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Death Penalty Case Involving Inmate With Dementia Raises Ethical Questions

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled an inmate can be executed even if they do not remember the crime they committed. But, the justices said, an inmate cannot be executed if they do not understand why they have been “singled out” to die.

The case involves a 68-year-old man who was sentenced to death for a 1985 crime. During his time in prison, he’s had multiple strokes and now suffers from vascular dementia. His lawyer said he has no memory of the crime he committed.

To talk more about this case, The Show reached out to Art Caplan, head of the Division of Medical Ethics at the NYU School of Medicine.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.