[QODLink]
Fault Lines
The politics of death row
With the US continuing to execute prisoners, Fault Lines looks at the politics driving capital punishment in the US.
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2010 11:14

With the US continuing to execute prisoners, Fault Lines presenter Josh Rushing looks at the politics driving capital punishment in the US.

Eighty per cent of the executions the US carries out occur in a handful of states in the South - where it is popular for politicians to run "tough on crime" campaigns.

Fault Lines travels to Oklahoma – which executes more prisoners per capita than any other state in the country. Josh Rushing gained rare access to Oklahoma's death row and the prisoners there.

But across the US, there is a slow, but significant shift in America's attitude towards the death penalty.
 
DNA testing and, in some states, a willingness by judges and prosecutors to revisit old capital cases have led to many well-publicised exonerations of death row inmates.

Since 1973 over 130 innocent people have been released from death row after establishing their innocence. The possibility of getting it wrong may have made juries nervous to hand out the death penalty … preferring life without parole.

And while the US is still very much pro-death for capital offences, that support has dropped to 65 per cent in 2006, down from 80 per cent in 1994.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.