The Boston Globe: ‘Thank Death Penalty Foes For Firing Squads’

The Boston Globe ran a piece ironically titled “Thank Death Penalty Foes For Firing Squads.”

In a twist of logic, the piece blames death penalty opponents for states quest for more cruel and unusual forms of putting people to death.

Boston Globe:  “This quest for substitutes to lethal injection is the result of a determined campaign by death-penalty opponents to keep pharmaceutical companies from selling the drugs used in executions to state prison systems. But it’s one thing to impede the use of a specific method of executing murderers — even a method that had widely been regarded as the most humane alternative to electrocution or hanging. It’s something quite different, something much more difficult, to overturn the longstanding American consensus that in the most terrible cases of murder, killers should pay with their lives.”

However, there’s one big reason why the United States has a dearth of execution drugs so acute that some states are considering solutions such as firing squads and gas chambers: Europe’s fierce hostility to capital punishment, states Business Insider.

Business Insider states that the phenomenon started nine years ago when the EU banned the export of products used for execution, citing its goal to be the “leading institutional actor and largest donor to the fight against the death penalty.”

According to Amnesty International, 140 countries have abolished the death penalty.

That is the majority.

In 2013, 22 countries around the world were known to have carried out executions and at least 57 to have imposed death sentences.

The Boston Globe seems to blame Europe – and the world – for America turning to firing squads because of a lack of appropriate death penalty drugs.

The Boston Globe:

“But the last American manufacturer of the drug halted production in 2011, and a European embargo on exporting the needed drugs for use in executions made it impossible to get them from overseas. Some states, forced to improvise as their inventory dwindled, turned to unnamed compounding pharmacies, or they formulated new, largely untested, lethal-injection protocols. In some instances, such as the bungled execution of Oklahoma murderer-rapist Clayton Lockett last year, the results have been gruesome and disturbing.”

In the words of Larry Flynt, who was shot by Joseph Paul Franklin in 1978, “…a government that forbids killing among its citizens should not be in the business of killing people itself.”

More here:

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0777460.html#ixzz3UlvvE6AT

http://www.businessinsider.com/americas-lethal-injection-drug-crisis-starts-in-europe-2014-2#ixzz3UlteKEHc

Is There Censorship Surrounding The Death Penalty?

Due to a European Union ban on selling drugs used in lethal injections, death penalty states now rely on compounding pharmacies, according to Business Insider.

Compounding pharmacies are typically small businesses who produce execution cocktails to order. These compounds are unregulated by the FDA, and their manufacturers are cloaked in secrecy, states ReasonTV.

“Since the 70s, America has tried to sanitize the way it kills people in death chambers by saying that this is an act of medical intervention,” says Ed Pilkington, chief reporter for The Guardian US.

Pilkington describes the botched execution of Clayton Lockett of Oklahoma in April 2014, as related to him by a Guardian colleague who witnessed Lockett’s execution:

“He was groaning, he was shouting out. They were finding it impossible to get the vein, so blood was spurting over all the people in the death chamber, I mean it was the most horrendous situation. And right at that moment they decided to shut the curtain, which would prevent any witnesses, including reporters, from seeing what happened.”

Pilkington calls this the “most visceral form of censorship” and says “there should be maximum transparency.”

He claims the current system has complete secrecy surrounding every step of the execution process, from the sources of the drugs themselves to the grisly reality when those drugs fail to kill the condemned in a timely and painless fashion.

Missouri is one of 13 states to have expanded what are known as “black hood laws,” which are meant to protect the identities of executioners, to now also make confidential everyone involved in the production and delivery of lethal injection drugs. These laws even supersede the Freedom of Information Act.

In response, The Guardian, Associated Press, and several prominent Missouri newspapers have filed suit against the state, in what is believed to be the First Amendment challenge to the death penalty.

The lawsuit argues the public has a First Amendment right to access all information pertaining to government activities in capital cases, beginning in the courtroom, through the death chamber, and into the autopsy room. No court date has been set.


ReasonTV

More on Ed Pilkington

Are Firing Squads Making A Return In Utah?

Last Wednesday, the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee in Utah voted 9-2 to approve legislation that would bring back firing squads for executions.

The bill, which will likely head to the full legislature early next year, would mandate a court hearing prior to an execution, in which a judge would determine whether the state had sufficient drugs to carry out a lethal injection. If the judge ruled that there were insufficient drugs, a firing squad would be mandated.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, State Rep. Paul Ray says the state currently doesn’t use them.

TYT video.