Ty Alper

Should doctors participate in executions?

Ty Alper interviewed on NPR Weekend Edition, May 4, 2014

“I am opposed to the death penalty, and I don’t think that we should be executing people. But if we are, and particularly if we’re going to do it by way of procedures that are shrouded in secrecy and that use experimental combinations of drugs that have never been used before, then we need to have competent medical personnel involved. And I think that courts should require that qualified, competent medical personnel participate.”

Doctors can and do participate in exceutions

Ty Alper writes for The New York Times, May 1, 2014

Death row inmates are people who have been sentenced to death, not torture. They are put to death via a procedure that involves dangerous prescription drugs and, often, complicated issues of venous access…. I agree with those who say that courts should require the participation of competent, qualified medical personnel—including doctors—during such procedures.

Ty Alper Criticizes Secrecy of Execution Protocols

The Associated Press, January 30, 2012 by Amanda Lee Myers

“There’s been a real lack of accountability and transparency in the way states kill people, and it’s something that more and more courts are refusing to allow when you sort of peel back the veil and look at what’s happening,” he said. “The more state officials trying to keep things secret, the more there usually is to discover if you somehow lift the veil.”

Ty Alper Faults Capital Punishment

Daily Kos, September 28, 2011 by Ty Alper

I’m not naïve about the power and relevance of innocence in this context. The fact that we cannot correct a wrongful conviction once a person is executed is among the many reasons to question the wisdom of capital punishment.

Ty Alper Urges Investigation of Death Penalty Procedures

Associated Press, July 22, 2011 by Greg Bluestein

“It is always better to have more transparency in what has been an exceptionally secretive execution process,” said Ty Alper, an attorney who works with the death penalty clinic at the University of California-Berkeley. “But videotaping an upcoming execution is no substitute for conducting a real investigation into what actually happened.”

Ty Alper Objects to Use of Lethal Injection Drug

The New York Times, April 19, 2011 by Ty Alper

Paralyzing prisoners before injecting them with the potassium chloride that kills them serves one purpose: to make the executions appear peaceful and humane. Are they in fact? It’s almost impossible to know. That’s why the veterinary community rejects the practice of paralyzing animals during euthanasia. Our standards for human executions are not as high.

Ty Alper Describes Deficiencies with California’s Death Chamber

-KPCC-FM, February 8, 2011 by Julie Small and Mike Roe

Fogel found so many deficiencies in the state’s execution system that he issued a moratorium on lethal injections until California fixed some problems, starting with the death chamber’s design. “It was cramped, the lighting was poor, the delivery mechanism for the drugs was really long and convoluted,” says Ty Alper with UC Berkeley Law School’s death penalty clinic.

-KQED-FM, February 8, 2011 Host Cy Musiker

“The equipment that’s used, the chamber that’s used, and the people who’re conducting the execution are important. If the execution is not conducted in a professional way, then there’s a real risk that the person being executed will suffer excruciating pain.”