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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Let's Talk Capital Punishment

                                         image from

This is not a post that will win me any new friends. I know that going in. But I need to talk about the death penalty, and though I know that many of you won't agree with me, and that I won't agree with you, I also know that we can all come together to discuss our views and opinions, and respect the other and their perfect right to have an opposing view from our own.
That said, I am borderline mortified by the details of the execution of that guy the other day. I don't want to play into the glorifying of, or the granting of undue sympathy towards a self-confessed rapist, sadist, and killer of a pregnant woman, so I won't go throwing his name about, giving him publicity and recognition. I'll just refer to him as that guy.

Have you heard the story about that guy? In case not, here's a quick recap:
That guy raped, tortured, beat, killed and mutilated a pregnant woman back in 1989. He was sentenced to death for it. Because the makers of the drugs that have, up to this point, been used for lethal injection recently blocked the purchase of their products for use in executions, the state of Ohio had run out of their supply, and had to look for alternate drug combinations to utilize. They decided on a previously untried method of administering a combination of midazolam, an anti-anxiety drug that is similar to Valium, and hydromorphone, a derivative of morphine. There was concern that this method may cause extended pain and suffering and a prolonged dying process, but the state gave the okay and so it was done. 

The result was that guy gasping, heaving, stomach wrenching, and fists clenched for over 20 minutes until he finally succomed to the drugs. Now, don't get me wrong, I agree with the sentiment that his 20 minutes of torture were nothing compared to what he put that poor, pregnant woman through...but where do we draw the line? Where do we say you know what, maybe this isn't right. By "an eye for an eye" logic, the person/people who administered that lethal injection are now guilty of torturing a man to death, and so should we now execute them? I know they are not guilty of rape and murder in the way he was guilty, but causing the death of another human life is still causing the death of another human life. 
Where do we stop?

No, we are not guaranteed a right to a peaceful, pain free death, but, in my own personal opinion, neither should we be okay with inflicting an agonizing, painful, slow death upon anyone. Period. I think there has to be a better way of serving justice and protecting our public from bad people like him, and I think that spending the rest of his life behind prison walls, but without luxuries like tv and books, without amenities and comforts. I'd like to see prisoners like him being made to till land, grow crops, harvest them and process them for prisoner meals. Make them self-sustaining within the prison. Make them sew their inmate clothes. We could cut the tax dollars that fund the prison system and also stop giving bad people a cushy, free ride, and not have to be concerned about our own role in the possibly inhumane execution of another human life.

I mean, that's just my opinion. What's yours? 

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