The Death Penalty Isn't Fair, and Arkansas' Rush to Execute 8 Men Is Latest Example

There is one obvious takeaway from Arkansas' chaotic and misguided attempt to execute eight death row prisoners in a span of 11 days, including two who were put to death Monday evening.The death penalty is arbitrary. It is unfair. And it should have no place in the American justice system.As a newspaper that opposes capital punishment, we ask this question: Why these eight men, and why now? All eight had been sitting on death row since at least 2000 — one since 1989, when President George H.W. Bush was in office. On top of that, Arkansas had not executed a death row inmate since 2005 and seemed in no hurry to do so — until the state discovered that its Midazolam, a controversial lethal injection drug, expired at the end of April. This is the same drug administered in flawed executions in Oklahoma and Arizona, where witnesses said the inmates writhed in apparent pain on the gurney.  Continue reading...

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