To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Supremes Consider Capital Punishment

The issue being argued over is whether the three injection method employed by most states, "lethal injection," causes pain to the victim as the second injection, a paralytic, might simply mask horrible pain and suffering.

Having put my cat to sleep two years ago this case made me fret. But I was relieved to hear that veterinary procedures are actually much more humane than capital punishment. From the NYT,
Recently, a United States District Court judge in Tennessee ruled that the state had, in fact, violated the Eighth Amendment by disregarding the “substantial risk” that the three-drug cocktail would cause “unnecessary pain.” Those risks could have been addressed by additional safeguards, the judge said, or by switching to a straight no-chaser consisting of an overdose of a single barbiturate, the method recommended by a state study commission.

The single-drug procedure is already used routinely in the United States, on animals. It’s what is euphemized by the phrase, “I had to put my pet to sleep.” One possible result of the upcoming Supreme Court case is that execution protocols could switch from the standard three-drug cocktail to the single-drug format for animals recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
I would like to see one presidential candidate come out against the death penalty as it is the ultimate abuse of state power but I think we are more likely to be lucky if the doomed get dispatched as humanely as do our pets.

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