June 30, 2006

How Dare We Hurt People While We Kill Them!

Interesting letter to the New York Times today:

To the Editor:

"Doctors See Way to Cut Risks of Suffering in Lethal Injection" (front page, June 23) points to the mounting evidence indicating that at least some prisoners have suffered horribly as they were put to death by lethal injection, awake and racked by pain but unable to move to let anybody know.

Oh no, how fucking horrible. Last time I checked, pretty much the only crime normally punished by death in this country is murder, so...yeah, not seeing a problem.

States have failed to ensure that they execute prisoners in a way that protects them from the risk of excruciating pain, as guaranteed by the Constitution.


I'm going to read that again to make sure it says what I think it did.



What the hell are you smoking? Since when does the Constitution guarantee the right not to suffer excruciating pain? Is it in the same section as the right to privacy and the right not to look at religious symbols in public spaces?

These failures are documented in "So Long as They Die: Lethal Injections in the United States," the April 2006 Human Rights Watch report that I co-wrote.

That's a shock.

Public debate on the humane execution of prisoners underscores the death penalty's real Catch-22: that any time a state executes its prisoners, it participates in an act of cruel and unusual punishment.

Let's see here...it's not really unusual, since it happens on a regular basis as the result of legal proceedings, so that leaves us with the implication that executing prisoners by lethal injection is cruel.


You know, by that logic, anyone who disagrees with the prison system can say that incarceration is cruel and unusual. In addition, since hanging was practiced during the time period that the Constitution was written, I really doubt that capital punishment is unconstitutional.

In any case, this logic also means that the consequences of an accident can be used as a justification for eliminating a practice. Considering how many precautions are taking during an execution to make sure the convicted murderer doesn't feel a damn thing, I find it hard to believe that the practice itself is cruel. This is similar to people using Abu Ghraib as evidence that U.S. policy consists of regular abuse and torture, despite the fact that people were punished for the incident. The fact that a procedure sometimes goes wrong doesn't make the procedure itself wrong.

I think another letter sums it up rather nicely:

To the Editor:

Re "Doctors See Way to Cut Risks of Suffering in Lethal Injection":

The fact that this headline even exists in the year 2006 makes me sure that this country can no longer lead the world in progress.

I'm inclined to agree, although probably not for the same reason. Because when people are capable of being this concerned about whether or not a murderer feels pain during the process of dying, it kind of indicates that those people aren't ready to deal with the war we're fighting at the moment.

...Although it does kind of explain why some are so dedicated to making sure that we treat terrorists the same way we would treat lawful combatants...

Posted by CD on June 30, 2006 01:45 AM | TrackBack
Category: General Stupidity
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