General Question

marinelife's avatar

Do you think that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment?

Asked by marinelife (62455points) July 1st, 2008

A man was executed in Florida again tonight. Since we have the death penalty, is this the way it should be done? If not, what method should be used?

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43 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

It shouldn’t be done at all. The state shouldn’t be in the killing business.

I’m just not comfortable with one innocent person being put to death. And we have to be honest and realize that it does happen.

edit :: shit.. I didn’t answer the question. It will be a train wreck anyway.

lefteh's avatar


The alternative method? Not killing them.

AstroChuck's avatar

I complely agree with those answers before me. Now I’m just going to sit back and see if you’ve started anything, Marina. I hope so. I love a good, heated argument, er, debate.

bulbatron9's avatar

Killing is killing!

Any form of taking another human’s life is wrong, unless it’s self-defense.

zarnold's avatar

Yeah, I’m not a big death penalty guy myself…not only is it inhumane, but I really don’t like the idea that murder can be legitimized by the government (or, more specifically, the legal system), hardly an infallible judge of guilt vs. innocence.

If we’re going to take away someone’s right to life though, we at least owe it to them to do so in the most humane, swift and painless way possible. I feel like a firing squad would do nicely in this regard, especially as I’ve read that death by lethal injection can be far from quick and painless (not just the injection obviously, but the effect of the poison).

wildflower's avatar

I was going to say pretty much exactly what bulbatron9 said….

ebenezer's avatar

it is most certainly unusual.

It is most likely less cruel than say “lethal infection”.

pattyb's avatar

The criminal in Florida brutally raped and murdered a (9)?,( 10 )year old boy. Do we incarcirate him for 40 odd years and try to rehab. at the cost of hundreds of thousands of taxpayers dollars? Or do we eliminate and exterminate the problem with one syringe. One thing I know for certain, if it was my son, I would spend the rest of my living days making that mans life as miserable as humanly possibe. If you don’t have children, you could not even begin to understand.

my living days

fabulous's avatar

I think it all depends on the crime that is committed how cruel it might be as in doses it involve a child in some sort of abuse or torture of this child Now i don’t personally agree with this method of justice what is wrong with putting someone in prison for life with out parole and take away from them what they have taken away from someone else.

waterskier2007's avatar

agree with patty b, although that is more of a discussion about the death penalty in itself rather than the methods.

i think that lethal injection is not as bad as any other method. i mean they all do the job pretty well so i think compared to other ways, its not too bad

bridold's avatar

No. The guy raped and killed a little boy.

I say eye for an eye, someone should rape and kill him.

fabulous's avatar

@bridold even though i might not fully agree with the death penalty i am inclined to agree with you that is just a crime that cannot be forgiven no matter what. That is a truly sick person

lefteh's avatar

Nobody is forgiving him by not punishing him with death Hammurabi style.
Didn’t your mothers ever teach you any manners? Don’t fight fire with fire? If somebody’s bullying you just walk away? By not killing these people, we are putting ourselves a step above them.

We’re saying, “You monsters at the bottom of the moral ladder might stoop to the level of taking the life of another human, but we are above that. We are above committing your monstrosities. Taking the life of another will not be tolerated in this society, and therefore, because you have committed this heinous crime, you will not be permitted to be a part of our society.”

Harp's avatar

I wholeheartedly oppose the death penalty, but to answer this specific question, I’m afraid that lethal injection probably doesn’t violate the “cruel and unusual” standard, as the courts have defined it. That definition doesn’t imply that the punishment must be free of suffering, just that it must not be “so disproportionate to the crime for which it is inflicted that it shocks the conscience and offends fundamental notions of human dignity”. That leaves room for quite a bit of potential suffering in the case of heinous crimes.

I want to see the death penalty eliminated because it’s just plain wrong, whether or not it’s “cruel and unusual”. I just don’t think that it’s vulnerable on those grounds.

fabulous's avatar

@lefteh I am not saying that he should be punishied by leathal injection but look at what he has done maybe thats what he deserves. I agree with you Don’t fight fire with fire.
It is just such a cruel crime. This little boy has been taken away from his family.

wildflower's avatar

Who deserves to be killed? And who deserves to decide? Is one person’s life more precious than another?

fabulous's avatar

No one deserves to be killed and no one person has the right to decide who should or should not be killed. I just feel so sorry for this little boys family and what they are going through and the fact that his life has been cut short.

scamp's avatar

I wonder how many of you would change your tune regarding the death penalty if it was your child who was brutally raped and murdered? That poor little boy didn’t have the ‘luxury’ of dying from the prick of a needle, and his family will have to live with the nightmare of imagining what his last moments were like. This guy was lucky the method has changed. If this had happened a few years ago, he would have taken a ride on “old sparky” instead.

wildflower's avatar

I wouldn’t change my mind about death penalty. If it was my family, I would want to kill the person who did it – but the justice system should be above that.

