suicide while awaiting execution.

This is in a state that has executed 23 people in the last three years and isn't shy about carrying out death sentences.

But, the state is also suing the federal government to get a hold of a shipment of the lethal injection drug sodium thiopental.

While that is tied up in court, there's little the state can do if it runs out of the current supply of the sedative, prolonging the time on death row for the inmates and the wait for the victim's families.


Source: Houston Chronicle, Brett Barrouquere, May 3, 2017

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