At the End of Death Row
Following recent botched executions in several states, Rajini Vaidyanathan asks whether the future of the death penalty in the US is itself now in question. She travels to Tennessee to investigate how the case of one death row inmate started a legal process which has created a severe shortage of drugs for lethal injections – making the death penalty more difficult, expensive and legally complex to carry out across the country.
What might come next if the drug shortage becomes worse? Tennessee state legislators recently passed a bill replacing lethal injection with the electric chair if drugs cannot be found, while other states have moved to hide their suppliers and diversify their supplies.
Rajini also speaks to death penalty supporters, and a new breed of opponents, about how they are trying to change the political debate around the death penalty. Is it possible that the United States could give up on the death penalty?
(Photo: The gurney in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. Credit: AP)