There seems to be a broad consensus among supporters and opponents of capital punishment alike, that executions should
involve as little pain and suffering as possible. Taking of life is the punishment; any associated distress should be minimised.
There seems to be a broad consensus among supporters and opponents of capital punishment alike, that executions should involve as little pain and suffering as possible. Taking of life is the punishment; any associated distress should be minimised.
Since the Second World War, the world’s stomach for capital punishment has waned. Well over 90% of all executions now take place in Asia. Of the G8 nations, only Japan and the USA executed anyone in 2013. The general trend is most definitely towards abolition of the death penalty in the western world.
Methods of execution used worldwide vary widely; from beheading, to electrocution, lethal injection and stoning. Those nations purporting to undertake humane executions tend to use methods which are limited to hanging, firing squad, electrocution, the gas chamber and lethal injection.
Recently, penal institutions which use chemical methods of execution have encountered difficulties obtaining the drugs they need. This is because manufacturers and suppliers are reluctant to be associated with controversial practices like capital punishment. Experimentation with alternatives has become necessary, and has led to some horrific botched executions. Other methods of execution often go wrong too, and condemned men and women regularly endure long and distressing deaths. Click here for a worrying number of harrowing examples.
Badobadop would like to know how such abominations can occur in developed countries. We have no problem putting our pets to sleep without any apparent suffering. We have assisted dying in the US state of Oregon and the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland; yet we can’t seem to find a humane way of executing criminals. Are the people in charge so utterly stupid that they can’t come up with a simple, reliable and painless method of execution, or are they just belligerent and uncaring?
Whatever the case, there is no excuse. Completely humane execution is not rocket science. One option available is inert gas asphyxiation. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that inert gas asphyxiation (exposing the condemned to an atmosphere of pure nitrogen) is about as painful as drifting off into a deep sleep. What is more, nitrogen gas is plentiful and cheap. It is all around us in the air we breathe. Obtaining supplies would never pose a problem.
“It is barbaric and uncivilised to subject anyone to a long and traumatic death. Anyone who does, whether deliberately, or through inaction, is nothing more than a filthy inhuman savage.”
Badobadop is absolutely and unconditionally opposed capital punishment. However, when it does take place, there is no excuse for exacerbating the distress that inevitably accompanies it.