Politicised show trials, error-strewn and near-racist courtrooms, mistakes corrected decades after the fact, ethically indefensible overlaps between judicial and medical protocols, ghoulishly botched attempted executions... all these and more are actually fairly typical of the 21st-century death penalty, not rare aberrations.
Today the fighting is as intense as it has ever been but it is right at this moment that the war on drugs may be coming to an end. What we are seeing now at the UN in Vienna, over half a century since the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was adopted, is the breakdown of the all-important consensus.
Several days ago a man with a neatly trimmed beard wearing a white turban, and professorial-looking rimless glasses featured prominently in Davos. Was it really Hassan Rouhani? Of course Rouhani is Iran's current Ayatollah-sanctioned President and should have every good reason to be at such a prestigious forum; however the man addressing Davos appeared only to share the real Rouhani's appearance.