Ruth Ellis was the last person to hang in England (in 1955), and even then, there are those who think she was not guilty of the crime or that at worst, it was manslaughter but then again she may have been protecting someone else, the real murderer.
Since then, the United Kingdom abolished capital punishment though there remain many who wish it was reinstated. In America, as we know, each of their States has differing rules and then diverse methods of official capital punishments.
In old movies we saw car chases before culprits could cross State Lines, and thereby enter different jurisdictions, although I have been given to believe, that extradition between States exists, akin to that between countries, but could have caveats as the same relates to death penalties, in one way or the other.
Many say that those who advocate capital punishment should themselves be willing (in the case of hanging for instance) to pull the lever.
In America they were more known for favouring the electric chair for such expeditious facility, or the gas chamber, but in recent years, chemicals are injected in many cases. The execution itself is viewed by a mix of people to ensure impartial corroboration and reporting.
There are those who say that only relatives of people murdered should decide on the issues of capital punishment, and one can understand why they say that.
Where there is no doubt, then the perpetrator of cold blooded murder may well be deserving, in the view of society, of having their own life taken, but how many people (including relatives of those murdered), would actually want to condone what would be, after all, a second murder – the very crime of which the convicted person is/was found guilty of in the first place. Hopefully, the majority of us will never know our stance in such a situation.
Many do forgive the convicted, others do not, but I do not think after conviction, their views would go any way for sentence being commuted to life of imprisonment, though I am unaware of that point under American Law.
Clive Stafford-Smith is well known for working as a lawyer in this unique urgent legal arena of death row, and is a man of a different type of conviction as can be seen via his unique work.
The word reprieve does, itself, quantify his never ceaseless efforts to try and be a voice for those on death row. For years he has been fighting to overturn the wrongful conviction of one man especially, but not exclusively, and currently is presenting new evidence in that regard.
Now, it appears that in the State of Arkansas, the chemical or fatal injections are legally suspended because the elements to be used have a sell-by date which expires by the end of April 2017.
One can read via the link herein how these chemicals are utilised – it is not just a case of putting a person to sleep. Apparently, on one occasion a lethal injection was used, it took a man a long time to die, and it was thought it to be in a most painful way.
The manufacturers of the substance(s), used to kill these prisoners, claim they did not want their products to be used for such purpose (which begs the question what was the intended use) and have given back the payment. No doubt it has the feel of blood money.
Apparently, new quantities were obtained leaving a manufacturer to believe it must have been ‘obtained’ from their property and they have requested its return. Without any labelling then also, in future, there would be no sell-by date issues.
Two key aspects remain – what if a truly innocent person is legally killed and evidence later comes to light they were telling the truth – then truly a murder would have been committed – and so who then is their murderer, and what happens to them – nothing.
Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine