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U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Re: Inmates lawyer argues LI a...
Last post by Londoner77 - February 16, 2017, 08:21:01 PM
If he would prefer a firing squad,  let him have it.  It would take away his chance of appealing the method of execution.
U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Re: Mississippi serious about ...
Last post by resist - February 16, 2017, 07:06:09 PM

Good for the Mississippi House. Not, of course, because I approve of the death penalty (I don't), but because the arguments made against the use of firing squads are almost always either cowardly or cynical.

When coming from pro-death-penalty types, they're cowardly because they tend to be made by people who want the state to kill people but who don't want to see what death looks like. That, after all, is what lethal injection is: A way of medicalizing executions so that those who endorse them do not have to face their violence.

Coming from anti-death-penalty types, the rejection of firing squads tends to be made as part of an attempt to destroy capital punishment by undemocratic means. The real reason that many anti-death penalty campaigners are against alternative killing methods is that they've been fighting hard to get rid of the drugs that are necessary for lethal injections and they don't want to see their efforts undermined by men with rifles.
U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Inmates lawyer argues LI amoun...
Last post by resist - February 16, 2017, 07:01:48 PM

Attorneys for Ricky Gray said in a federal complaint that there is a serious risk that Virginia will "chemically torture" the man to death when it uses compounded drugs for his execution scheduled for Jan. 18. A firing squad would be a more humane alternative, his attorneys argue, although that execution method isn't permitted under Virginia law.
"It is both humane, quicker, more effective, and would frankly be completely feasible in Virginia," Lisa Fried, an attorney for Gray, said of a firing squad.
I think it's a bad idea to give inmates choices regarding execution method. It starts turning into an expectation.

But the fact that he'd rather be shot than given LI means that the choice of LI isn't necessarily for the benefit of the offender. More likely, it's for the benefit of the execution team and witnesses that are loaded with squeamish people!

Firing squad isn't available, but electric chair is. He should take that option. His lawyers are probably concerned that it takes about 3 minutes in Virginia (1800 volts at 7.5 amps for 30 seconds followed by 60 seconds of 240 volts at 1.5 amps, repeated once). But he would be unconscious instantly.
U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Re: States revamping execution...
Last post by Londoner77 - February 14, 2017, 09:05:32 PM
I would only consider them botched if the end result wasn't one less scumbag in the world

That gives a success rate of pretty close to 100% I would imagine.
World Death Penalty Discussion / Re: Bahrain death penalty news
Last post by turboprinz - February 14, 2017, 06:44:33 PM
A triple execution in Bahrain has provoked national outrage - and international silence
January 19, 2017 3.01pm GMT

In the middle of the night, on January 15 2017, three citizens of Bahrain were executed by firing squad. Abbas al-Samea, 27, Ali al-Singace, 21, and Sami Mushaima 42, had all been found guilty of planting a bomb which killed three policemen - but their convictions were widely seen as unsafe.

Rumours of their 3am deaths had been circulating on the social media of those with links to the government. Once the state news agency confirmed the news, many Bahrainis took to the streets in protest, confronting riot police, who used tear gas and birdshot in response. Human rights organisations condemned the killings, not simply because they oppose the death penalty, but because these executions were viewed as being political and extrajudicial.

The UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial executions tweeted:

Nicholas McGeehan of Human Rights Watch added on social media: "These men's convictions were based on retracted confessions and mired in allegations of serious torture." It was a sentiment reflected poignantly by many Bahrainis, who formed huge queues to pay their respects to the executed men's families.

The national controversy surrounding the executions is the latest demonstration of the political turmoil in Bahrain, and popular opposition to what is a democracy in name only. Since 2011, when widespread pro-democracy protests broke out, over a hundred civilians have been killed - many by teargas and torture. An independent report (the BICI report) documenting the events of that year revealed systematic torture, arbitrary detentions, and extra judicial killing in the streets.

Since the report, which the King accepted to much international acclaim, the Bahrain government has emphasised its commitment to reforms. Yet implementation of the recommendations has been frequently documented as inadequate. Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) found that only two of the report's 26 recommendations had been fully implemented, and eight had not even begun. Many of these reforms centred around creating mechanisms to ensure an end to torture and an increase of state accountability. Even Professor Cherif Bassiouni, the head of the BICI team, wrote in June last year that most of the reforms had not been fully implemented.

