Science for The People: Science & the Death Penalty

sftpThis week, Science for The People looks at the science of the ultimate criminal punishment. Pharmacologist and science writer David Kroll discusses the chemistry of the drugs used in lethal injections. They talk to law professor Samuel Gross, editor of the National Registry of Exonerations, about the rates of false convictions in death penalty cases. And they speak to Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist Dr. James Harris about the complex issues at the intersection of capital punishment and intellectual disability.

Author: Josh Witten

2 thoughts on “Science for The People: Science & the Death Penalty”

  1. Thanks for posting a link to the show, Josh. While a morbid subject, I think it’s an important one, especially with Samuel Gross’ part on death row inmates being exonerated. As Desiree said when talking about my part on the pharmacology, we’d rather be talking about the pharmacology of getting high instead.

    1. You are absolutely right, David. It is not a fun topic, but very important. I found Samuel Gross’ discussion very interesting, especially since the US legal system was designed with the intent of minimizing false positives (false convictions) at the acknowledged expense of increasing false negatives (false acquitals/exonerations).

      While I like (and am biased) every Science for The People show, I was particularly proud of the job they did on that one. Even though I did not contribute at all, shows like that from a great team of people and great guests are why I still get all excited when I hear my name in the credits.

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