Execution Scene in Arkansas Attracts International Media

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About a dozen international reporters are covering Arkansas’ attempt to execute eight death row inmates, Arkansas Public Media reports. Anne Widmann is a documentary filmmaker from Switzerland. She’s staying in Pine Bluff, near where the executions are scheduled. “I would say that Pine Bluff is kind of a sad place,” she says. There also are reporters from France, Sweden, England and Canada. Widmann says Europeans are talking about the Arkansas governor’s decision to execute so many people in such a short time frame.

Says Ed Pilkington of the London-based Guardian, “You say to the world you’re intending to execute up to eight prisoners in 11 days, and that in itself is just an astonishing statement …How are you going to do it, and how are you going to do it without botching it?” Sandra Johansson of Svenska Dagbladet in Sweden, which doesn’t conduct executions, says most people in her country don’t think the death penalty is fair. The Guardian’s Pilkington says the planned executions have led to outrage in his country. He says that’s why capital punishment was abolished there decades ago, and there’s no sign of it coming back.

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