The matter of whether convicted criminals (short of treason-level crimes) should even BE executed is a different discussion from this one. But there is a safe and humane execution method for jurisdictions that have laws authorizing application of capital punishment.
Recent botched executions have brought the matter up for debate.
The Oklahoma execution of Clayton Lockett in April was hampered by a shortage of the planned execution drugs; experimental drugs chosen at the last minute were a complete failure. Lockett was still alive a half hour into the procedure, the execution was officially aborted, but then Lockett died of a heart attack. Cruel, certainly, but not that unusual.
The Death Penalty Information Center [est. 1990] provides an incomplete listing of over 40 botched executions since 1982. Ten are by electrocution, mostly because the first jolt did not do the job; the second jolt often produced the smell of burning flesh. The executions by injection included problems finding suitable veins, equipment failures, and violent reactions to the drugs.
The September 2009 Ohio execution of Romell Broom failed completely; after an hour of trying, Gov. Strickland ordered the attempt halted; Broom has remained on Death Row since then.
The other thirty-odd executions by injection on the list took from twenty minutes to over an hour, often accompanied by the inmate offering help in finding a vein and/or the inmate convulsing for short or longer periods.
The solution is execution by heroin.
First, the drug is readily available and in common use, so no surprises.
Second, heroin produces pleasure, which is why it is so addictive. Drug overdoses usually occur because the 'junkie' wants a really good time this time. The use of heroin for execution eliminates the hurdle of the 'cruel and unusual' clause in the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Thirdly, the reporting on TV and other media about 'execution by heroin injection' will counter the belief of many that heroin is no big deal. Street people, high school kids, business execs, and movie stars all figure that they 'can handle it' - and as news reports remind us, that is often not the case.
The message from using heroin for executions is that 'Heroin Kills'.
Good solution? Heroin for executions is simple, effective, legal, fast-working - and deadly.Copyright 2014 by G.E. Nordell, all rights reserved