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Articles on Execution

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Courts have failed to understand the role childhood trauma can play in adult criminal behaviour. (Shutterstock)

Criminal justice needs a better understanding of childhood trauma

The execution of Lisa Montgomery in the U.S. earlier this year demonstrates how society misunderstands the effects of mental illness and trauma on criminal behaviour.
Four of the 10 federal prisoners executed this year: Wesley Purkey, killed July 16; Dustin Honken, killed July 17; Brandon Bernard, killed Dec. 10; and Alfred Bourgeois, killed Dec. 11. In some cases, survivors of their victims addressed the court. AP Photo

When families of murder victims speak at death penalty trials, their anguish may make sentencing less fair

Victim impact statements give survivors a voice in the criminal justice process. But research shows their wrenching personal testimonies may not bring closure and can add racial bias into sentencing.
President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One, June 6, 2019. AP/Alex Brandon

Impeachment is better than exile

When the founders wrote the Constitution, they had to devise a punishment fitting for a civil servant’s impeachment. One possible punishment: banishment from the community.
People, including the activist group Code Pink, hold signs at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia during a protest about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Oct. 10, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

In the end, it was Khashoggi’s ‘friends’ who silenced him

Missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was no ordinary reporter. His contacts included the Royal Family as well as known terrorists.

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