But things are actually getting worse. Amid the token reforms, the January executions show that Bahrain is regressing with regards to political development and human rights. The country's only remotely critical newspaper, Al Wasat, which was shut down in 2011, has now been ordered by the government to close its online paper, too. The official reason given was that it was "jeapordising national unity and disrupting public peace". In fact, it had been slighty critical of the executions.

Earlier this year, the government of Bahrain announced that it was reversing one of the BICI reforms which stipulated that Bahrain's National Security Agency (NSA) have its powers of arrest removed. The power separation was considered important in controlling torture. Other laws enacted which have clamped down on freedom of expression, alongside the arrest of activists, have prompted accusations not of reform, but of de-democratisation. The fact that these are the first official executions to have occurred since 2010 suggest Bahrain is becoming more, not less authoritarian.
International influence

Bahrain's small size and its reliance on foreign countries has also resulted in anger at the perceived complicity of numerous governments. Saudi troops, along with officers from states including the UAE, assisted in dealing with the unrest in 2011. Many of Bahrain's military officers are from other Arab or Muslim countries, and many have received training by the British (including from John Yates, ex-assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard).

As a result, many Bahrainis feel increasingly isolated from the global community, who they believe are the only ones able to put pressure on the Bahrain government to reform, democratise, and implement human rights reform. Activist Maryam Al Khawaja accused the UK, Bahrain's former protector, of abetting this authoritarian excess and allowing the executions to go ahead.

Protests in London outside the embassy also reflected this anger. And it is an anger founded not simply on the fact that the British response to the executions was considered "woefully inadequate", but because the UK has been training the Bahrain police since 2011. The charity Reprieve noted that the UK also taught the Bahrainis how to "whitewash custody deaths" and provided training to the police without conducting proper human rights assessments.

As a result of the executions, frustration in Bahrain will inevitably increase. Scenes of people chanting "Down with [King] Hamad" at the police are becoming more common again. The regression back to more authoritarian ways is enabled by a lack of pressure from traditional international allies.

For the UK, this apparent "complicity" is unlikely to change. Jane Kinninmont of Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, notes that Brexit will likely diminish attempts to support human rights. With traditional allies like the UK less choosy about trade, less choosy about allies, and less choosy about human rights, Bahrain is set to see more instability and unrest.
World Death Penalty Discussion / Re: Kuwait death penalty news
Last post by turboprinz - February 14, 2017, 06:38:04 PM
Kuwait's Execution of Prince and Six Others Part of 'Alarming Trend' in Middle East
Rights group calls on country to reinstate its moratorium on the death penalty.
By Jack Moore On 1/26/17 at 4:25 PM

Kuwait's hanging of seven people this week, including a member of the royal family, is part of an "alarming trend" across the region, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

"Executing seven people in one day shows Kuwait is moving in exactly the wrong direction on the death penalty," Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East director, said in a statement.

Wednesday's executions were the first since 2013, when Kuwaiti authorities executed five people after a six-year moratorium. Two Kuwaitis were hanged along with five foreign nationals: two Egyptians, one Bangladeshi, one Filipino and one Ethiopian. All were convicted of murder, bar the Bangladeshi man, who was convicted of rape and kidnapping.

"The Kuwait government should be reinstating the moratorium on the death penalty instead of hanging seven people," Whitson stated. She said that the Gulf state's decision reflects a "growing trend in the region to increase the use of, or lift moratoriums on, the death penalty."

Read more: Kuwait executes seven, including a royal convicted of murder

Saudi Arabia and Iran have executed hundreds of people since 2014, while Jordan ended an eight-year moratorium in December 2014, executing 11 people. Bahrain executed three people earlier this month after ending a six-year moratorium.

The hanged prince--the first royal family member executed in Kuwait--was identified by Kuwaiti state news agency KUNA as Faisal Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah. Authorities accused him of killing his nephew in 2010.

