✯✯✯ Analysis Of Kill Capital Punishment By Janine Espino

Thursday, October 07, 2021 12:16:26 PM

Locking murderers away bromine group number life achieves the same goal without requiring us to take yet another life. Sandra Bland 2. It is a racist tool of Analysis Of Kill Capital Punishment By Janine Espino punishment. Utah, which abandoned execution by firing Analysis Of Kill Capital Punishment By Janine Espino inrestored the option in April. Across this Nation there were

How lethal injection works

A parallel bill passed the Delaware state senate in March and picked up the endorsement of Governor Jack Markell, formerly a supporter of the ultimate sanction. Only a single vote in a House committee kept the bill bottled up, and supporters vowed to keep pressing the issue. That officially idles the fifth largest death row in America. The largest, in California, is also at a standstill while a federal appeals court weighs the question of whether long delays and infrequent executions render the penalty unconstitutional. Even in Texas, which leads the nation in executions since when the U. Supreme Court approved the practice after a brief moratorium , the wheels are coming off the bandwagon. From a peak of 40 executions in , the Lone Star State put 10 prisoners to death last year and seven so far in There, as elsewhere, prosecutors, judges and jurors are concluding that the modern death penalty is a failed experiment.

The reality is that capital punishment is nothing more than an expensive, wasteful and risky government program. This unmistakable trend dates back to the turn of the century. The number of inmates put to death in was the fewest in 20 years, while the number of new death sentences imposed by U. Only one state, Missouri, has accelerated its rate of executions during that period, but even in the Show Me State, the number of new sentences has plunged. Thirty-two states allow capital punishment for the most heinous crimes. And yet in most of the country, the penalty is now hollow.

For the first time in the nearly 30 years that I have been studying and writing about the death penalty, the end of this troubled system is creeping into view. In Arizona on July 23, prison officials needed nearly two hours to complete the execution of double murderer Joseph Wood. That was not an aberration. In April , Oklahoma authorities spent some 40 minutes trying to kill Clayton Lockett before he finally died of a heart attack.

Our long search for the perfect mode of killing—quiet, tidy and superficially humane—has brought us to this: rooms full of witnesses shifting miserably in their seats as unconscious men writhe and snort and gasp while strapped to gurneys. Lethal injection was intended to be a superior alternative to electrocution, gassing or hanging, all of which are known to go wrong in gruesome ways.

But when pharmaceutical companies began refusing to provide their drugs for deadly use and stories of botched injections became commonplace, the same legal qualms that had turned courts against the earlier methods were raised about lethal injections. Alex Kozinski, the conservative chief judge of the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, recently wrote that Americans must either give up on capital punishment or embrace its difficult, brutal nature.

Rather than pretend that execution is a sort of medical procedure involving heart monitors and IV lines—a charade that actual medical professionals refuse to be part of—we should use firing squads or the guillotine. Utah, which abandoned execution by firing squad in , restored the option in April. No other U. The legal machinery of capital punishment—the endless process of appeals and reviews—is equally miserable to ponder. Consider this: Last year, Florida executed Askari Muhammad , a man known as Thomas Knight when he was sent to death row in after kidnapping, robbing and murdering a couple from Miami Beach. Five years later he stabbed a prison guard to death with a sharpened spoon.

Suffice it to say, a legal system that requires half a lifetime to conclude the case of a proven lethal recidivist is not a well-functioning operation. Nor is that case unusual. In Florida alone, three other men who arrived on death row in are still there, marking their year anniversaries—part of a total death-row population in that state of In those 40 years, Florida has carried out 90 executions. At that rate, the Sunshine State would need about years to clear out its death row. Of the 14 inmates executed so far this year in the U. State and federal courts are so backlogged with capital cases that they can never catch up. Moving faster creates its own problems. The risks involved in trying to speed executions are apparent in the growing list of innocent and likely innocent death-row prisoners set free— more than since In Ohio, Wiley Bridgeman walked free 39 years after he was sentenced to death when the key witness at his trial—a year-old boy at the time—admitted that he invented his story to try to help the police.

In general, scientific advances have undermined confidence in the reliability of eyewitness testimony and exposed flaws in the use of hair and fiber evidence. DNA analysis, meanwhile, has offered concrete proof that the criminal justice system can go disastrously wrong, even in major felony cases. The exoneration came after 30 years in prison. Incompetent investigators, using discredited science, sent two men to death row in Texas for alleged arson murders. One of them, Ernest Willis, was freed in after his attorneys commissioned a review by an expert in fire science, who concluded that neither blaze was caused by the suspects.

But the findings came too late for the other man, Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed that same year. In this instance, and perhaps in others , Texas may have killed an innocent man. Reason 2: The crime rate has plunged. Public support for capital punishment ebbs and flows. That trend contributed to the brief abolition of the death penalty by order of the Supreme Court in Capital punishment is often defended on the grounds that society has a moral obligation to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens.

Murderers threaten this safety and welfare. Only by putting murderers to death can society ensure that convicted killers do not kill again. Second, those favoring capital punishment contend that society should support those practices that will bring about the greatest balance of good over evil, and capital punishment is one such practice. Capital punishment benefits society because it may deter violent crime. While it is difficult to produce direct evidence to support this claim since, by definition, those who are deterred by the death penalty do not commit murders, common sense tells us that if people know that they will die if they perform a certain act, they will be unwilling to perform that act.

