The Danish Medical Group Against the Death Penalty Dødsstraf


The Danish Medical Group Against the Death Penalty

The Danish Medical Group Against the Death Penalty has worked against the death penalty on an international scale since 1982. Being the only one of its kind, the group has had a great impact in several countries, putting pressure on authorities, medical associations and the pharma industry all over the world.

History of the group
Current Issues

Current issues:

NPR Investigation of Lethal-Injection Autopsies Finds Executed Prisoners Experience Sensations of Suffocation and Drowning.

A new National Public Radio (NPR) analysis of more than 200 autopsies of death-row prisoners executed by lethal injection has found that 84% of those executed showed evidence of pulmonary edema, a condition in which a person’s lungs fill with fluid that creates the feeling of suffocation or drowning that experts have likened to waterboarding.

Published October 2020 - LB

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Reverses Course, Takes A Second Foreign National with Intellectual Disability Off Death Row

For second time in eight days, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (TCCA) has reversed course after initially rejecting a death-row prisoner’s claim of intellectual disability and has resentenced the prisoner to life. The decisions, both involving foreign nationals and both supported by local prosecutors, marked the sixth and seventh time that Texas courts have vacated death sentences imposed on intellectually disabled capital defendants since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2017 struck down the unconstitutionally restrictive definition of intellectual disability the state had been using.

Published October 2020 - LB

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Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has, for the second time, reversed a Philadelphia court’s denial of Russell Cox’s claim of intellectual disability and remanded for further consideration of his claim.

The trial court required Russell Cox to prove adaptive deficits through psychometric testing, disregarding the testimony of lay witnesses concerning his deficits. After surveying U.S. Supreme Court decisions on intellectual disability, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court noted that state standards for assessing intellectual functioning and adaptive deficits “must rely heavily upon the current expressions and practices of the medical community, rather than upon politically created rules divorced from medical expertise.” Standardized tests are not “the sole means to ascertain a person’s adaptive behaviors,” the court said, returning the case to the trial court to review Cox’s claim under an appropriate standard.

Published November 2020 - LB

Work and Purpose

The work and purpose of the group

The groups raison d’être is the abolishment of the death penalty on a general level and preventing physicians and other health professionals from participating in the death penalty on a specific level. To achieve this goal the group works in a range of different ways, such as letter writing and raising media-awareness.

The methods and purpose of the group
Knowledge Bank

Country specific information

All over the world doctors and other health personnel participate in executions due to their profession-specific knowledge. This happens in as different countries as the US and Saudi Arabia, Japan and Uganda. 53 countries in the world have the death penalty. The Danish Medical Group has chosen to focus on a handful of these countries, and you can learn more about these countries in this section.

Knowledge bank of Countries
Declarations and policies

Declarations Against Capital Punishment

Resolutions and policies are the medical associations’ possibility to take a stand on a policy field. Over the years many national as well as international medical associations have chosen to do so in relation to capital punishment. On this site you will find some of the most important.

Overview of declarations and policies
The Medical Execution and Medical Assistance at Executions

The Medical Execution and Medical Assistance at Executions

In 1977, Oklahoma Medical Examiner, Dr. A. Jay Chapman, marched into the Oklahoma Statehouse and dictated the formula for a cocktail of three drugs to a lawmaker looking for a more humane way to execute prisoners.
As Chapman spoke, Rep. Bill Wiseman scribbled on a legal yellow pad. That afternoon, Wiseman introduced the bill that made Oklahoma the first state to adopt “lethal injection”, the medical execution killing prisoners with medicine.

The Medical Execution and Medical Assistance at Executions
Death Penalty and Mental Illness

Death Penalty and Mental Illness

Many countries have a Mental Health Law that includes a wide variety of legal topics and pertain to people with a diagnosis or possible diagnosis of mental illness. Laws relating to mental illness may include criminal laws, including laws governing fitness for trial or execution.

Death Penalty and Mental Illness
Contact info

Trump’s Final Cruelty: Executing Prisoners Sent via @updayUK


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