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

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

USA | Trump praises China's draconian policy of swift executions for drug dealers and renews call for the death penalty

Former President Donald Trump suggested that drug dealers should face the death penalty while speaking at a rally in Las Vegas on Friday.

"If you look at countries through, all throughout the world, no matter where you go, the only ones that don't have a drug problem are those that institute the death penalty for drug dealers. They're the only ones. They don't have any problem," Trump said.

He went on to claim that "China has no drug problem" because they have "what's called 'quick trial,'" which he explained as drug dealers going to trial quickly and swiftly executed if found guilty.

Despite Trump's claims, data suggests that drugs are still prevalent in China. The number of drug users in China rose by 6.8% to 2.51 million by the end of 2016, according to a National Narcotics Control Commission, per Xinhua News Agency.

China has been widely criticized for its policy of executing people for the non-violent crime of drug smuggling.

A 2015 report from the United Nations Human Rights Committee said that drug-related offenses do not meet the threshold of "most serious crimes" to warrant the death penalty in countries that have not abolished it.

Amnesty International has condemned China's execution of people for drug smuggling, stating that the country is secretive about its execution rates and that those sentenced do not receive fair trials.

This is not the 1st time Trump has called for executing drug dealers, having made the suggestion publicly and privately during his presidency.

During his rally speech on Friday, Trump accused the Biden administration of allowing "lawlessness" to thrive, and claimed that Democratic-controlled cities were seeing record-high crime rates.

Republicans have seized upon rising crime in big cities as a mid-term issue, framing their party as harder on crime than Democrats.

However, a recent report from Democratic think tank Third Way countered the argument that rising crime is a Democratic problem – finding that eight of the top ten states with the highest per-capita murder rates voted for Trump in 2020.

During his speech, Trump also said that he regretting allowing Democrats run their cities "instead of saying I'm going to do your job for you," and said he would not allow that "a 2nd time."

Source: Business Insider, Staff, July 9, 2022

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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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