[WARNING: Strong language about a gruesome topic.]
I just don't get it when people, who so easily support capital punishment, get upset when it doesn't go smoothly.
Case in point: Arkansas was trying to complete eight executions before the end of April. Why? Because the "use by" date on one of the drugs they use in the execution was going to expire on April 30th; and it's a difficult drug to obtain, because some drug companies don't want their products association with executions.
That drug happens to be the powerful sedative that allows the executioners to put the executionee in a deep sleep so he doesn't suffer from the muscle-paralyzing second drug that makes it impossible to breathe. It's part of the pretense that we're being humane while we're putting people to death.
Also it brings up the question of participation of a medical doctor in inserting and monitoring the IV drug delivery. It's against AMA ethics to participate in a killing. But there have been some instances of botched jobs where, instead of the person being quietly put to sleep for the rest of the killing procedure, something went wrong, leaving him conscious, struggling to breathe, or in severe pain as he is being killed.
Pardon my crude language. I'm trying to illustrate something that has bothered me for a long time. I have been strongly opposed to capital punishment since college days. I am not a total pacifist. I would make an exception for use of force to prevent someone inflicting serious harm or death on another person -- but, even for that, I think police should be trained to shoot to incapacitate rather than to kill.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm not denying the pain and suffering the person about to be put to death probably caused others. That's another subject all together. I'm focusing only on society's process, through our justice system, of taking a life, when it is not immediately necessary in order to protect others. Is it not murder because we do it as a society rather than as an individual? Does one murder justify another?
I object to the death penalty, period. But the focus of my objection here is to what seems to me so hypocritical. How can you be cold and inhumane enough to end another's life (regardless of the heinousness of his crime) and at the same time worry so much about making him suffer for a short time while you're killing him?
But then I don't understand that whole relationship between that part of the justice system that deals with convicted killers. I lack the instinct for revenge killing, which seems to be part of the motive. An eye for an eye. Don't say it is a deterrent to other murders. It's never been proven that the death penalty affects crime rates -- except for that one person that the state is killing.
The racial inequality in the use of the death penalty, as well as the abysmal record of executing innocent people, proven now by DNA evidence years later, are more than enough reason to end this barbaric practice. I could not participate in it myself. The death penalty should be abolished nationwide. And, if you're not going to do that, go back to using the electric chair or the firing squad. At least those are quick and usually efficient. Stop fooling around with the three-drug combination, pretending that you're preventing him from suffering.
YOU'RE KILLING A PERSON. DO YOU REALLY CARE IF HE SUFFERS?