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Lethal Injection Is Pretty Much the Worst Way to Execute People. So Why Do We Use It?
New York Magazine ^ | 05/06/2014 | Benjamin Wallace-Wells

Posted on 05/06/2014 9:24:02 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Killing a human being turns out to be surpassingly hard to do.

This was made gruesomely apparent in Oklahoma last week, when the state tried to execute a convicted murderer named Clayton Lockett by injecting him with a new and secret mix of deadly chemicals. "Man," Lockett moaned, sixteen minutes after the injection and long after he was supposed to be dead, and he tried to get up, and began to writhe and jerk on the gurney until prison officials closed a curtain to keep the witnesses from seeing the rest of the episode. Alarm set in. The doctor on hand told state officials that Lockett had not received enough chemicals to kill him, but that there were no more chemicals on hand. There were debates over whether to take the prisoner to a hospital. Forty-three minutes after injection, Lockett had a massive heart attack (this was not part of the state's plan) and died.

Even under controlled circumstances like state executions — in which the executed has no freedom of movement, no ability to resist, in which the state is in complete control — human beings prove surprisingly resilient. Over the past century, 3 percent of hangings have been botched, and about 2 percent of electrocutions. More than 5 percent of gassings in state-operated gas chambers went awry. Lethal injections have become the most common mode of execution in the United States, but they are more error-prone still: 7 percent of them are botched. Which means that subsumed into the deep and difficult question of why we are executing prisoners at all is another question, more tangible but just as telling: Why are we killing them in the least effective way?

(Excerpt) Read more at nymag.com ...


TOPICS: Society
KEYWORDS: execution; lethalinjection
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1 posted on 05/06/2014 9:24:02 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Why Do We Use It?

Because there's no right way to do the wrong thing. Same with trying to "fix" Obamacare.

2 posted on 05/06/2014 9:25:38 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: SeekAndFind

Napalm baby..

if its good enough for unborn babies its good enough for adult killers..


3 posted on 05/06/2014 9:26:59 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: SeekAndFind
It was supposed to be more humane.
I don't see why they can't use the same drugs as when they euthanize pets.
We know it works and the supply is plentiful.

4 posted on 05/06/2014 9:28:29 AM PDT by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: narses; neverdem; Tennessee Nana

Because the liberals/socialists/racists WANT there to be AS MANY failures and errors and AS MUCH pain as possible so they can eliminate capital punishment ... while aborting as many babies as possible!


5 posted on 05/06/2014 9:28:34 AM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: PapaNew
Because there's no right way to do the wrong thing.

Sorry--but execution is sometimes the most right thing to do.

6 posted on 05/06/2014 9:28:36 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Tennessee Nana

I say crucifixion.


7 posted on 05/06/2014 9:29:07 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: SeekAndFind

Why can’t they just use a lot of heroin?


8 posted on 05/06/2014 9:29:13 AM PDT by redhawk.44mag
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To: SeekAndFind

Gee, well if the other “controlled” executions did not work, how about we try some new ones like the drop from a bomb bay from 40000 feet without a parachute; flame thrower till melted down, water immersion for two hours, and having to listen to an obama speech over and over for a few days.


9 posted on 05/06/2014 9:29:44 AM PDT by Mouton (The insurrection laws perpetuate what we have for a government now.)
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To: SeekAndFind

We just need more practice.


10 posted on 05/06/2014 9:30:48 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: ShadowAce

But someone was already executed for that capital crime. So this is double jeopardy, unjust and immoral.


11 posted on 05/06/2014 9:32:42 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: SeekAndFind

I’ve heard that drug companies are refusing to sell the necessary drugs to prisons, out of political correctness.


12 posted on 05/06/2014 9:33:04 AM PDT by Theo (May Christ be exalted above all.)
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To: ShadowAce

Agreed. Some folks do not make a distinction between the state executing an individual for a crime and a revenge killing by an aggrieved family member.


13 posted on 05/06/2014 9:33:37 AM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: SeekAndFind

The guillotine is 100% effective.


