A Second Execution Attempt?

This storyfrom Newsweek talks about the botched execution attempt of an Ohio inmate convicted of the rape/murder of a 14-year-old girl. The debate now is whether or not another execution attempt would be considered a cruel and unusual form of punishment. According to the article, “Ohio is the only state that has a statute that requires a quick and painless execution,” so there’s also the question of whether or not the inmate was subjected to too much pain during the first attempt.

  1. Should the State of Ohio be allowed to attempt to execute this individual a second time?
  2. Did the individual experience a level of pain that would is incompatible with Ohio’s requirement that he receive a painless execution?
  3. Should the State of Ohio consider an alternative/additional method of execution? (According to the article, they’ve struggled with lethal injections in the recent past.)

Any other questions that arise from this case? I’m sure there are plenty that didn’t really occur to me before I decided to post this, but I read the article and immediately wondered what the Dopers would think about it.

[/nice, objective voice]

  1. Yes. Yes, they should. There’s precedence from the Supreme Court regarding a botched first execution attempt, and *that *guy was half-electrocuted as opposed to poked a few times. The article notes that we don’t know how much pain that guy suffered, but you can almost guarantee that it was more than our rapist/murderer here.
  2. No. As someone who’s given blood dozens of times, including a few that were botched in some way, I can’t believe this is even a debate. Needle sticks are mildly uncomfortable at their worst, and someone who’s managed to survive in prison for 25 years ought to be able to handle a little boo-boo.
  3. YES! For Og’s sake, what kind of clowns do they have in charge of administering lethal injections in Ohio?!?! How the hell can you stick someone 18 times and not find a suitable vein? In my opinion lethal injection is the most humane method of execution (as if that should matter), but they ought to be able to do it another way if they’ve only got Day 1 Med Student to perform the venipuncture and he fails.

Despite taking off my objective voice (and I hope the first part of my post was objective), I still tempered my answers there, I guess. This asshat gets no sympathy from me. Anyone with a trace of a soul should be able to understand that any small amount of suffering he experienced because of a few pricks of a needle can’t compare to the amount of suffering he inflicted on his victim and her family, and it shouldn’t be enough to get him off of death row.

I hope this guy’s got a seat reserved for him in Hell, right on Satan’s cock.

For one thing, they probably can’t GET a Day 1 Med Student. People with actual medical training generally won’t have a thing to do with executions. And second, if he’s a drug addict the odds are good the blood vessels in his arm are damaged.

Always seemed to me a much better method would be suffocation, in the form of putting the condemned in an air-tight chamber (possibly even a modified former gas chamber) and use industrial fans to evacuate the air to a level comparable with, say, an altitude of 25,000 feet. By all indications, including the experiences of pilots, one drifts off quite painlessly, perhaps not even aware it is happening. If there’s a last-minute reprieve (preferably one that happens less than four minutes after the start the of the execution and before brain-death begins), the air can be reintroduced and the (formerly) condemned revived with oxygen and CPR.

Painless, tidy, simple, no medical-professional intervention required (beyond confirming death afterward) with the only drawback that the process takes several minutes, inviting the possibility of a reprieved prisoner being alive but brain-damaged.

Damn… I thought the phrase “Day 1 Med Student” was obvious enough to be metaphorical for the ineptitude of the people doing this that I wouldn’t have to worry about this sort of nitpicking. Apparently I was wrong. My bad.

I know this, because I actually read the article, but maybe that’s why they need someone with medical training. Doctors and, particularly, nurses should be able to administer an IV to a drug user fairly efficiently since they would presumably have to do it more often than the prison officials.

25 years to get to this?

“Here we are, you and I, languishing in our hospitals. You have your pain and I am without my books—the learned Dr. Chilton has seen to that. We live in a primitive time—don’t we Will?—neither savage nor wise. Half measures are the curse of it. Any rational society would either kill me or give me my books.”—Hannibal Lecter

Okay, that was probably pretentious and needlessly creepy.

But really, doesn’t this underscore the whole problem? We say we want the death penalty as a society, but the squeamishness and hand-wringing about trying to make the whole thing “civilized” makes it ineffectual, and increasingly a farce.

