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Executions often do not go as "medically intended." Individual response to stress varies to an amazing degree. A lethal dose is at best a statistical measure. Some individuals survive ten times what would will kill most people while others die with a fraction of it. The current 3 medication lethal injection cocktail is worrysome because it is difficult to tell how it is working. One medication is intended to cause sedation, the next is intended to paralyze respiration and the last is intended to cause a massive heart attack. Should the sedation fail the condemned could be suffering a great deal from their heart attack but since they are paralyzed they will show no indication of their discomfort to observers who assume that they died peacefully. Probably the most humane execution would be a bullet to the back of the head through being messy would traumatize the executioner and alarm observers. The most humane execution that would be socially acceptable would probably be nitrogen asphyxiation. Humans sense hypoxia not by the shortage of oxygen but by the buildup of CO2. NASA workers who mistakenly wandered into nitrogen purged environments would seem fine until they dropped with no idea they were asphyxiated since they could still exhale CO2. To me the only justification of violence is self-defense and I don't make exceptions for government so on moral grounds I oppose capital punishment. Executions are not effective as a deterrent to crime and since there is lengthy appeal processes to avoid executing innocent convicts it is more expensive to execute a convict than to imprison them for the rest of their life. The only thing left is revenge and appeasing societies blood lust. Criminal justice should be based on rehabilitation when possible and isolating the criminal from law abiding society when it isn't. Governments shouldn't be in the revenge business.
There has been considerable debate if decapitation dependably causes instant loss of consciousness. In most cases a disembodied head goes into shock but there have been numerous reports of severed heads reacting to their names being shouted or a pin prick. Chemist Antoine Lavoisier fell out of favor with the French Revolution and faced the guillotine. As his final experiment he told observers he would blink as long as he was able. Observers noted that he blinked 14 times over about 10 seconds. I think a bullet to the back of the head is a better bet. Agree with your point about the finality of the death penalty. With life imprisonment there is always hope that a wrongly convicted person could be exonerated.
Thank you for your insight, filletofspam. But I must disagree with you about the bullet. I think that the quickest and most painless way (though equally messy) would be the guillotine.
Aaand, whenever anyone talks about death penalty. This here http://funadvice.com/r/br18oc878dj should convince nearly everybody that death penalty is a bad idea. I mean, nearly 300 death row inmates who were proven innocent by DNA testing. That's quite an argument to stop all death penalties until all other cases are counter-checked.
Lethal Injection is done with lethal medications . A larger question for those states who support the death penalty is the quality of the medications they purchase and from whom... and the results... which are even less publicized. I fully agree with Rotten sheep our judicial system of law and process of conviction leaves too much in question to support a death penalty.
Putting aside my opposition to the death penalty, I would have to say yes. If the procedure can't be carried out in the manner in which it is medically intended, possibly causing cruel and inhumane conditions, then it should be postponed until the inmate can lose weight or the penalty overturned for life imprisonment.
I wonder if this murderer considered the 'possibility of cruelty and inhumane treatment' before he carried out his evil deed....doubt if weight was considered
If a person is proven guilty of murder beyond any doubt then I believe that their life should be taken in the same manner that they took someone else's life.
Makes me think of the saying, "Why do we kill people, who kill people, to show people that killing people is wrong".
I think that death penalty is wrong, either way.