Executions of royal family members in the region are not common, but in October 2016, Saudi authorities carried out the death sentence handed to Prince Turki Bin Saud Al-Kabir. He was the first member of the royalty executed in the Gulf Kingdom since 1975.

Kabir pleaded guilty to the shooting and killing of fellow Saudi citizen Adel bin Suleiman bin Abdulkareem Al-Muhaimeed during a mass brawl, according to Saudi state media. A court found him guilty in 2013 for the incident in the al-Thumama region, on the outskirts of Riyadh.
World Death Penalty Discussion / Re: Saudi Arabia DP News
Last post by turboprinz - February 14, 2017, 06:35:05 PM
Saudi Arabia Carries Out Its First Execution of 2017
The Gulf kingdom is one of the most prolific executioners in the world.
By Jack Moore On 1/17/17 at 6:04 PM

Saudi Arabia carried out its first execution of the year on Tuesday.

Authorities executed Mamdouh al Anzi after a court convicted him of shooting another Saudi national to death following a dispute, the interior ministry said in a statement, AFP news agency reported.

Lawmakers put Anzi to death in the northeastern city of Arar, located near the Iraqi border.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia executed 158 people, the highest recorded total in the Gulf Kingdom since 1995. In that year, the country's authorities executed 192 people.

Last year, it executed 153 people, a small decrease on the figure for 2015. Many of those executions were likely carried out by beheading with a sword, the most common method of carrying out the death penalty in the country.

However, Saudi Arabia still ranks behind China and Iran in execution rates.

Rights groups believe China to have a poor record on the death penalty, with many executions not publicly announced.

Riyadh says that the death penalty, the harshest punishment under the country's strict version of Islamic law, serves as a deterent to criminals or those who act against the values of the state.

Saudi's recent execution of a prince, the first in the country since 1975, sought to show that nobody was above the law.

But rights groups have said many trials are flawed and some people are executed under unfair circumstances. They have suggested that Saudi Arabia implement a moratorium on the punishment with immediate effect.
U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Re: States revamping execution...
Last post by resist - February 12, 2017, 07:30:26 PM

Shooting has a good track record. So does electrocution, despite how many times it was used (4,374 times). "Botched" for electrocution usually just means there were some sparks or rarely, flames, or that they had to throw the switch more than once.
U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Re: Nebraska State Senator Ern...
Last post by resist - February 11, 2017, 06:16:29 PM
The state does not have a supply of the lethal drugs that would be needed to carry out an execution.  ...
Accordingly, Nebraska is in a holding pattern as to whether the state will be able to carry out an execution anytime soon.  The state made the switch from the electric chair to lethal injection a few years ago
They not only switched from electric chair, they ruled it unconstitutional, thereby making it unavailable as a backup method.

Republican Gov. Dave Heineman said the ruling amounted to "judicial activism."

"I am appalled by the Nebraska Supreme Court's decision," he said. "Today the court has asserted itself improperly as a policy maker. Once again, this activist court has ignored its own precedent and the precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court to continue its assault on the Nebraska death penalty."
U.S. Death Penalty Discussion / Re: States revamping execution...
Last post by resist - February 11, 2017, 06:05:13 PM
Mississippi legislator Andy Gipson said he introduced House Bill 638 in response to lawsuits filed by "liberal, left-wing radicals" challenging the use of lethal injection drugs as cruel and unusual punishment.
I suspect that the strategy is that if you challenge the default execution method, a seemingly harsher (not really) method of execution is waiting in the wings. The lawyer risks sparing his client from LI or nitrogen asphyxiation only to have the client end up getting shot or fried.

Mississippi hasn't been able to acquire the execution drugs it once used
Which is why they're going to have to switch methods. Preferably to methods that use abundant rope, bullets, or electricity.

He said with the firing squad, for example, the state would have to set protocols and procedures to reduce the risk of torture, and he doubts the Department of Corrections has prepared to do that.
Utah has protocols ready to share with other states. By all accounts it's fast and humane. This is not a real issue.

The only real problem is a perverse incentive for the judicial system to never refuse a case, even if they will eventually rule against the offender. The strategy here needs to focus less on how to physically execute capital offenders, which was already solved a hundred years ago, and more on how to minimize superfluous litigation.
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