The Death Penalty Project

Tracking the policies and procedures that dictate how people are put to death in the United States.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

3 Articles

Five myths about the death penalty

From its role as a deterrent to lavish last meals that only exist in the public imagination, popular misconceptions remain about the way people are put to death in America.

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Utah Department of Corrections releases Technical Manual for their execution process

When Emily Hopkins requested death penalty procedures from the Utah Department of Corrections in 2015, they were met with a rejection, and after that a denied appeal. However, whether it was the result of a new public records officer or a change in UDC policy, a request filed this year led to the release of the Technical Manual used in carrying out executions, including procedures for the firing squad.

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Amid growing scrutiny, Utah refuses to release firing squad procedures

There is a lot of common lore surrounding logistics of firing squads - one gun contains a blanks, executioners aim for the heart, not the head, there may be a blindfold and a cigarette. But what’s actually on the books is a bit of a mystery, and in Utah, where a shortage of lethal drugs has brought the firing squad out of retirement, no light is going to be shed on the issue anytime soon.

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