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Author Topic: Executed killer took 34 minutes to die
Canuckistan
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Story here.

quote:
Death penalty opponents criticized the execution of a convicted murderer who took more than half an hour to die and needed a rare second dose of lethal chemicals.

Angel Nieves Diaz, 55, convicted of murdering a Miami topless bar manager 27 years ago, appeared to grimace before dying Wednesday, 34 minutes after the first dose.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said she doesn't believe Diaz felt any pain and had liver disease, which required the second dose.

"It was not unanticipated. The metabolism of the drugs to the liver is slowed," Plessinger said.

Diaz's cousin Maria Otero said the family had never heard he suffered from liver disease.



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Pogue Ma-humbug
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Florida seems to have problems executing people. See 12, 25, 31 and 33. That's four of 64 executions, not to mention the 22 people Florida has freed from Death Row after they were found innocent.

Pogue

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Syllavus
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Yee gods Pogue, thank you for posting that. I was already against the death penalty, but reading that has just made me even more sure of my stance. I had a hard enough time watching parts of The Green Mile, but knowing that things like that have happened as recently as 1997? *shudders*

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
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I couldn't finish reading Pogue's link. I feel ill now.

The death penalty is a bad, bad thing.

Nonny

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When there isn't anything else worth analyzing, we examine our collective navel. I found thirty-six cents in change in mine the other day. Let no one say that there is no profit in philosophy. -- Silas Sparkhammer

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TurquoiseGirl
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I didn't know that electrocution or asphixiation were still done. How barbaric. Thanks, I think, for the link, Pogue.

And I didn't realize that there could be so many problems with lethal injection either.

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Archie2K
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I've heard people saying that the death penalty, at least as it currently stands with lethal injection, could be declared unconstitutional under the cruel and unusual punishment clause. They've claimed that we put down dogs more humanely than we execute death row inmates. IIRC part of the problem is that a muscle relaxant is given so that if there is a problem and pain is felt due to insufficient anaesthetic the person can't signal for help and as such can suffer terrible pain. [Frown]

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Paulie Jay
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That certainly is harrowing reading.

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Mickey Blue
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Eh, chalk it up to another reason to be against the death penalty. I'd rather that blood not be on my hands.

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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Luka_the_Pooka
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Quick question - what DO we use to put down dogs? It seemed very quick and peaceful when our old dog was put to sleep. And if it is better, then why aren't we using it on death row inmates? [Confused]

And good lord Pogue, you have just convinced me to become anti-death penalty [Eek!] I had thought that with DNA testing, no one who was innocent would be put to death nowdays!

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LeaflessMapleTree
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Oh my God. That was one of the most disturbing and awful things I have ever read.

And I second Luka's question about animals.

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"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
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Steve Eisenberg
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quote:
Originally posted by Archie2K:
They've claimed that we put down dogs more humanely than we execute death row inmates.

I'm against the death penalty. It's too hard on the executioner, and on the murderer's family.

However, if you are going to have it, dare I suggest that the whole idea is to deter other potential murderers by the horror of the death row convict's fate? Our dogs are not murderers. Of course they should have a more peaceful passing.

The whole idea of lethal injection as a punishment for murder is misguided. Many people would like, when their time comes, to die like a put down dog. For the worst murderers, either use a frightening method, or don't do it at all.

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Finite Fourier Alchemy
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quote:
Originally posted by Luka_the_Pooka:
Quick question - what DO we use to put down dogs?

Lethal dose of sodium pentobarbitol.

quote:
It seemed very quick and peaceful when our old dog was put to sleep. And if it is better, then why aren't we using it on death row inmates? [Confused]
Executions use sodium thiopental, which (I think) is faster-acting in humans than phenobarbitol.

A lethal dose of thiopental by itself will put a person under very quickly but can take an hour or more to kill, so along with that the lethal injection has a muscle relaxant to stop breathing and KCl to stop the heart.

Since there's no guarantee of what effects a drug will have on any one particular person, and since a lot of people on death row have impressive tolerances to all sorts of drugs, there are sometimes unpleasant effects.

If we really cared about making death painless we'd be back on the guillotine, but we as a society have decided the death penalty has to *look* humane.

Death is death and I'm opposed to any attempt to pretty it up.

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Mr. Furious
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
For the worst murderers, either use a frightening method, or don't do it at all.

