Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Death Penalty Again

I see this subject is back. U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel has ruled that California's current procedure for lethal injection is so flawed that he'll declare it unconstitutional in 30 days if the state doesn't fix it. One problem, of course, is that the current method requires considerable medical expertise to administer, but no doctor in the state wants to have anything to do with it.

This was also Florida's problem, from the description I read of the recent botched execution there - the one that has caused Governor Jeb Bush, not normally a beacon of mercy and compassion, to suspend all elections in the state.

When the subject first came up last February, I posted a suggestion, which I still feel is sound, that we should quit pussyfooting around with lethal injections, and go back to the first and still most efficient method of humane execution ever invented: the guillotine. In further support of this argument, I'll point out that the guillotine can easily be operated by unskilled labor and no medical training is needed. Just a mop and a hose. Even Florida should have no trouble with it, as the guillotine also has no electrical connections. Given Florida's record with execution procedures, however, they should probably arrange for spotters, to make sure the executioner cuts off the correct head...

It's probably too much to suggest that we should just stop executing people. No, no - we can't do that.

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