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US States Must Start Making Death Penalty Program Accountable to Public

© Flickr / Ken PiorkowskiLethal injection table
Lethal injection table - Sputnik International
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Advocacy group National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Executive Director Diann Rust-Tierney said that ability to trust the government to do the right thing is a direct function of the degree of government accountability.

Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty Executive Director Stacy Anderson claims that the political battle to abolish the death penalty in the US state of Nebraska has become an issue of conscience for the state’s Senators, advocacy group - Sputnik International
Nebraska Death Penalty Plagued by Wrongful Convictions, High Costs - NGO
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US states like Arkansas should cease operating without accountability when applying capital punishment, advocacy group National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Executive Director Diann Rust-Tierney told Sputnik on Thursday.

"The raft of botched executions and the trauma caused to everyone involved can be traced directly to states operating in secrecy and without public accountability," Rust-Tierney said. "Our ability to trust the government to do the right thing is a direct function of the degree of government accountability."

On Wednesday, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said the state’s Supreme Court has postponed indefinitely the executions of two convicted murderers that were scheduled for Wednesday.

The Arkansas Supreme Court issued its own stays of execution after striking down the stays that had earlier been authorized by a judge in Pulaski County, Arkansas.

The death penalty has not been carried out in Arkansas since 2005 because of legal cases challenging the existing law on using lethal injections as well as the lack of drugs to prepare the lethal injection cocktail.

Inmate Charles Warner was executed last night at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. - Sputnik International
Oklahoma Executioners May Have Injected Condemned Man With Wrong Chemicals
"The Court’s decision to examine the state’s new secrecy laws surrounding executions is entirely appropriate," Rust-Tierney said. "This type of secrecy is not consistent with our values as Americans."

Rust-Tierney argued US citizens should always be weary when their government suggests not to worry about what it is doing to other citizens, including that they deserve their fate for they are "bad".

"And by the way, we [the government] get to decide who’s bad,’" Rust-Tierney concluded.

Despite growing popular and legal pressure to scrap the death penalty across the United States, many US states still practice it.

More than 800 people have been executed in the United States in the past 15 years, according to the non-profit Death Penalty Information Center. The state of Texas has put to death 329 people since 2000.

In the first week of October, three convicted murderers were executed in three different US states.

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