Brand USA was hugely damaged this week when the execution of inmate Clayton Lockett went horribly wrong in Oklahoma.
According to multiple reports the inmate’s vein “exploded” after the drug was supposed to render him unconscious, and it took 43 minutes before he died under what can only be described as horrific circumstances. The inmate also tried to get up after 15 minutes had gone by and began to shake uncontrollably according to witnesses.
The news was instantly global, on the front cover of every major news outlet sending one horribly wrong message: this was torture.
While there has been a decline in capital punishment in the states, the mere fact that so much of the world is opposed to it makes this development very damaging. A significant portion of the world considers execution as a human rights violation, and it’s hard to understand why any state would want to continue doing it seeing as it tells tourists, “this is what we stand for.”
The graphic nature of this news story, and what it shows is the worst possible display of American values, and puts an element of its image on par with that of Iran and North Korea.
It’s also ludicrous to let states independently decide on whether capital punishment is right or wrong because the US is one nation, and the outside world doesn’t see the 50 states.
America is a major exporter of ‘cultural values’. Hollywood is a dominant force in many regions of the world, and people look up to the US on many levels, but when one story like this gets out, it casts a huge shadow over everything.
From my POV it has to stop, because it damages the credibility of the nation that people are supposed to look up to and there are many in the US that oppose this and their voice isn’t heard. How can this be acceptable? Letting this continue will only cost the US economy in the future as people get turned off from visiting a nation that so clearly violates human rights and people aren’t going to be heading to Oklahoma anytime soon when they see what law enforcement is doing.