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April 6, 2007

Not quite all the capital news

The Death Penalty Information Center and also the blogs Capital Defense Weekly and Ohio Death Penalty Information and StandDown Texas Project all have a lot of new items discussing a lot of death penalty developments.  However, no one is discussing the hearing held in Tennessee yesterday regarding the state's examination of its lethal injection methods: the state's Department of Correction is saying it will have an effective protocol in place for an execution scheduled next month; experienced attorneys are saying that the timeframe the Department has to investigate deficiencies in the state's lethal injection process is "nonsense."

Moreover, I continue to be amazed that the Bush Administration's acceptance of de facto moratorium on federal executions (discussed here) has received almost no attention from anyone.  (In fact, the latest entry on the Federal Bureau of Prisons media page is this December 2006 press release which states that the "Federal Bureau of Prisons has set April 16, 2007, as the date on which to carry out the death sentence of inmate Bruce Carneil Webster, at the Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute, Indiana."  I hope someone tells the BOP about the stay (which the Justice Department did not oppose) before it starts preparing Webster's last meal.)

The lack of attention given to all these lethal injection realities further confirms my view that modern death penalty debates are really about the symbolism of death sentences and not about the practical realities of executions (even though, of course, most deterrence research is focused only on executions, not death sentences).

April 6, 2007 at 04:25 PM | Permalink


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The issue in Tennessee was not the lethal injection itself, but the manual. Sedley Alley's execution went off without a hitch.

Posted by: federalist | Apr 6, 2007 5:01:51 PM

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