14 posted on 05/06/2014 9:34:10 AM PDT by Bryanw92 (Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: SeekAndFind

Firing squad makes the most sense.


15 posted on 05/06/2014 9:34:16 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: PapaNew
Double jeopardy is being tried for a crime for which one was already found not guilty.

Also, more than one person can be found guilty of a particular murder. It isn't necessarily a lone crime.

16 posted on 05/06/2014 9:34:44 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Tennessee Nana

I like your reasoning!


17 posted on 05/06/2014 9:35:28 AM PDT by SgtHooper (This is my tag!)
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To: SeekAndFind
So Why Do We Use It?

Because the government screws up most everything it touches and capital punishment is no exception.

18 posted on 05/06/2014 9:36:21 AM PDT by gdani (Every day, your Govt surveils you more than the day before)
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To: SeekAndFind

ping


19 posted on 05/06/2014 9:37:27 AM PDT by Zippo44 (Liberal: another word for poltroon.)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Bingo. Their goal is the elimination of the death penalty.

And instead of doing the hard work in the political arena to convince a majority to agree with them, they are doing the typical Lib thing and playing cute manipulation games to get their way.

Vilify hangings, firing squads and the electric chair as barbaric. Granted the visuals do lend themselves to that. Make State Legislators afraid to go anywhere near them.

Then go after the gas chamber. Draw uncomfortable parallels with Auschwitz. You can get States to drop that one like a hot potato with an effective PR campaign.

That leaves the scientifically modern, “humane” method of lethal injection. Use intimidation tactics to shut off all possible supplies of the drugs, and you’ll have achieved your objective.


20 posted on 05/06/2014 9:40:11 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind

Lockett deserved a hell of a lot more agony for what he did to that little girl. Now he’s become the poster boy for capital punishment reform?


21 posted on 05/06/2014 9:42:38 AM PDT by ItsOurTimeNow ("Scheming demons dressed in kingly guise, beating down the multitudes and scoffing at the wise.")
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To: ShadowAce

No, someone was already judged and punished for the specific crime committed by the specific criminal who is being executed for that precise act. That is a type of double jeopardy that is double judgment & double punishment, and is unjust, unrighteous, and immoral.


22 posted on 05/06/2014 9:43:35 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: SeekAndFind

I am not certain what they mean when “an execution” is botched. If we are measuring on the results, we are batting 1,000. They all end up dead. If they are trying to guess what % of abnormalities occur, we should remember that technology is the order of the day in all things medical, including executions.

Beheading wasn’t even perfect. If a blade was dull, it could get ugly. As in everything human, it boils down to competency of individuals. Let’s not go and re-invent the wheel here.


23 posted on 05/06/2014 9:44:38 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (My whimsical litany of satyric prose and avarice pontification of wisdom demonstrates my concinnity.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Shoot them three times with a shotgun and bury them alive. I understand that was 100% effective for Lockett.


24 posted on 05/06/2014 9:48:10 AM PDT by DoodleDawg
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To: Mouton

I think a 100 lb stone chained to the ankles and dropped into the Mariana Trench out in the Pacific would do the trick. And it would be good for the environment without air pollution or wasted real estate.... Food for the fishies.


25 posted on 05/06/2014 9:52:09 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (My whimsical litany of satyric prose and avarice pontification of wisdom demonstrates my concinnity.)
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To: SeekAndFind

So they can feel the pain they caused an eye for an eye.


26 posted on 05/06/2014 9:52:25 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Tenacious 1

Make it a 5-pound stone. The process of tirig would be good for them.


27 posted on 05/06/2014 9:54:21 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Bryanw92
The guillotine is 100% effective.

Actually, there was an evolution even to perfect hat process. The first generation of guillotines did not have angled blades. They didn't always make it all the way through the neck. In this case, they usually did well to break the neck or at least crush the wind pipe. The angled blade solved that as long as they kept the blade sharp.

28 posted on 05/06/2014 9:55:25 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (My whimsical litany of satyric prose and avarice pontification of wisdom demonstrates my concinnity.)
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To: PapaNew

re: “No, someone was already judged and punished for the specific crime committed by the specific criminal who is being executed for that precise act. That is a type of double jeopardy that is double judgment & double punishment, and is unjust, unrighteous, and immoral.”

