29 March, 2011

Arizona and then Alabama - continue with executions

The U.S. State of Arizona has executed Eric John King by lethal injection for the murders, committed in 1987, of two men in a store.  The case has a number of features which are not uncommon among prisoners executed in the USA.  He came from a poor background; had an alcoholic and abusive father; got into drugs and alcohol by the age of 9; his mother held a gun to his head when he was 10; he left home at age 15 and got into a life of crime.  He was convicted in 1991 - on evidence which ought to have given the appellate systems cause for serious concern - and sentenced to death.  He was therefore held under sentence of death for 20 years.  On 29th March 2011, Arizona's Department of Corrections website indicated that (including King) there were 131 prisoners on "death row."  Since 1993, Arizona has executed 22 people by lethal injection.  Prior to that the gas chamber was used and, in the early part of the 20th century, hanging.  Surely it ought to be plain from such statistics that capital punishment does not actually act as a deterrent to crime.

See Washington Post 29th March
Arizona Department of Corrections

Addendum 30th March:  "A final appeal against capital punishment" - Amy Goodman in The Guardian 30/3/11

Addendum 1st April:  In the State of Alabama, William Glenn Boyd was executed by lethal injection on 31st March 2011.  He, along with Robert Milstead, was convicted of two murders committed in 1986.  The jury recommended life imprisonment without parole.  That sentence was imposed on Milstead because he testified against Boyd in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.

1 comment:

ObiterJ said...

I think the following comment was intended for this thread:-

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