Posts Tagged ‘Arkansas’


Latest death penalty report available

The latest report is now available thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it.  Note that China remains the world’s largest execution but details are a state secret.

Report (Word)

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Attached is the Death Penalty report for April – May prepared by group member Lesley.  It contains an update on the rush to execute people in Arkansas USA because of the imminent expiry of the drugs used.  There is also an update on the situation with Reggie Clemons.

Report (pdf)

 


Petition to the Governor Asa Hutchinson to stop the execution due this week

The rush to carry out executions in Arkansas, USA, continues apace with another one due tomorrow (Thursday 27th).  This is a petition (see below) to send to the Governor asking him to stop.  The panic to get the executions done is because the drugs being used are due to expire.  Adds a new meaning to ‘sell by date’ we see on our foodstuffs.

The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights, as it violates the right to life. It is also a cruel and inhumane punishment that may constitute torture.

Amnesty always oppose the death penalty in every case because it violates rights. The idea of lethal injection as a ‘humane’ form of execution is simply a myth. There have been numerous cases of ‘botched’ executions by lethal injection in the US in recent years, with prisoners failing to die quickly or ‘quietly’.  See our post on the process to be followed in California.

If you get time to send an urgent email that would be appreciated.

 

Petition to Arkansas


UPDATE: two executed today (25 April)

‘Execution by assembly line’

The death penalty saga in Arkansas continues with a blizzard of legal writs and appeals to the Supreme Court.  The heart of the matter was the desire of the Governor, Asa Hutchinson, to execute eight inmates before the drugs run out.  Ledell Lee was executed last Thursday.  States with the death penalty are finding it harder to obtain the medication to carry out the executions.  This is partly due to the activities of anti-death penalty groups, waning support for the penalty with 49% of Americans in favour, and the refusal by drug companies to supply them.  The EU has banned European firms from exporting them.  Indeed, two firms who have supplied drugs – in particular Midazolam – have filed claims against its use on the basis that they were not supplied for that purpose.  These claims have been rejected.

A recent appeal to the Supreme Court was rejected 5 – 4 and key was the vote by the newly appointed Justice Gorsuch.  He was one of President Trump’s appointments.

One of the appeals was to re-examine crime scene materials using modern DNA techniques.  These should prove conclusively either way whether the defendants were guilty or otherwise.  These claims were denied which seems bizarre in the extreme when someone’s life is at stake.  Ledell Lee has now been executed so it is too late for him.  The inadequate nature of trials which lead to the use of the death penalty is describe in Clive Stafford Smith’s book Injustice.   The gruesome process of the death penalty is laid bare in the State of California’s procedure and protocol summarised here.

Arkansa now wants to execute two on the same day which is the first time that will have happened since 1970 in Texas.

This is a fast moving story and no doubt this item will be updated soon.

Sources:

Reuters; BBC; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; Time; Arkansas Times; Death Penalty Information Center


 

 

 


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Death penalty report for March – April 2017

This is the death penalty update report for mid March to mid April thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it.  Some good news – even in China – where the statistics on the use of the penalty are a state secret, tempered by heavy use in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Iran.

Report (Word)



Execution spree in Arkansas, USA

 This urgent action is for Ledell Lee who is one of a number facing imminent execution in Arkansas.  There is a spate of these planned executions in that state due to the imminent expiry of the chemicals used for the execution.  It gives a new meaning to ‘sell by date’.  If you want to read the gruesome details of execution by lethal injection, read an extract from the details sent to us by the state of California.

This case – concerning Ledell Lee – is worth reading even if you do not have the time to write which we hope you will.  It gives a bizarre insight into the legal process and the low standard of defence someone can expect in some states of the Union.  It is just another example described by Clive Stafford Smith in his book on the subject.

The USA is the only state in the Americas which still has the death penalty.

China executes more of its citizens than any other country but the statistics are a state secret.

Urgent Action: Arkansas (pdf)

 


UPDATE: 8 October.  Richard Glossip has been given an indefinite stay of execution

 

We attach the monthly death penalty report for September thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it.  China remains the world leader in the use of the death penalty.

September report

CORRECTION: Philip Hammond is the Foreign Secretary