Cruel and Unusual

Radiolabs presents the inaugural episode of their More Perfect podcast, exploring three little words embedded in the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: “cruel and unusual.”

First up is Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve’s Death Penalty Team, talking about her search for ‘Dream Pharma’ and the supplies of lethal injection drugs flowing into the US from the UK and elsewhere.

About the More Perfect podcast

On the inaugural episode of More Perfect, we explore three little words embedded in the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution: “cruel and unusual.” America has long wrestled with this concept in the context of our strongest punishment, the death penalty. A majority of “we the people” (61 percent, to be exact) are in favor of having it, but inside the Supreme Court, opinions have evolved over time in surprising ways.

And outside of the court, the debate drove one woman in the UK to take on the U.S. death penalty system from Europe. It also caused states to resuscitate old methods used for executing prisoners on death row. And perhaps more than anything, it forced a conversation on what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

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