I mean, come on—who here couldn’t figure out a “quick and painless” way of killing a human? That’s not the big technical problem—it’s that they want a pretty way of doing it. Something all clinical and fancy and legaled-up, so they can say they’re carrying out a judicial execution. You’re killing a man. Man up and do it, or get back on the damn boat.

That’s not a bad idea. The other being a concoction of injected drugs that work by injecting into muscle.

OTOH this guy was a junkie so give him full strength heroin and let him figure it out in his cell while listening to his favorite music. Then they can drag his carcass out past all the other prisoners. He can mime his last official job as a motivational speaker.

I was severely dehydrated and it took 14 sticks to finally get enough blood to crossmatch me … there are blood vessels all over the fucking body.

Or, in a word, back of the knee, back of the foot, armpit … no excuse.

Hell, mrAru chimed in that there are plenty of navy emts [general guys in the sub fleet] who would probably volunteer to set the IV in scum like that.

Exactly. I’m no fan of capital punishment, but I’m even more disturbed and disgusted by government attempts to make it more “scientific.” Know who *else *tried to kill people scientifically?

Although I think that Mr. Broom deserves to die for his heinous crime, I’m not sure that Ohio should get another chance to be the agent of his death. The state specifies that his death needs to be quick and painless, and according to the Newsweek article, the attempt was neither quick nor painless:

This story was on abcnews.com a couple of days ago, as well.

So, it seems to me, the state should be made to play by their own rules. If they cannot, they should not be allowed to play. I’m not sure there should be “do-overs” in legal matters, especially not ones as serious as the death penalty.

  1. Should the State of Ohio be allowed to attempt to execute this individual a second time? Not sure, but leaning heavily towards “no”.

  2. Did the individual experience a level of pain that would is incompatible with Ohio’s requirement that he receive a painless execution? Yes, it seems likely that the pain he experienced went far above the legally allowed threshold of “painless”.

  3. Should the State of Ohio consider an alternative/additional method of execution? (According to the article, they’ve struggled with lethal injections in the recent past.) Yes, they prolly should. Not sure what method, tho, since Ohio requires that the death be quick and painless, and I’m not sure there is a method of killing that guarantees that, short of medically inducing a coma first, but then the method is not quick, just painless.

"Well, get on with it, motherfu… " – Russell “Stringer” Bell

Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.

I may regret asking this, but given that you want to kill the bloke, what’s wrong with a soft heavy bullet at point blank range into the back of his head?

Quick and painless, reliable, and hardly either cruel nor unusual? Does it really have to be pretty?

(I agree the state botched the first execution. Proportionate response would be say a $300 fine for causing unnecessary minor suffering. The responsibility on the state to complete the execution would not fall away - why would it?)

So just knock him out prior to trying to find a vein to tab into…He won’t know how many times it takes cause he won’t be waking up…

I can think of so many alternative methods he is deserving of, but none would be quick of painless

I was musing on the psychology of the method. I suppose firing squad and gas wouldn’t quite strike the right note. Electricity is nice and dramatic, sure to afford a thunderous sense of wrath and vengence.

A needle perhaps suggests science, a civilised, calculated way to execute someone.

Personally, I’d give him a choice, drink this yourself or it’s our game.

Happy days.

I agree with Sandwich. Unless there’s something I don’t know that makes it impractical, the firing squad sounds like a pretty good option.

Firing squad, the noose or the axe. Any other method is just jerking off.

M Guillotin for one, at the behest of a number of people back in France in the 1700s.

Why, who did you have in mind?

and what is that law, godwins?

Look, as long as execution is legal, why not try to make it scientific if that will make it fit the not cruel or unusual bit that is in the lawbooks? Though I dont see what is cruel or unusual about a guillotine, it is fast and reasonably torture free as long as the blade is sharp and heavy enough and the mechanism works properly.

Because we discovered that the executioner suffered. Many think it would be easy, but often mental problems followed the guy doing the deed. That is why a shooting squad had one gun with a blank. A member of the squad had a chance to convince himself that he did not actually shoot a helpless man. Even that proved too weak. Many people think it is easy. It is not.