Well, that wacky Eighth Amendment might get in the way. [Smile]

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Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
However, if you are going to have it, dare I suggest that the whole idea is to deter other potential murderers by the horror of the death row convict's fate?
Well if thats the whole idea then I'd wager we'd best just get rid of it outright, cause I've seen no data to suggest its working (not saying you do, in fact you made a point of saying you were against it, just saying).

ETA:

Hmm, board ate my edit..

In short, I don't think that extra, even excessive, time taken to find a vein in a person (particularly a person who has a lifetime history of drug use) can be called a 'botched' execution. Speaking as somebody who regularly has to try to find those veins (granted to help them not kill them) I can say sometimes it takes quite a while.. Beyond that, the site listed dosn't mention how many times the prisoners were stuck, only how long workers looked, so in that 2 hours they discuss they may have only been stuck three or four times.

Also:

quote:
The execution was witnessed by a Florida State Senator, Ginny Brown-Waite, who at first was "shocked" to see the blood, until she realized that the blood was forming the shape of a cross and that it was a message from God saying he supported the execution.
Wow..

ETA2:

I'd say what is most disturbing is not the examples of human error, as those were presumably not deliberate, but the descriptions of the executions that went correctly and had patients convulsing violently among other descriptors..

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Morrigan
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I'm just wondering how many of those people who were executed were innocent. I'll have to dig up my copy of "Actual Innocence," I suppose.

Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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Jackie in the Elevator
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That is abosolutely barbaric. I have nothing more to say.

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Free the West Memphis Three

Why are these cases still unsolved?

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
For the worst murderers, either use a frightening method, or don't do it at all.

Yes, maybe we could bring back the gas chamber: According to a former San Quenton Penitentiary warden, Clinton Duffy: "At first there is evidence of extreme horror, pain, and strangling. The eyes pop. The skin turns purple and the victim begins to drool."

Is that frightening enough for you?

Or maybe you would prefer stoning. Flaying is a particularly painful method. Or maybe the infamous hanging, drawing and quartering would fit your needs.

Tell us Steve, which method do you prefer? Or would you rather come up with your own?

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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How about crucifixion? We know it was popular at one time.

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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mouse goddess
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Just to add to Finite's excellent info, here's something I posted in another thread.

"Dogs are usually put to sleep with a solution called Beuthenase....It's basically an overdose of barbituates, but more specifically, it's a solution of the sodium salts of phenytoin and pentobarbital. (from Wikipedia, but I'm pretty confident it's right, I was just checking spelling.)

Even then, it's not completely perfect in all cases. It's always injected in the veins of animals when possible, but sometimes, with cats (this usually in a shelter setting, where the volume of euthanasia can be high), since their veins are small, and they can be difficult, it's injected into their peritoneal cavity. This results in a slightly slower death....but probably still painless.

(And it is a SLIGHT difference, with dogs it's nearly instantaneous, with cats, maybe a minute and a half.)

And, weird things happen, I saw one dog that got triple the usual dose, who would just not go down. It was in the vein, because if it isn't, it leaves a lump, but he just seemed to resist it, then suddenly it worked."

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asnakeny
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Thanks for the link, Pogue. Although it might be interesting to compare some of the execution horror stories with crime scene details of how the convicted murderers killed their victims (I'm pretty sure that none of those deaths were peaceful and gentle either.)

By the way, when the death penalty is mentioned as a "deterrent", there's another inherent meaning than "does it deter people from committing premeditated murder". Take a scenario where a person has just committed a rape and kidnapping: the perpetrator would know that if caught, he would expect to face an extremely lengthy jail sentence.

Now take two parallel legal scenarios:

1.) There is no death penalty, only a maximum of life without parole.

2.) There is a death penalty.

In scenario 1.), what would the incentive be for the kidnapper/rapist to keep his victim alive? He might rationally calculate that the legal difference between an 80-year jail sentence (with almost no chance for parole) would be practically the same as a life-no-parole sentence, and thus make the calculated decision that killing his victim would result in the best chance of maximizing his freedom.

In scenario 2.), he must weigh his own desire for self-preservation against his chance of avoiding capture. Would it be too unreasonable to expect that in some scenarios, the perpetrator might choose longevity over the increased risk of incarceration?

