Death penalty

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USA Death Row

The hangman's noose hears no appeals

The Guardian, July 4 1983
Published as Mrs Thatcher's government attempted to restore the death penalty

The Warden of San Quentin prison in California has witnessed many hangings. This is how he described them to a Senate Judiciary Committee: "The day before an execution, the prisoner goes through a harrowing experience of being weighed, measured for length of drop to ensure breaking of the neck, size of the neck, body measurements etc.
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Fatal flaw in the argument for the death penalty

The Guardian, July 5 1983
Published as Mrs Thatcher's government attempted to restore the death penalty

Graham Blowman has served a life sentence for murdering a Pakistani in a street fight in 1968: "I was very drunk, and this argument just started. There were four of them. I was facing one, and the other three went round behind me. I just wanted to deal with the one and then stop the others. I wasn't thinking of the consequences.
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Living with the gallows in Trinidad

The Guardian, July 5 1983
Published as Mrs Thatcher's government attempted to restore the death penalty

"This afternoon I was told that my plea was turned down. I am to die in the morning. Kind of quick, you may think... I am very tired, my friend. I look forward, in a way, to the long sleep... I will appreciate very much if you would be so kind as to tell my friends that I am dead."
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The governor who hanged Hanratty comes out against death penalty

The Guardian, July 11 1983
Published as Mrs Thatcher's government attempted to restore the death penalty

Mr Reg Llewelyn, a retired prison governor who supervised two hangings, including that of James Hanratty, has written a personal letter to the Home Secretary, Mr Leon Brittan, opposing the restoration of capital punishment.
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Prison governors speak out against hanging

The Guardian, July 11 1983
Published as Mrs Thatcher's government attempted to restore the death penalty

Prison governors have broken ranks with other law enforcement groups by sending an outspoken open letter to the Home Secretary decrying the use of prisons for executions, threatening resignations if their opposition is not heeded, and calling for a new approach to the detention of dangerous prisoners.
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