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July 4, 2006

Should executions be more public?

There has long been a debate over whether modern executions, like those done long ago, ought to be more public events.  (See, e.g., this FindLaw commentary by Austin Sarat from five years ago.)  But this news story from Arkansas puts a new twist on this interesting issue:

A condemned killer who had been scheduled to die Wednesday before his execution was stayed by a federal judge says the process of putting a person to death should be open more to the public _ up to a point. Don Davis is asking Gov. Mike Huckabee to make executions more public in the hope that this might deter others from committing violent crimes.

The 43-year-old Davis, convicted of the 1990 slaying of a Rogers woman, said in an e-mail through a friend and anti-death penalty advocate that he has concerns about Arkansas' "hidden, almost secret, way executions are carried out" and he believes it would be sensible to make them more public....  In the e-mail, Davis also invited the governor for a visit to discuss these ideas.

July 4, 2006 at 07:41 AM | Permalink


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A primetime TV contract would net a lot of money - probably enough to go on another prison building spree. Hell, if it comes to that, maybe I'll start my own company to bid on the t-shirt, popcorn and candy concessions. And balloons, we must have baloons! ;-) /sarcasm

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