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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A license to kill: The U.S. and human execution equipment

Posted by on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 5:00 PM

This weird tidbit has been sitting in the Triangulator's inbox for a while: Companies that want to export execution equipment including electric chairs, gallows, guillotines, air tight vaults and lethal chemical injection tables must now get a U.S. export license, the trade magazine Government Security News reported earlier this month.

The export licenses are issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The new rule became effective July 15.

The death penalty is legal in 70 countries, including the U.S., India, Japan and many Middle Eastern and African nations.

The equipment could be used not only for products and systems that have a "clear nexus to crime control," the GSN explains, but also "an obvious potential use in repressing human rights."

Thumbcuffs, thumbscrews, spiked batons and finger cuffs are classified as implements of torture, according to the Commerce Department's Control List, and can't be exported.

However, the department has determined stun cuffs, shock sleeves and shock belts have legitimate crime-fighting uses.

Triangulator will sleep better knowing all this.

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