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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 drug strategy raises human rights fears – Reprieve

Downing Street London
The Government’s 2017 drug strategy could risk contributing to the death penalty for drug offences overseas, human rights organization Reprieve has said.

The UK’s new drug strategy, released today, commits the Government to “taking new action” on counter-narcotics in countries including Pakistan. The document says that new “capability building projects” will see the UK provide training in “enhanced investigation and prosecution practices”, in Pakistan and elsewhere.

Pakistan retains the death penalty for drug offences, in breach of international law. Reprieve has raised concerns that many on the country’s death row received unfair trials, with some being tortured into false ‘confessions.’ Pakistan reintroduced executions in 2014.

The UK Home Office has provided millions of pounds in support to the country’s Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), including during Theresa May's tenure as Home Secretary.

The ANF is responsible for arresting and prosecuting alleged drug offenders, hundreds of whom face death sentences. The ANF’s website boasts of securing death sentences, listing these among its ‘prosecution achievements’. In November 2016, the body’s Director-General announced that more prisoners had been sentenced to death on drugs charges, saying this indicated a ’90 per cent success rate.’

Commenting, Maya Foa – Director at Reprieve – said:

“The Government has today re-committed the UK to a failed international drug strategy that has seen taxpayer pounds used to support death sentences overseas. The Pakistani counter-narcotics police continue to sentence vulnerable drug mules and innocent scapegoats to death for alleged drug offences.

"Theresa May’s policy has enabled gross human rights abuses whilst doing nothing to reduce the flow of drugs to the UK. Ministers must urgently explain what steps they are taking to ensure that that public funds don’t lead to further death sentences and executions.”

Further recent background on the UK's assistance to Pakistan is available on the Reprieve site, here.

The Government's strategy document can be seen here.

Source: Reprieve, July 14, 2017

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