FEATURED POST

No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

Image
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…

Australia: 'Why we need to talk about the death penalty... again'

It's almost two years to the day since the Federal Police Commissioner stood before us all and gave us fair warning: there is no guarantee that a Bali Nine scenario won't happen again.

We need to talk about the death penalty. Again. Indeed, as we mark the two-year anniversary of the executions of Myuran Sukumaran​ and Andrew Chan in Indonesia – as the Philippines prepares to reintroduce capital punishment for drug offences and our closest ally dispatches four Arkansas men by lethal injection in the space of eight days with all the procedural fairness of a round of Russian roulette – what better time to take stock?

The irony of Australia's stance on capital punishment – or one of the many ironies – is that for all our lofty aspirations about leading death penalty abolition worldwide we are no closer to a truly principled position. Or even a coherent one.

In fact, despite a 10-month inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade – launched three short months after Chan and Sukumaran's deaths in 2015 – and despite a landslide of submissions, nine public hearings and wide-ranging recommendations with bipartisan support, not much has changed. Not much at all.

Back in April 2015, in the days leading up to the executions, Australians were galvanised by the grim theatrics of Indonesia's death penalty preparations – the Kafkaesque pronouncements, the chest beating and political manoeuvering. We were no less horrified, though, by the complicity of our federal police in the whole affair because, let's face it, whatever their motives in relation to the apprehension of the so-called Bali Nine, it's not often that the decision making of our federal law enforcement authorities is disclosed in such egregious detail, or that the grim consequences of a particular course of action are so eminently foreseeable.

o it's particularly disappointing to discover that our appetite for sharing information with death penalty states has not abated since the Bali Nine executions, or even since the Joint Standing Committee released its recommendations, which included severe restrictions around AFP information sharing with foreign law enforcement agencies in death penalty cases. Figures recently released under freedom-of-information laws reveal that the rate at which the AFP approves requests for information in death penalty cases – which hovered at around 92 per cent between 2010 and 2014 – was 92 per cent in 2015 and 96 per cent last year.

I say disappointing, but it's hardly surprising. And the reason it should come as no surprise is that the Australian government – yes, the same government that's making a pitch for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council and has vowed to lead the global charge for death penalty abolition – has rejected almost all of the recommended safeguards on information sharing put forward by the committee.


Source: The Age, Comment, Sarah Gil, May 3, 2017. Sarah Gill is a Fairfax Media columnist.

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Comments

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

Nevada releases detailed manual on how it plans to execute death row inmate

A Travelling Executioner

Ohio: Alva Campbell execution delayed indefinitely

Iran: Prisoner Hanged in Public

Cruel and Unusual: A Second Failed Execution in Ohio

South Carolina's 1st execution in 6 years set for Dec. 1

Nevada refuses Pfizer demand to return drugs state plans to use in execution

Too Old and Too Sick to Execute? No Such Thing in Ohio.

South Carolina doesn’t have drugs for December execution