Why not execute by OD on one's drug of choice?
This past week, Ohio tried out a new cocktail for an execution by lethal injection. A gasping, snorting Dennis McGuire took 26 minutes to die after the chemicals began flowing. What states generally use are a mix of poisons with each one designed to cause one or more vital organs to shut down over a relatively brief period of time. That’s always going to be a painful, terrifying process for the victim, because our bodies are carefully crafted by evolution to detect any vital organ being compromised and to set of blaring alarm klaxons in the nervous system when such a failure begins.
The death penalty is a darling of America’s right-wing, and judging from the applause lines the far-right audiences reacted to in 2012’s Republican Presidential Debates, the more painful the death, the better they like it. So there are probably some among us who think McGuire got off way too easy, and should have died only after days of torture. Perhaps we could beat people with a cat o’ nine tails till their back is like bleeding hamburger, let the wounds crust over, then stretch their bodies slowly on a rack-and-pinion till all the scabs pop loose and they slowly bleed to death.
I think that killing; except to defend oneself or others from criminals, terrorists or an enemy nation state (war); is morally wrong. If it is wrong to kill when not being threatened with killing—and the Golden Rule would certainly make it clear that such killing is wrong—then it should be just as wrong for the state to do it as for an individual to kill. That’s my opinion.
But if we are going to execute people, I think we should do it humanely. I do not think most Americans want us to go back to the sort of torture and gore that was all the rage in the dark ages. If we’re going to execute people and want to do it humanely, why not let them choose the drug they prefer. Some might pick heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine or a speedball AKA belushi to OD on. Others would prefer the sort of anesthesia used in modern operating rooms, with just enough administered to first put them under, then the dosage increased till they are gone.
What do you think? Should we end capital punishment altogether, do it but do it as humanely as possible, or go back to drawing and quartering people and all the other hideous methods Vlad the Impaler, AKA Count Dracula, perfected?