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One Man’s Penalty, Another Man’s Deliverance

04/13/2017

 

How ironic: We use execution by lethal injection intending to punish, but we use the same method for euthanasia intending to stop suffering.

We often read portrayals of botched lethal injection as cruel and unusual punishment. Does botched euthanasia, now legal in several countries, ever occur?  What about assisted suicide? We know that unassisted suicide often fails.

How often might execution reward instead of punish? After all, the dead do not suffer.

For execution we could revert to the firing squad. Could the executioners get that right? After all, many who die by their own hand use a firearm. How can we call that method cruel or unusual if so many use it to end their own lives, and presumably, in many cases, their own suffering?

Maybe we should offer the condemned lethal doses of drugs to ingest orally. Some might prefer to chug a fifth of vodka. Former opiate addicts might opt for a self-injected overdose of heroin.

In my opinion we should abolish the death penalty altogether, but short of that, we should abandon the delusion that lethal injection is more humane, and we should carry it out in public.