In recent years, states have struggled to come up with effective means for executing prisoners on death row. European drug companies – some of which are the sole suppliers of the raw ingredients that make up lethal injection cocktails – have refused to sell their products to the United States, as they are based in nations that have outlawed the barbarous practice.
This has resulted in botched executions, some of which have left prisoners writhing in pain before passing. Other states – such as Virginia – have enacted policies that shroud the entire execution process in secrecy. This strategy has emerged as states concoct makeshift means for killing inmates that attract outside criticism.
William Morva – a 35 year-old individual with dual US and Hungarian citizenship – became the first inmate to be executed under Virginia’s new secretive protocols this week. Activists called for Democratic Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe to pardon Morva, who was diagnosed with delusional disorder after his conviction. McAuliffe refused the request.
“I personally oppose the death penalty,” McAuliffe said, “however, I took an oath to uphold the laws of this Commonwealth regardless of my personal views of those laws, as long as they are being fairly and justly applied,”
As states struggle to come up with “humane” means to kill inmates and end up resorting to secretive policies to ensure that the public remains in the dark over the processes behind executions, it is now more than ever time for the country to consider joining the rest of the developed world by banning the death penalty.