Former US president Jimmy Carter has called for a new nationwide moratorium on the death penalty, arguing that it is applied so unfairly across the 32 states that still have the death sentence that it amounts to a form of cruel and unusual punishment prohibited under the US constitution.
In an interview with the Guardian, Carter calls on the US supreme court to reintroduce the ban on capital punishment that it imposed between 1972 and 1976. The death penalty today, he said, was every bit as arbitrary as it was when the nine justices suspended it on grounds of inconsistency in the case of Furman v Georgia 41 years ago.
“It’s time for the supreme court to look at the totality of the death penalty once again,” Carter said. “My preference would be for the court to rule that it is cruel and unusual punishment, which would make it prohibitive under the US constitution.”
Carter’s appeal for a new moratorium falls at a time of mounting unease about the huge disparities in the use of capital punishment in America. Recent research has shown that most of the 1,352 executions that have taken place since the supreme court allowed them to recommence in 1976 have emanated from just 2% of the counties in the nation.
Amid a critical shortage of medical drugs used in lethal injections caused by a European boycott of US corrections departments, death penalty states are also adopting increasingly desperate execution methods. The new techniques range from deploying previously untested sedatives in lethal injections, to concocting improvised batches of the chemicals through compounding pharmacies….
Please, read article here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/11/jimmy-carter-supreme-court-death-penalty