Black death row inmates suffer botched executions at twice rate of whites in US


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By Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

Black incarcerated people have been subjected to prolonged and painful botched executions in the US at more than twice the rate of white death row inmates, a new study has found.

While glaring racial disparities have long been visible in US capital punishment, the report from the international human rights group Reprieve finds that the inequities exist even inside the death chamber. It reveals a shocking racial disparity in the rate of botched executions in which lethal injections went awry, both nationwide and in individual death penalty states.

Reprieve analyzed all lethal injection executions between 1976, when the US death penalty was restarted after a brief pause, and 2023. It chronicled 73 confirmed botched procedures – a shocking figure in itself given the suffering that prolonged and flawed executions can cause despite the promise of a “humane” death made by advocates of lethal injections.

When looked at through a racial lens, 8% of executions of Black people were botched (37 times out of 465 executions), compared with 4% for white people (28 out of 780).

Continue reading to learn about the attention garnered by this report.

Read about why so many Black people are imprisoned.

More news about the black experience.

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