A Slow Death by Lethal Injection

For the past 120 or 130 years, we have been executing criminals in ways that are intended to make some sort of social point. When Edison wanted to convince the public that alternating current electricity (promoted by his competitor Westinghouse) was dangerous, he got New York to adopt electrocution for its death penalty. Poison gas was a great horror of WWI, and in the ’20s states began to use the gas chamber. Now, drugs are bad, so we are using lethal injection. Do a bad enough crime, and the state will kill you in a horrible way.

Of course, states are now having trouble getting sufficiently good enough bad drugs to kill people. This is leading to “botched” executions. Some prisoner in Ohio apparently took a long time to die.

Personally, I feel that if we are going to have a death penalty, we should bring back hanging. However, if we must stick with lethal injection, why not something quick and efficient, say, 230 gr of lead injected cranially?

9 thoughts on “A Slow Death by Lethal Injection

  1. Pingback: Bob Recommends: A Slow Death By Lethal Injection by @WJJHoge | The Camp Of The Saints

  2. I am all for hanging ! lethal injection is the same as putting a beloved pet “to sleep.” If a convicted criminal’s crimes justify his death, that death should be quick, as well as fearsome.
    I loved my dog, he was my best friend through one of the worst times of my life. When age and arthritis made his life painful we chose to “put him to sleep,” it was a gentle death that ended the pain from which he would never recover.
    A criminal deserves no such mercy. make him dread his execution. Make the only mercy be that given to society when they are assured the criminal will nolonger be a threat.

  3. Since governments have become so occupied with global warming, perhaps the next execution device will be a tanning bed.

  4. Let me preface this by saying I am for the death penalty. There are some crimes so heinous that the only way to protect society is to end the life of the perpetrator. Such executions should be swiftly carried out, not set far in the future. Because of the irrevocable nature of the sentence, I can tolerate the appeals process, but once the appeals are exhausted the sentence should be executed within two weeks. Give the victims families and other relevant parties enough time to make arrangements to witness the execution if they so desire, and then get on with it. There’s no sense in keeping a condemned criminal with no recourse alive to be a financial burden on a stressed system.

    That said, why do executions need to be non-merciful? From the criminal’s standpoint, does it really matter how he dies? He’s going to be dead. Whether he’s drawn and quartered, hung, poisoned, bled to death, burned at the stake, electrocuted, shot, beheaded, crushed, thrown off a cliff, mauled by animals, stoned, or killed by any other means of State approved death humans have come up with throughout history, for the criminal the execution will be over and he will be off to enjoy the eternal rewards that he’s earned. Where the manner of execution will linger is in the mind of the survivors, and especially with the executioner. The witnesses will have seen a horrific act, but the executioner will have performed the act. My thoughts of mercy lie with the executioner. No matter how easy or gentle the death is, no matter that the State has approved it, the executioner still has to live with the fact that he has taken a man’s life. Why should we force him to also have to deal with the horror of a non-merciful death? How many monstrous acts must a man commit before he too becomes a monster?

    • There is a recent, and excellent, book detailing the life and times of an executioner in Germany. It appears that he was not a monster, but his neighbors did fear him. I don’t know if that helps in your thinking, but there it is.

  5. The current main attack on the death penalty is from the “cruel and unusual punishment angle”. If the the opponents can convince everyone that whatever the current means used are some type of dreadful then they have a chance to get it banned. They are they ones causing the shortage of the drugs used for lethal injection so that less effective ones are used causing possible lingering and pain during death.
    Best suggestion I ever heard was to use nitrogen asphyxiation for executions. Its not poisonous outside a closed room, not expensive, not hard to acquire and takes not special knowledge to apply. The first symptom is unconsciousness as the nitrogen displaces CO2 and doesn’t trigger the body’s gasping reflex which comes with suffocation. There have been cases in industry of accidental death where people have just collapsed and died in an N2 filled chamber with no notice or alarm.
    We could easily make the prisoner the executioner with N2. Lock him in a room, not air tight just nominal ventilation, with a tank of N2 and tell him that he’s never getting out, food & water will continue to arrive but nothing else, his only way out is the valve. Then we pipe in Schmalfeldt’s net show. (couldn’t resist)

  6. They’re all worried about combinations of drugs to accomplish a quick and painless demise. I would suggest a combination of methods is the answer..
    A simple,widely available anesthetic administered to induce unconsciousness, followed by the use of Dr. Guillotine’s device. Hundreds of years of research have evidenced only a few seconds of fear or discomfort with a %100 success rate. A most humane method with an obvious deterrent factor.

    I truly worry about a culture/civilization that worries more about what something looks like than what it is.

  7. Pingback: Death penalty in the USA: botched lethal injections | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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