If the threat of death has, in fact, stayed the hand of many a would be murderer, and we abolish the death penalty, we will sacrifice the lives of many innocent victims whose murders could have been deterred. But if, in fact, the death penalty does not deter, and we continue to impose it, we have only sacrificed the lives of convicted murderers. Surely it's better for society to take a gamble that the death penalty deters in order to protect the lives of innocent people than to take a gamble that it doesn't deter and thereby protect the lives of murderers, while risking the lives of innocents. If grave risks are to be run, it's better that they be run by the guilty, not the innocent.

Finally, defenders of capital punishment argue that justice demands that those convicted of heinous crimes of murder be sentenced to death. Justice is essentially a matter of ensuring that everyone is treated equally. It is unjust when a criminal deliberately and wrongly inflicts greater losses on others than he or she has to bear. If the losses society imposes on criminals are less than those the criminals imposed on their innocent victims, society would be favoring criminals, allowing them to get away with bearing fewer costs than their victims had to bear. Justice requires that society impose on criminals losses equal to those they imposed on innocent persons.

By inflicting death on those who deliberately inflict death on others, the death penalty ensures justice for all. This requirement that justice be served is not weakened by charges that only the black and the poor receive the death penalty. Any unfair application of the death penalty is the basis for extending its application, not abolishing it. If an employer discriminates in hiring workers, do we demand that jobs be taken from the deserving who were hired or that jobs be abolished altogether? Likewise, if our criminal justice system discriminates in applying the death penalty so that some do not get their deserved punishment, it's no reason to give Iesser punishments to murderers who deserved the death penalty and got it.

Some justice, however unequal, is better than no justice, however equal. To ensure justice and equality, we must work to improve our system so that everyone who deserves the death penalty gets it. The case against capital punishment is often made on the basis that society has a moral obligation to protect human life, not take it. The taking of human life is permissible only if it is a necessary condition to achieving the greatest balance of good over evil for everyone involved.

Given the value we place on life and our obligation to minimize suffering and pain whenever possible, if a less severe alternative to the death penalty exists which would accomplish the same goal, we are duty-bound to reject the death penalty in favor of the less severe alternative. There is no evidence to support the claim that the death penalty is a more effective deterrent of violent crime than, say, life imprisonment. Reports described a chaotic scene in the execution chamber as officials tried to call off the execution at one point, and witnesses saw Lockett writhe in pain on the execution table.

States have also resisted efforts to force prisons to reveal the source of the execution drugs they are using. In Texas, lawmakers have authored a bill to keep secret the names of the compounding pharmacies that are supplying execution drugs--because, they say, the pharmacies refuse to sell the drugs if they cannot remain anonymous. John Smithee said before a House committee in April. Unknown drugs and botched executions have led to a new round of legal challenges over whether lethal injection violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. These developments beg the question: can any method of execution be considered humane? Over the years, a wide variety of anti—death penalty activists--including family members of prisoners, former prisoners, lawyers, scholars, students, elected officials and community activists--have built sustained campaigns to stop executions and to expose the many insoluble flaws in the system.

The work that these dedicated activists have done has brought the United States the closest it's been in decades to outright abolition. There are of course many debates within the abolitionist movement--how much to focus on race, what kinds of alternatives to offer in lieu of the death penalty, which voices must be prominent in the movement. But for a growing number of young activists, there is a recognition that the death penalty is but the sharpest edge of a justice system that oppresses the poor and people of color. The movement to end the death penalty should be considered one facet of the struggle against the system of racialized control that Michelle Alexander calls the New Jim Crow. Linking the abolition struggle to the growing movement against police violence and mass incarceration is vital.

Campaigns to support individuals on death row, amplifying the voices of prisoners and their families, are central to this approach. This kind of work will continue to chip away at the death penalty system. Even in Texas, or as abolitionists call it, "the belly of the beast," these efforts are making a difference. Several former prisoners recently traveled there to take part in a campaign to stop the planned March 5 execution of innocent death row prisoner Rodney Reed , and participate in a "Day of Innocence" lobby day at the state capitol. Reed did win a rare stay of execution, and a few weeks later an abolition bill was introduced for the first time in both the Texas House and Senate.

Speaking at a rally for her son a few days before he won the stay, Sandra Reed offered these words: "I will not give up this fight. I will not, regardless of what the outcome will be. There are too many innocent men that have gone, that are waiting, and that will go if we don't stop this murdering machine. The rush to revive macabre execution methods like the gas chamber and the firings squad illustrate the lengths that sections of the ruling elite will go to preserve a powerful tool of repression. As support for and use of the death penalty continues to decline, these attempts appear to be the desperate acts of those on the losing side of the struggle.

First published at Jacobin. A recent ruling in the case of Pennsylvania political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal has raised the long-overdue prospect of a new appeal. An order by Gov. Jerry Brown to test evidence in the case of Kevin Cooper is raising the possibility of freedom for an innocent man. The state of Arkansas plans to execute seven people in 11 days--before its execution drugs expire. The Campaign to End the Death Penalty's convention heard from those at the center of the fight: prisoners and family members.

Dave Keaton, the first death row prisoner exonerated in the modern era of capital punishment, died at the age of SW contributors tell what they saw and heard on a trip to bring support and solidarity for the historic resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Donald Trump celebrated the crimes and outrages of his first year, and outlined the ones he has in store for the future. Here's the socialist response.

Among the different ways of understanding socialism and Marxism, the ISO stands in a tradition summarized by Hal Draper as "socialism from below. Material on this Web site is licensed by SocialistWorker. Readers are welcome to share and use material belonging to this site for non-commercial purposes, as long as they are attributed to the author and SocialistWorker.

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