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The future of the death penalty

Activists participate in a vigil against the death penalty in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Activists participate in a vigil against the death penalty in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Support for capital punishment is at a50-year low

But there are still 29 executionsscheduled for 2023, including in Texas, where there is anongoing caseagainst the state for the use of expired drugs to administer a lethal injection.

Out of the 20 lethal injection executions conducted in 2022, seven were botched. That’s about 35 percent.

Robert Dunham is the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. He calls 2022 “the year of the botched execution:

After 40 years, the states have proven themselves unable to carry out lethal injections without the risk that it will be botched. The families of victims and prisoners, other execution witnesses, and corrections personnel should not be subjected to the trauma of an execution gone bad.

Texas isn’t the only state with issues surrounding its lethal injection procedures.Alabamais considering death by hypoxia for capital punishment after repeated issues administering lethal injection. An investigation inTennesseefound the state has violated lethal injection protocols since 2018. 

We talk with our panel about the administration of the death penalty and its waning public support.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Jorgelina Manna-Rea