If the above scenario is true, then how many "lives saved" might it be worth to keep the death penalty statutes on the books? Also, if you think that a rapist/kidnapper is not capable of making a rational choice in the heat of the act, consider the effect of the death penalty on plea bargains (where there are less external pressures on the decision making): confess (plead guilty) and spare your life vs. risk trial and possible death sentence.

If the death penalty means more guilty pleas, is that not worthy of consideration?

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Astra
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I lived in Florida and "Old Sparky" was a hot debate during that time. I've read "Actual Innocence" and it's scary. I've also read "Death At Midnight," a memoir written by a former warden and executioner, and someone I've had the privilege of working for.

I think that many people in favor of the death penalty would change their minds, or at least think very hard about where they stand, if they actually had to witness an execution. We have this idea that lethal injections are quick and "pretty," and that isn't quite true. Same with the gas chamber. I sometimes wonder if the convulsions are worse for the soon-to-be-dead or for the witnesses.

Honestly, I'm iffy on the death penalty. I think there are some people who have absolutely no use in staying alive - Dahmer, Gacy, etc. That level of depravity is fairly rare though, and I think we consider the death penalty to be appropriate in far too many crimes.

There have also been far too many cases of innocent people being put on Death Row. If we have found that many innocent before death, how many innocent have we already killed? That's a scary question.

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erwins
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quote:
Originally posted by asnakeny:
Thanks for the link, Pogue. Although it might be interesting to compare some of the execution horror stories with crime scene details of how the convicted murderers killed their victims (I'm pretty sure that none of those deaths were peaceful and gentle either.)

By the way, when the death penalty is mentioned as a "deterrent", there's another inherent meaning than "does it deter people from committing premeditated murder". Take a scenario where a person has just committed a rape and kidnapping: the perpetrator would know that if caught, he would expect to face an extremely lengthy jail sentence.

Now take two parallel legal scenarios:

1.) There is no death penalty, only a maximum of life without parole.

2.) There is a death penalty.

In scenario 1.), what would the incentive be for the kidnapper/rapist to keep his victim alive? He might rationally calculate that the legal difference between an 80-year jail sentence (with almost no chance for parole) would be practically the same as a life-no-parole sentence, and thus make the calculated decision that killing his victim would result in the best chance of maximizing his freedom.

In scenario 2.), he must weigh his own desire for self-preservation against his chance of avoiding capture. Would it be too unreasonable to expect that in some scenarios, the perpetrator might choose longevity over the increased risk of incarceration?

If the above scenario is true, then how many "lives saved" might it be worth to keep the death penalty statutes on the books? Also, if you think that a rapist/kidnapper is not capable of making a rational choice in the heat of the act, consider the effect of the death penalty on plea bargains (where there are less external pressures on the decision making): confess (plead guilty) and spare your life vs. risk trial and possible death sentence.

If the death penalty means more guilty pleas, is that not worthy of consideration?

You are giving the kind of killers that wind up with the death penalty far too much credit for rational thought about the consequences, and knowing the law.

And the pressure on plea bargaining is a BAD thing in my estimation. If you were completely innocent, but the DA has eyewitnesses that say you're the one who did the crime, then how much pressure is there to take the bargain and hope you can later prove your innocence, versus taking the chance of being sentenced to death?

erwins

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Steve Eisenberg
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Ma-humbug:

Tell us Steve, which method do you prefer? Or would you rather come up with your own?

Pogue

Is your point to be sarcastic?

In the US, the death penalty is going to be around for a while. Even if you are against it, you don't give up your voice in how it should be carried out.

Since you ask -- firing squad. The part about squad members never knowing for sure if their bullet was the blank, or if their bullet by itself was fatal, is a advantage.

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"Hillel says yes, naturally, and Shammai says no, and Maimonides is perplexed, and what do I know?"
Julius Lester

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Friends of Alfred
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
quote:
Originally posted by Pogue Ma-humbug:

Tell us Steve, which method do you prefer? Or would you rather come up with your own?

Pogue

Is your point to be sarcastic?

In the US, the death penalty is going to be around for a while. Even if you are against it, you don't give up your voice in how it should be carried out.

Since you ask -- firing squad. The part about squad members never knowing for sure if their bullet was the blank, or if their bullet by itself was fatal, is a advantage.