scamp's avatar

I’m confused. You would want to kill the offender yourself, and that would be ok, but the legal system shouldn’t? Wouldn’t that be putting yourself above the law?

lefteh's avatar

@scamp: Are you suggesting that we should allow the emotions of victims’ families dictate legal punishments?

wildflower's avatar

No, it wouldn’t be OK, but I’d be completely beyond reason if I was affected by such a horrific crime. I’d be emotional, irrational and blinded by rage. Those qualities are human and obviously I would fight the urge to act on it, but the feelings and thoughts would be there.
Those qualities should not – under any circumstances – be echoed by a legal system.

fabulous's avatar

I think what wildflower is saying is perfectly natural for a parent to have these feelings under the circumstances i know i would feel the same if this were to happen to my child.

scamp's avatar

@lefteh no, I was replying to wildflowers post.

@wildflower I would have to disagree. The legal system would act without the emotion you would. I’ve been in a situation where if if weren’t for the legal system, I would have taken the law into my own hands, and would now be in prison myself. I am not trying to convince anyone to agree with me. I am just glad the law stepped in for me. It’s difficult to understand if you’ve never been in that type of situation. We can imagine what we would do, but when something actually happens, it’s often a whole different story.

wildflower's avatar

My point is just that. I totally understand how people would be tempted to dish out revenge – but revenge and justice are not the same and in my opinion the legal system is not there to take revenge because it’s not personally invested and has no right or cause to feel the need for revenge.
I’m not a parent and I haven’t had anyone close to me fall victim to a crime, so I can’t say exactly how I would react in that situation, but I know I would not want the system and/or rules to be based on my emotional reaction – that is not a reasonable foundation.

And in the end, it’s the fact that you can prevent yourself from acting on destructive impulses that makes you better than the criminals who can not.

scamp's avatar

I’m curious about what your idea of an alternative would be?

wildflower's avatar

Prison – for life, without parole in some cases. Sending the message that lefteh said above.

scamp's avatar

To remove him from society, correct?

wildflower's avatar

Yes, but not by death, by confinement. Because you can not punish someone for doing something wrong by doing the same wrong thing. It does not set a good example for the rest of the people to follow.

scamp's avatar

I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I see no need for me to support the slimeball for the rest of his life. If he needs to be removed from society for life because he is deemed that dangerous, and his crime that heinous, I don’t see why society should have to feed, clothe and give medical care to him for the rest of his life, but that’s just me. This had been an interesting converstaion. I’m happy that we can discuss is in a friendly manner. Thanks for that!

lefteh's avatar

Scamp, I’m not entirely sure you understand how the death penalty process works.
You’re speaking as if you think it is cheaper than life without parole; is this the impression you are under?

If so, consult sources such as this, this, this, and especially this one, which lays out a nice list of facts. Even this site that is in favor of the death penalty admits that it is more costly than life without parole.

scamp's avatar

Oh, so I should change my mind because it would be a better bargain? Sorry, but you haven’t changed my mind.

marinelife's avatar

If I was in that horrific situation of Junny Rios’ family or the family of any other victim, having the killer killed would in no way lessen my pain. What had been taken from me could never be given back.

Our best solution right now short of the death penalty is life without the possibility of parole. We probably should work on other solutions. We really have not changed the way we deal with crime and ciminals much in hundreds of years.

lefteh's avatar

@scamp: No, that’s not my point at all. People just keep talking about how much life without parole costs and the burden on the taxpayer, when the death penalty costs more. Just thought I’d set the record straight on that.

scamp's avatar

Ok, thanks for the information. I appreciate your input.

boffin's avatar

He should get, “Life in front of a firing squad”.....

bulbatron9's avatar

I think we all agree on one thing; that these people have no place in civilized society!

Can’t we all just get along?

We are a community, and I value everyone’s opinion!

lefteh's avatar

I think we’re getting along fine. It’s simply civilized, educated discussion unless I missed something.

scamp's avatar

I agree. I think we are doing great here! We may be disagreeing, but we are being very civil about it. No hard feelings on my part at all. Thanks for the concern bulb.

Poser's avatar

I don’t think you can argue that life in prison without the possibility of parole is more humane, or offers less suffering than the death penalty. If you really want to punish a rapist “in kind,” perhaps life in prison is the way to go. I know if I were facing a choice between being raped, beaten and tortured for the rest of my life or suffering a few minutes of pain before drifting off to sleep forever, hand me that needle.

If we’re going to change the way we punish the worst criminals, perhaps we should also question the way we punish those who can be rehabilitated. Prisons are not rehabilitation centers. They are criminal factories.

scamp's avatar

Well said Poser. You make some great points there.

Violet's avatar

I don’t think lethal injection is cruel at all. What would be a less cruel way to kill someone?

Anonymoususer's avatar

It’s maybe more human than methods like electric chairs and firing squads. That said, I oppose using the capital punishment.

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