Ok, I’m confused. Are you seriously trying to argue that because Jesus died for our sins, that this man who murdered a little girl should not face the consequences of his crime? Is that the “someone” you are referring to? Or, is there something about this case I am unaware of?


29 posted on 05/06/2014 9:55:45 AM PDT by rusty schucklefurd
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To: ShadowAce
Make it a 5-pound stone. The process of tirig would be good for them.

If we are going to go cruel and unusual, put them in a raft in the middle of the Pacific without any food or water with Nancy Pelosi, Barbra Boxer and Elena Kagan. I don't know if he would die of thirst or suicide. But it would be brutal.

30 posted on 05/06/2014 9:57:44 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (My whimsical litany of satyric prose and avarice pontification of wisdom demonstrates my concinnity.)
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To: PapaNew

> Lethal Injection Is Pretty Much the Worst Way to Execute People. So Why Do We Use It?
Because they won’t let us hose them down with gasoline and burn them alive.


31 posted on 05/06/2014 9:57:53 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (Government by Gun Point.)
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To: PapaNew

Are you referring to Jesus? I don’t know about this specific case, but you seem to be pointing there. If so, that punishment concerned eternal life. Civil authorities have been instituted by God to restrain evil in the present age. You seem a bit vague, so maybe I went off the rails...


32 posted on 05/06/2014 9:59:35 AM PDT by avenir (I'm pessimistic about man, but I'm optimistic about GOD!)
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To: ShadowAce
Sorry--but execution is sometimes the most right thing to do.

Agreed. Just as war is always a bad option but occasionally better than the other available choices, execution is always a bad option but sometimes better than keeping alive an evil predator who poses a danger to society, to the general prison population, and to prison guards. When evil people make evil choices, sometimes there are no good responses, and you have to settle for the best among a set of bad choices. In the past several decades, I have not heard of a single person executed whom I would prefer to release into society or to keep in prison where the killer might escape, injure or kill a prisoner or a guard, or otherwise inflict more harm on society.

33 posted on 05/06/2014 10:03:39 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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To: rusty schucklefurd; PapaNew
"No, someone was already judged and punished for the specific crime committed by the specific criminal who is being executed for that precise act. That is a type of double jeopardy that is double judgment & double punishment, and is unjust, unrighteous, and immoral.”

Ok, I’m confused. Are you seriously trying to argue that because Jesus died for our sins, that this man who murdered a little girl should not face the consequences of his crime? Is that the “someone” you are referring to? Or, is there something about this case I am unaware of?

Whoa! I was just getting ready to comment when you swerved that conversation over a cliff. I'm outa here if we are swinging from legal semantics of "Double Jeapordy" to "Jesus' dying for our sins." It's a "Bridge to Far" for me.

34 posted on 05/06/2014 10:03:55 AM PDT by Tenacious 1 (My whimsical litany of satyric prose and avarice pontification of wisdom demonstrates my concinnity.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Actually, there are almost infinite ways to kill a human being effectively, with “effective” defined as making the guy be All Dead.

Painless is pretty easy too. As some have suggested, why not a large overdose of morphine or heroin? Let em go out not only painlessly, but blissfully.

Or use 100% nitrogen. Displaces oxygen, unconciousness is instant, death following shortly. Leave the mask in place for an hour, certify death, bury him.


35 posted on 05/06/2014 10:06:53 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: 17th Miss Regt

Either one of those seem ok.


36 posted on 05/06/2014 10:07:03 AM PDT by redhawk.44mag
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To: SeekAndFind

Well this article seems to be making the case to bring back ‘Ol Sparky.


