how europe is slowly banning the american death penalty

Execution_of_Stanislaus_Lacroix_in_Hull_Quebec_Canada_1902William Watkin at 3:AM Magazine:

The rate of executions has been decreasing in America for a couple of years now. Some states have just stopped executing. Others such as Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Maryland and New York have gone even further and taken the death penalty off the statute books. The result is that only a handful of states, die-hard vengeful places like Florida, Texas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, still doggedly pursue death by lethal injection. The reasons for this are not moral, legal or philosophical. Rather, the slow collapse of one of America’s most cherished and reviled institutions, death row, is due to primarily managerial reasons, specifically the meat and potatoes of any failing business model: supply of stock and training of staff.

There are two fundamental problems with the lethal injection in the US today. Either you can’t get the drugs or, if you can, you just can’t get them in the arms of the accused, without yourself being accused of breaking the eighth amendment, forbidding cruel and unusual punishment. How did we get to this pretty pass, committed as we have been to kill criminals whatever the cost?

Considering the promise of efficiency that is part and parcel of the medicalisation of the death penalty with the development of the lethal injection, it is surprising to note that, according to Austin Sarat, 7% of all lethal injections have been ‘botched’ as opposed to 3% of all other methods. One possible problem with the lethal injection is that to kill someone in this way you need expertise, training and of course the will to kill.

more here.