2040 News: Death Penalty Update

Just as news of the U.S. District Court ruling holding California’s system of capital punishment unconstitutional appeared on this blog last week, the third “botched” execution of 2014 occurred in Arizona.

In Ohio in January, in Oklahoma in April, and then in Arizona last Wednesday – condemned inmates failed to die quickly and quietly as a result of lethal injection.

Appearing on National Public Radio, Amherst College Professor Austin Sarat, author of Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America’s Death Penalty reviewed the history of capital punishment in the last century from hanging to electrocution and articulated the following conclusion:

“I believe that the death penalty is in decline in the United States because many Americans have concluded that, whatever its abstract appeal, the death penalty cannot be delivered in a way that is compatible with American values.”


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