37 posted on 05/06/2014 10:07:53 AM PDT by Obadiah (I like Krabby Patties.)
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To: PapaNew

He confessed to the crime. There were two accomplices but they were not deemed to be the actual murderers.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/friends-victim-zero-sympathy-clayton-lockett-inmate-botched-okla-execution-article-1.1777463

And if you are talking about Jesus, then let’s not punish any crimes whatsoever because He paid for all our sins, not just murder. :rolleyes:


38 posted on 05/06/2014 10:09:38 AM PDT by angryoldfatman
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To: SeekAndFind

Killing a human being turns out to be surpassingly hard to do.

Only for our Justice system.........
Human beings have been easily killing other human beings since the dawn of time.....
We just make it more difficult then it needs to be.....


39 posted on 05/06/2014 10:11:13 AM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (I am an American - Not a Republican or a Democrat.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Why don’t they just use second-hand smoke?


40 posted on 05/06/2014 10:12:26 AM PDT by fruser1
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To: redhawk.44mag

I am at a loss as to why they do not just use a ton of propofol.

After all, it was good enough for Michael Jackson.


41 posted on 05/06/2014 10:13:21 AM PDT by NY.SS-Bar9 (Those that vote for a living outnumber those that work for one.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Why not the Terri Shivo treatment ? The libs told us it was humane and even euphoric .


42 posted on 05/06/2014 10:13:54 AM PDT by katykelly
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To: PapaNew

ummmmm what???


43 posted on 05/06/2014 10:14:37 AM PDT by surroundedbyblue (Bitter clinger & creepy-ass cracker)
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To: SeekAndFind
Having been an advanced EMT, I know first hand that starting and maintaining an IV can be difficult even under the best of circumstances. Adding to the difficulty is that many of the condemned have a history of IV drug use and the fear factor of your impending execution causing veins to constrict. I think the cruelest part of the procedure is the time it takes to start the IV...in some cases hours. The drug cocktails may also be problematic.

I know the intent is to make the process "clean" and clinical compared to sometimes gruesome methods like electrocution, gas chamber, firing squad and hanging, but lethal injection has its own problems like we saw in Oklahoma.

If we are to continue having capital punishment something simple and foolproof like nitrogen asphyxiation should be used. There would be no need to have a sealed gas chamber as with cyanide, just a well sealed room. Simply adding a sufficient quantity of liquid nitrogen to the room would quickly cause a displacement of the oxygen. Unconsciousness is rapid and without struggle and death is assured in a few minutes.

44 posted on 05/06/2014 10:16:05 AM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: redhawk.44mag

Why can’t they just use a lot of heroin?

You would think all the drugs we capture from the “war on drugs” could actually be put to use....


45 posted on 05/06/2014 10:16:25 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: katykelly

[ Why not the Terri Shivo treatment ? The libs told us it was humane and even euphoric . ]

I like the way you think.


46 posted on 05/06/2014 10:16:53 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: avenir

The reason we execute criminals is because the crimes they have performed are so heinous that there is absolutely NO hope for ANY sort of “rehabilitation” as they have proven themselves as such a bad cancer to society that it requires a immediate cutting out and disposal.


47 posted on 05/06/2014 10:20:52 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: SeekAndFind

Ben Wallace-Wells is a freelance writer who has written for Rolling Stone, Washington Monthly, and the New York Times Magazine

48 posted on 05/06/2014 10:21:54 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: ShadowAce
It would be a deterrent for sure--put em' up on the street corners.
49 posted on 05/06/2014 10:23:09 AM PDT by Roman_War_Criminal (Bible Summary in a few verses: John 14:6, John 6:29, Romans 10:9-10)
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To: The Great RJ

[ If we are to continue having capital punishment something simple and foolproof like nitrogen asphyxiation should be used. There would be no need to have a sealed gas chamber as with cyanide, just a well sealed room. Simply adding a sufficient quantity of liquid nitrogen to the room would quickly cause a displacement of the oxygen. Unconsciousness is rapid and without struggle and death is assured in a few minutes. ]

It could be simpler than that, gas mask with Nitrous Odixe, that you then konk them out with then replace with 100% argon or ntrogen and monitor their lifesigns until they flat line and leave the mask on for a good 5 mins after that...


50 posted on 05/06/2014 10:23:15 AM PDT by GraceG
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