WATCH: Attorney General Calls for Moratorium on Death Penalty
Troy Davis. Carlos DeLuna. Gary Graham. These men, and unknown numbers of others, were wrongfully executed at the hands of the state. Thanks to police investigation errors, mistaken eyewitness testimonies and faulty forensic science, innocent people have languished in prison for years before they were unjustly killed.
Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder called for a moratorium on the death penalty until the Supreme Court rules on the use of lethal injection drugs in Oklahoma, in the hopes of avoiding any more wrongful executions. He called the possibility of killing an innocent person “inevitable.”
Holder, who made it clear he was expressing his personal opinion rather than that of the administration, explained his views to an audience at Washington D.C.’s National Press Club.
"Our system of justice is the best in the world. It is comprised of men and women who do the best in the world. It is comprised of men and women who do the best they can, get it right more often than not, substantially more right than wrong. There’s always the possibility that mistakes will be made… It’s for that reason that I am opposed to the death penalty."
The Supreme Court is currently reviewing the Oklahoma case, which was brought by death row inmates who believe lethal injection violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Anyone who has read an account of the brutal, prolonged death of Clayton Lockett, who spent 43 minutes writhing in agony after Oklahoma officials gave him a three-drug cocktail, will understand their perspective. The prison warden present at Lockett’s execution last spring called the scene “a bloody mess.”
Both Oklahoma and Florida have ordered moratoriums on execution by means of lethal injection pending the Supreme Court’s decision.
h/t Huffington Post