Lethal injection seems no more humane than hanging, and the death penalty is more revenge than deterrant

I’ve never able to get behind the death penalty.

I have no sympathy for murderers (generally the ones who get the penalty).

The big uproar over the botched execution the other night in Oklahoma was that it was cruel and unusual (something the Supreme Court has ruled is not to happen). Ghastly might be an apt description of it. Due to the drugs failing — after a doctor had pronounced him dead — the condemned man writhed in agony for something like a half hour. And then he died of a heart attack.

As to that last part, I heard a couple during my breakfast this morning exclaim: “So what’s the problem?” The idea being that isn’t killing the guy the ultimate goal, I guess. And the implication being how can you feel sorry after what he did to his victim (or victims) and how he may have done it.

No, I don’t feel sorry for the victim of the botched execution but somehow I think a civilized society should be beyond this — I mean I guess they used to do things like draw and quarter people in the Middle Ages, and that nut case that runs North Korea according to some reports set dogs on his uncle to kill him.

If we are going to have executions, I wonder, why don’t we just hang people? That can be botched, but I think most of the time if done by people who know what they are doing it comes off without a flaw and is quick. I imagine a firing squad is efficient in that way too.

I have never understood this lethal injection thing. Not only have there been reports that¬†people don’t die immediately but that they suffer great pain along the way. And is not the idea that someone is going to kill you by injecting a needle into you while you are strapped down kind of a torture in itself?

Capital punishment is revenge and nothing else. It does not at all seem to serve as a deterrent. Certainly it can hardly be one when it is a crime of passion. In other crimes, people are just bad and have no moral values and many assume they will not get caught. Some people say that the death penalty to be more effective must be sure and swift instead of drawing out the whole procedure through the courts for years. But the problem is that in a rush to judgment innocent people are put onto death row and innocent people surly have been put to death (many of them probably were guilty of other crimes, maybe even murder, but our law demands that you be punished for the specific crime or act charged — not just in general for being a bad character).

Those who so glibly say so what’s the problem only say that because they have not been caught up in the trouble — anyone could be accused of murder — maybe by mistaken identity (we are finding out that so-called eye-witness testimony is among the most unreliable evidence) or simply through malice and false accusations or DA’s over eager to have convictions. Those people who see no problem would sing a different tune if it were them or a loved one in trouble. Also they ought to have some concern for civility.

But then again, we could just go back to the Middle Ages or even later in history where you could be put before a tribunal and not even be able to face your accusers and then have your head lopped off.

But come to think of it, the guillotine might be more humane than lethal injection.









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