What do recent [US-based] botched executions mean for death penalty?

death penalty injectionsource: South Bend Tribune
published: 31 August 2014

Is the death penalty on its last leg? The question is being discussed this summer after three high-profile, prolonged executions in Ohio, Oklahoma and most recently Arizona.

It’s also a timely question as Indiana inches closer to its first execution in five years. The problematic executions highlight a number of questions concerning the nation’s ultimate punishment — the willingness of trained medical professionals to participate in executions and the availability of proven execution drugs, among others.

The executions of Dennis McGuire, Clayton Lockett and Joseph Wood have brought a difficult subject into the limelight.“As a result of this focus, some minds may change,” said Richard Garnett, a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame and an expert on capital punishment. “I think it’s still too soon to say if this will be the catalyst for a new abolition movement.”

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