This article gives a brief summary of contemporary lethal injection procedures around the United States, with particular attention to botched executions in Arizona, Oklahoma, and Ohio. The problem with lethal injections arises in part from Europe's refusing to supply the United States with such lethal drugs and in part from America's supposed invariable acceptance of the death penalty. As accomplished capital punishment abolitionist Bryan Stevenson has held, “we don’t rape rapists, because we think about the person who would have to commit the rape. Should we assault people who have committed assault? We can’t imagine replicating a rape or an assault and hold onto our dignity, integrity and civility. But because we think we have found a way to kill people that is civilized and decent, we are comfortable.” In sum, I took away two lessons from this article: we might be able to abolish the inhumane practice of capital punishment if we can awaken American consciousness to this paradox and if we strangle the supply of these drugs that might not be flowing from Europe. What might be some other strategies?
Friday, January 9, 2015