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John Oliver, in New ‘Comedy’ Series, Hits the Death Penalty | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

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John Oliver, in New ‘Comedy’ Series, Hits the Death Penalty

A demonstration against the death penalty in Texas

A demonstration against the death penalty in Texas (photo credit: Alex Hannaford)

The opening segment on episode two of John Oliver’s new HBO Sunday night news/comedy series featured a lengthy take on the botched execution in Oklahoma, and John (the former Daily Show vet) came out strongly against the death penalty.

Of course, he pointed out that the US is among few nations where capital punishment exists—in fact, we are in the top five along with various repressive states. His native England used to boil inmates alive and they eventually banned executions, so maybe there is hope for us.

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Mixed in are some laughs, if you can handle that, and to get viewers to swallow this topic, a promise of cute hamsters. Not sure if I like John’s new Michael Kinsley look, though.

The show is repeated tonight on HBO. My own recent ebook on the death penalty is here.

Read Next: Greg Mitchell: the first film on the Jayson Blair scandal at The New York Times airs tonight.

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