Unless the poor bastard being shot turns out to be innocent of course. The major advantage of not killing criminals is that thay can be released if it turns out they are innocent

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Mickey Blue
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quote:
Unless the poor bastard being shot turns out to be innocent of course. The major advantage of not killing criminals is that thay can be released if it turns out they are innocent
Ahem..

[quote[i]Originally by Steve Eisenberg: I'm against the death penalty.[/quote]

Me and Steve differ on alot of issues (ALOT of issues) but c'mon, he specifically said he was against it but if its gonna be around he'd prefer they use a different method, so why attack him as if he were "for" it?

Thats like me saying "I'm against abortion but at the very least I'd like there to be a limit on when you can get an elective abortion" and then having people call me pro-choice.


quote:

If the death penalty means more guilty pleas, is that not worthy of consideration?

Only if those guilty pleas are actually guilty..

My three arguments against the death penalty, summarized:

(1) Most important, innocent people sometimes die, thats unacceptable as that blood is on my hands. Now yes, I suppose a criminal in jail for life COULD escape and kill, but that blood is on their hands, not mine.

(2) It costs a butt-ton of money, I don't have the actual figures in front of me but virtually all credible sites I recall finding in the past on more detailed discussions shows a far higher cost (due primarily to paroles) for executions.

(3) Less logical then the first two, but the death penalty is effectively "murder one" but committed by the state, and the only purpose it seems to serve is revenge. We should focus on two things in regard to criminals, confining them so they cannot further harm people, and if possible rehabilitating them so they can re-enter society. Revenge shouldn't figure in.. If its illegal for me to take revenge on somebody who wronged me why is it ok for the state to? In short, its morally wrong in my eyes for the state to "play god" (if you'll pardon the phrase).

The fact that the death penalty, when carried out correctly, is so much more horrific then I could have thought (based on the above link) could almost be "number four".

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Pseudo_Croat
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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You know, this just calls for the return of beheading. In a public space. Like in the olden days. Quick, painless, and to the point.

That'll scare them off.

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God wants spiritual fruits, not religious nuts.

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Friends of Alfred
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quote:
Me and Steve differ on alot of issues (ALOT of issues) but c'mon, he specifically said he was against it but if its gonna be around he'd prefer they use a different method, so why attack him as if he were "for" it?
It was not meant as an attack, and apologies to Steve if he though it was, but he did suggest that we use a frigtening method for the worst murderers, or not at all. I dont think any form of capital punishment is not frightening, and as it can not be rescinded after the event, I dont belive it should be used at all.

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Dara bhur gCara
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quote:
Originally posted by Pseudo_Croat:
You know, this just calls for the return of beheading. In a public space. Like in the olden days. Quick, painless, and to the point.

That'll scare them off.

Not to mention all the business opportunities for small traders such as hot-dog and candy-floss makers or buskers or street magicians, and it'll be a nice fun day out for the whole family. You don't want to listen to any of those pinko liberals who say that sort of thing is barbaric or anything. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Maybe we could put their heads on a spike as well, as a lesson to others.

Certainly, this doesn't do anything to resolve the issue of the numerous people in the US who have been put to death and subsequently found to be innocent, or indeed address the fact that a disproportionate number of people on Death Row in the US come from African-American or other ethnic minority backgrounds, or have had to rely on a Public Defender. But I'm sure that they were all bad people anyway, and if they didn't commit the crimes of which they were committed, they probably did something criminal once, like littering or something, so we don't have to feel too bad about it.

Oh, and I think you should ignore anyone who points to this suggestion of yours the next time you advocate some sort of forcible taming of the savages or nuking the Middle East because of their barbaric practices. They don't understand how desirable and civilised the public execution of criminals is, or just how much fun it can be. Wimps.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


Posts: 2794 | From: London, UK | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
chillas
Coventry Mall Carol


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quote:
Originally posted by Mickey Blue:

Me and Steve differ on alot of issues (ALOT of issues) but c'mon, he specifically said he was against it but if its gonna be around he'd prefer they use a different method, so why attack him as if he were "for" it?

Because his prefered methods would be more barbaric than what is already in place.

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Come on, come on - spin a little tighter
Come on, come on - and the world's a little brighter


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Evil_eyes
We Three Blings


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That link was horrible, I am for the death penalty but I have to pause and think about it now.

As well as others have said, I think there is a better way to execute criminals. I also think there should be a better system in place as not to execute innocent criminals.

