The prolonged execution of a prisoner in Arizona yesterday represents another wake-up call for authorities in the USA to abolish the death penalty, said Amnesty International.
“How many more times do officials need to be reminded of the myth of the ‘humane execution’ before they give up on their experiment with judicial killing?” asked Rob Freer, Amnesty International Researcher on the USA.
At least three executions have not gone according to plan in the USA this year alone.
Amnesty International does not believe that there is any such thing as a humane execution, or that the cruelty of the death penalty is confined to what goes on in the death chamber.
Holding someone under a threat of death – for years or even decades – can hardly be described as the conduct of a state adopting a progressive approach to criminal justice or human rights.
“However the state chooses to kill the prisoner – and whether the execution goes according to plan or not – does not change the fact that this is a punishment incompatible with fundamental human rights principles,” said Rob Freer.