Executions to resume in USA
The US Supreme Court has voted to end a de-facto moratorium on federal executions that had prevailed since September, when a challenge to lethal injections was brought to the Court.
The case was brought to the court by two prisoners on death row in Kentucky, arguing that the effects of the lethal three-drug cocktail constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The lethal injection, which replaced hanging, the electric chair and firing squad in 1978 consists of an anesthetic, then a paralysing agent and finally a heart-stopping drug.
The movement against this practice is gaining momentum, especially after recent mis-handled executions in Florida and California, where the prisoners took 30 minutes to die.
What is perhaps most disconcerting about this decision is that 7 of the (supposedly) brightest legal minds in the US thought that the evidence presented by these two inmates failed to show that the lethal injection was unconstitutional. As if killing a human being wasn’t unconstitutional enough.
The US is now the fifth-highest killer of criminals in the world, behind China (470), Iran (317), Saudi Arabia (143) and Pakistan (135). How the US can preach to these nations about democracy and human rights, only to turn around and kill their own citizens is beyond me. It is hypocrisy of the highest degree.
I know all the arguments in favour of the death penalty, but the simple fact is that no society can legislate against murder if they perform it themselves.