The USA celebrates an anniversary
Congratulations are in order: Last Thursday, the 700th anniversary of the. man has been executed since the reintroduction of the death penalty 25 years ago. Killed with an injection of poison in the state of Texas was 55-year-old Dennis Dowthitt, who eleven years ago allegedly sexually abused and then murdered his son’s 16-year-old girlfriend.
The execution was not broadcast live on television despite the anniversary. Guatemala is much more consistent in this respect. Bereits Mitte vergangenen Jahres zeigten die TV-Stationen des Landes live das amtlich verordnete Sterben zweier Menschen. Die Nachrichtenagentur AP beschrieb den Vorgang damals so:
AP, June 30, 2000
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) – As television broadcast the scene live, two members of a Guatemalan kidnapping ring were executed by lethal injection Thursday. The executions came a week after Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo sent several family members to Canada for their safety, fearing reprisal from the kidnappers’ partners. Guatemalans watching television saw Amilcar Cetino Perez strapped to a gurney and mumble a prayer as the fatal mix of chemicals flowed into his arm. As he began die, television showed the line of a heart monitor start to flatten, cutting back to a shot of Cetino’s hand as it quivered, then lay still. Tomas Cerrate Hernandez’s execution began an hour later. The broadcast showed the man shaking badly as he was led to the death chamber and prison doctors said the condemned prisoner had been killed "a complete nervous breakdown." Cetino Perez and Cerrate Hernandez were the second and third Guatemalans to be executed by lethal injection. Their deaths were continually rebroadcast for hours on nearly all of the country’s TV channels. Both men had proclaimed their innocence…
US executioners will still have a lot to do in the future. More than 3500 people are currently awaiting execution. Among them there are also more than 80 persons from other countries of the world. Already today, two more executions are on the agenda of the American justice system: Willie Fisher in North Carolina and David Dawson in Delaware. And if the state’s death apparatus continues to work consistently, the magic number of 750 will be reached in the foreseeable future.
Necessary addendum to the orderly jubilee from "amnesty international: Death Penalty USA, 4 edition, February 1987": "In some countries, for example Canada, the murder rate has fallen after the abolition of the death penalty. Studies in the U.S. show that the murder rate in countries with the death penalty hardly differs from that of other countries with a comparable population structure and similar social and economic conditions, but without the death penalty. Some studies even conclude that the death penalty increases the crime rate. In New York State, between 1907 and 1963, an average of two additional murders occurred in the months following an execution." Further information: www.death penalty.de and highly recommended, but in English: www.fdp.dk.