Apr
11

ThinkProgress – One Sentence That Could Help End The Death Penalty In America

By Tara Culp-Ressler on April 10, 2014 at 9:00 am

Dennis McGuire struggled, choked, and gasped for air before he finally died, as his adult children watched on in horror. The state of Ohio used a never-before-used mix of drugs to kill him, and he appeared to slowly suffocate to death. Witnesses said the process took about 25 minutes, making it the longest execution since the state reinstituted capital punishment 15 years ago.

When Kelsey Kauffman, a retired Indiana resident and progressive activist, saw the headlines about McGuire — whose death sparked widespread outrage about the nature of lethal injections in the United States — she wanted to do something in response. So Kaufmann started a petition through SumOfUs, a group that allows citizens to organize to advance social justice causes.

Her ask? Get the American Pharmacist Association to add a sentence to its code of ethics to explicitly ban its members from participating in executions.

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Apr
7

USA Today – Supreme Court denies case on death penalty drugs

Richard Wolf and Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY 11:45 a.m. EDT April 7, 2014

WASHINGTON — As states scramble to find drugs needed to carry out executions, the Supreme Court won’t decide for now whether condemned prisoners deserve to know how they will die.

The justices denied a hearing Monday to a Louisiana inmate who asked that state officials tell him what lethal-injection drugs they have planned for his demise.

The case would have put the court squarely at the center of a life-and-death debate over the constitutional rights of even the most depraved killers to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment.

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Feb
24

Bloomberg Opinion – Ban the Death Penalty


By The Editors Feb 23, 2014 9:11 PM ET

A grisly new consideration may start a necessary debate over capital punishment in the U.S., which is unique among advanced nations in its use of the death penalty. The distinction isn’t one to be proud of and should be brought to an end.

Since the 1980s, the use of lethal injection has made executions seem a little more clinical and a little less barbaric. But recently pharmaceutical companies have refused to supply some of the fatal drugs, and some executions have raised doubts that this way of killing is less cruel. Executioners are now preparing to rely on more traditional methods. Firing squads, gas chambers and electric chairs might make Americans queasier about the whole business, and willing to consider the issue afresh.