E*E

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"Taking all the pain I give you
Loving blindly in return
And I need you more than ever"
WWW.Myspace.com/E_E2000

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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Carbon monoxide is claimed to be humane, but hazardous to administer. Admittedly I only read this in vet texts.

Some of my cats had to be PTS by injecting into the kidney. Apart from the discomfort of the injection, it was extremely fast acting. One had to have a 2nd injection into the heart as the kidney injection had anaesthetised him (and he would not have recovered from it) but was not sufficient to stop the heart straight away.

The ease and apparently painlessness of animal euthanasias means that self administered lethal injection is a preferred method of suicide in vets (I think using drugs and dosages intended for equines). This snippet came out of news report on a British study of relative suicide rates in different professions.

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Messybeast Cat Resource Archive
Llewtrah's Soapbox

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Archie2K
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Mickey Blue:
(2) It costs a butt-ton of money, I don't have the actual figures in front of me but virtually all credible sites I recall finding in the past on more detailed discussions shows a far higher cost (due primarily to paroles) for executions.

This is the kicker for me. I've seen no evidence that the death penalty is more of a deterrent than life without parole. I'd be willing to guess that life without parole for the sickest of criminals is actually a worse sentence but that's just a guess. A death penalty case costs more than life without parole, and the appeals process takes precedence over appeals for lesser crimes. Even if we could prove 100% that people on death row were guilty, I'd still be wary of using the death penalty because it just seems so counter productive.

quote:
Dara:
But I'm sure that they were all bad people anyway, and if they didn't commit the crimes of which they were committed, they probably did something criminal once, like littering or something, so we don't have to feel too bad about it. [dripping sarcasm]

Well of course. If someone gets themselves arrested in the firstplace I'm sure they did something. No smoke without fire and all that.

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Vox populi vox canem

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Open Mike Night
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Mickey Blue:

My three arguments against the death penalty, summarized:

(1) Most important, innocent people sometimes die, thats unacceptable as that blood is on my hands. Now yes, I suppose a criminal in jail for life COULD escape and kill, but that blood is on their hands, not mine.

(2) It costs a butt-ton of money, I don't have the actual figures in front of me but virtually all credible sites I recall finding in the past on more detailed discussions shows a far higher cost (due primarily to paroles) for executions.

(3) Less logical then the first two, but the death penalty is effectively "murder one" but committed by the state, and the only purpose it seems to serve is revenge. We should focus on two things in regard to criminals, confining them so they cannot further harm people, and if possible rehabilitating them so they can re-enter society. Revenge shouldn't figure in.. If its illegal for me to take revenge on somebody who wronged me why is it ok for the state to? In short, its morally wrong in my eyes for the state to "play god" (if you'll pardon the phrase).

The fact that the death penalty, when carried out correctly, is so much more horrific then I could have thought (based on the above link) could almost be "number four".

Those are also my 3 top reason for opposition to the death penalty.

My Fourth reason:

quote:
Average of murder rates among death penalty states in 2005: 5.3
Average of murder rates among non-death penalty states in 2005: 2.8

I do believe there is some linkage betwen the state endorsing death as an appropriate punishment for wrongs, and individuals believing that death is an appropriate form of punishment for wrongs, outside of the justice system.

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On the crusade to eliminate Moral Asshattery wherever it exists
Member: AAMAH

Posts: 2940 | From: Michigan | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Friends of Alfred
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Evil_eyes:
That link was horrible, I am for the death penalty but I have to pause and think about it now.

As well as others have said, I think there is a better way to execute criminals. I also think there should be a better system in place as not to execute innocent criminals.

E*E

There is a better system in place as not to execute innocent criminals (what is an innocent criminal by the way?). Execute nobody.

I really don't understand how anybody can be "for" the death penalty. I fail to see how it serves society. It is revenge, pure and simple, which should never be a codoned.

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There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Eisenberg:
]Is your point to be sarcastic?

Nope. It was to respond to your expressed wish for a more frightening way to put people to death. To teach them a lesson, so to speak.

quote:
Since you ask -- firing squad. The part about squad members never knowing for sure if their bullet was the blank, or if their bullet by itself was fatal, is a advantage.
Why is that an advantage? So an executioner can claim he didn't do it? But if the death penalty is morally correct, why should a person who supports it object to participiating in it?

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

Posts: 11325 | From: Kentucky | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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