Oklahoma | I went inside death row, what I saw made me sick - Henry McLeish

The evolution of civilised behaviour, indicating a retreat from barbarism, has become a distinctive feature of most modern western democracies, but America often disappoints, retaining practices that shock, sadden, and in my case, nearly made me physically sick.
My visit to death row at McAlester State Penitentiary, Oklahoma, brought home to me, how the final setting for government sponsored killings, combined with execution by lethal injection, brought a brutal end to lives. And made a mockery of the idea of justice, offering instead a violent, humiliating, and inhuman act of revenge, with no serious pretence that any of these end of life dramas, provide any deterrence in criminal justice terms. Formerly known as “Indian Territory”, and home of the Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, with a population of over 4 million, became a state in 1907. Located in America’s “Bible” belt, where there is a strong fundamentalist Christian tradition and powerful Republican politics, Oklahoma remains a pro…

India: Why the death penalty is carried out before sunrise

We all must have seen in movies that criminal who get death penalties are hanged before sunrise, but have you ever wondered why so early and not at any other time?

The death penalty is given out to an individual who has committed a grave crime in the eyes of law. The ruling is a constitutionally sanctioned practice under which a person is put to death, as a form of punishment.

Before being hanged, the jail administration asks the criminal’s last wish. However, the prisoner’s wish is fulfilled only if it is under the jail’s manual.

After pulling the lever, the prisoner stays in the hanging position for 10 minutes, then a team of doctors check whether he has died or not. The prisoner is brought down only when the doctors are sure of his death.

During the carrying out of the execution, the jail superintendent, the executive magistrate, and a hangman have to be present, if any of the officials is absent then the punishment cannot be carried out.

The time is fixed in the morning because according to the jail manual, all jail functions are done only after sunrise and this would ensure that the other daily chores are not affected.

Hanging of a person is big news for the affected society. To restrain the effect of the hanging on the collective conscience of the society and to limit any social trauma or outcry, the execution is carried out before the society wakes up to the event.

Source: orissapost.com, Staff, September 17, 2019

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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