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Monday, October 19

US Executions- We can't even do those right

From Agence France-Presse comes this horrifying story about the US' practice of executing prisoners: Screams of pain, burned flesh, long delays hallmark US executions In many cases prisoners end up being brutally tortured to death because of complications with lethal injections and faulty electric chairs. Supposedly our executions should be more or less "painless" but they aren't at all. There are stories about prisoners catching fire while being electrocuted.... and it seems that lethal injection isn't as easy at it would seem. I don't condone state sponsored murder at all and it's just ridiculous how incompetent our executioners are. Maybe we should send our executioners to third world dictatorships in order to observe how to do them correctly?

But for Bennie Demps, who spent 33 minutes of agony as execution technicians tried to find a back-up vein that could support an alternate intravenous drip in case the first one failed, the pain was excruciating.

"They butchered me back there. I was in a lot of pain. They cut me in the groin, they cut me in the leg. I was bleeding profusely. This is not an execution, it is murder," he said in his final statement.

In Angel Diaz's case, in Florida in 2006, a single dose of the lethal cocktails that anesthetize, paralyze and then stop the recipient's heart was not enough. The first injection went through his vein and out the other side, dispersing the chemicals into his muscles, forcing a second dose to be given.

At times, the scenes have been gruesome enough to physically affect observers. In 1989, in Texas, which holds the record for the most US executions, a male witness fainted after watching Stephen McCoy's violent writhing.

Some of the most recent horror stories come from Ohio, where Broom's execution was halted.

"It don't work! It don't work," yelled a sobbing Joseph Clark in May 2006, as the vein that executioners had worked 22 minutes to find collapsed while the chemicals were being administered.

A year later, Ohio authorities took two hours to successfully find veins and administer Christopher Newton the lethal injection. The process took so long, he was authorized to take a bathroom break.
Obviously the people who sign up to be executioners aren't medical practitioners which of course makes sense, because when you are trained to save lives you certainly won't want to take them in the name of the state. I can't imagine what types of people are in charge of executing criminals. Imagine applying for that job? Or do you just fall into it?

Most embarrassing/horrifying is that the US still executes people and puts our name on the execution order. The second most embarrassing thing is that executions are frequently botched... I mean if we're gonna be executioners, we ought to do it right and employ competent executioners who know what they're doing. Why not bring back the guillotine? Oh I know... get a bunch of Bible thumpers together for a good old fashioned stoning and put their names on the death warrant.

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