June 16, 2014
After two-month hiatus, will Georgia and Florida get US machineries of death back on line this week?
A few days after the ugly execution in Oklahoma at the end of April, I wondered in this post whether all the attention and controversy that one execution generated would impact death penalty administration outside the Sooner State. Now, with nearly two months having gone by without any subsequent executions completed anywhere in the United States (and it seems only a handful of executions now scheduled for the coming summer months), I am prepared to assert that Oklahoma's woes have had a national impact.
While litigation over lethal injection protocols and various drug shortages had slowed the pace of executions down considerably, before the ugly Oklahoma execution the pace was starting again to pick back up. Indeed, over the first 4 months of 2014, the US completed on average five executions each month and was on pace for the highest yearly total of executions in more than a decade. But with everything seemingly slowing down after the Oklahoma mess, it now seems possible the US will have the fewest executions in 2014 than in any year in over two decades.
For those who pay very close attention to the death penalty and wonder about its future in the US, this coming week is one to watch real closely. As detailed in local press reports here and here, both Gerogia and Florida have executions schedule for the next few days. If these executions go forward and lethal injections proceed without a hitch, there is a greater likelihood that the US will be starting its return to execution business as usual. But if one or both of these executions get stayed or end up being botched in some manner, I suspect US death penalty and execution realities will remain quite dyanmic and unpredictable for the months and perhaps years ahead.
Some recent related posts:
- First of two planned Oklahoma executions botched, though condemned dies of heart attack after getting execution drugs
- Ugly Oklahoma execution leading to calls for national moratorium
- Sampling of reactions and commentary in wake of Oklahoma's execution problems
- New details emerge concerning ugly Oklahoma execution
- Other than perhaps in Oklahoma, will this week's ugly execution change any death penalty dynamics?
- Shouldn't Congress be holding hearings to explore federal and state execution methods?
- Poll after ugly execution highlights enduring death penalty support and openness to various execution methods
- Has the ugly execution in Oklahoma succeeded in slowing US machineries of death?
June 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM | Permalink
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