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As Trial in South Carolina Execution-Method Challenge Begins, Review of State’s Death Penalty Reveals System that is Biased, Arbitrary, and Error-Prone

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As the trial challenging South Carolina’s execution methods began on August 1, 2022, a review of the state’s death penalty by the Greenville News revealed a pattern of discrimination, geographic arbitrariness, and high error rates in the implementation of the punishment.  In a two-part examination, reporter Kathryn Casteel analyzed racial and county demographics on death row, reversal rates in capital cases, and the timing of death sentences to provide context for the state’s efforts to institute the electric chair and firing squad as its primary execution methods. RELATED |  Future of South Carolina death penalty now rests with judge Four of South Carolina’s 35 death-row prisoners are suing the state to block a law that would force them to choose between electrocution and firing squad as methods of execution. One of the men, Richard Moore, wrote in an April legal filing, “I believe this election is forcing me to choose between two unconstitutional methods of execution.” Executions ar

Double execution: Singapore to hang another two plaintiffs in racial bias suit

Two more prisoners convicted of drug offences will hang on Aug 2 despite widespread condemnation of Singapore's continued use of the death sentence.

Singapore has scheduled the hangings of two more death row prisoners convicted of drug offences on Aug 2, bringing the number of known execution notices issued so far this year to 12.

Anti-death penalty activist Kirsten Han said one of the prisoners was a Singaporean in his 40s while the other was a Malaysian in his 30s. 

Both of them were plaintiffs in a suit accusing the Singapore government of racial bias in their prosecutions in capital punishment cases.  

Singapore has so far hanged two of the 17 plaintiffs, whose suit was thrown out last year. 

On July 22, 64-year-old Nazeri Lajim was executed despite a last-minute bid for more time to say good-bye to his family members. 

He was sentenced to death in 2017, five years after he was arrested with two bundles containing heroin which he said were for his own use. 

Yesterday, meanwhile, another man was executed, bringing the total number of hangings this year to six. 

The man, an ethnic Malay Singaporean aged 49, was arrested in 2015 for trafficking in cannabis.

Singapore has been under increasing scrutiny over its continued use of the death penalty, which it says has been effective in controlling the drug menace in the republic. 

But an increasing number of Singaporeans appear to be against this view, with protests even held to call for the abolition of the death penalty. 

Critics have also pointed out that almost all of those executed under Singapore's drug laws have been low-level mules from poor families while the drug lords who employ them remain free. 

Source: malaysianow.com, Staff, July 27, 2022





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