[L]ethal injection, first adopted by Oklahoma in 1977, is supposed to be "the most humane form" of capital punishment, as New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean called it when he signed a bill reinstating the death penalty in 1982. But in this context, "humane" really means "acceptable." The point is not to make condemned murderers comfortable; the point is to make us comfortable.
But if preventing unnecessary pain is the goal, it is hard to improve on the firing squad or the guillotine. Such old-fashioned methods were abandoned not because they were too painful but because they were too bloody.
As Lockett's execution vividly demonstrated, those two concerns are distinct. One has to do with how a condemned prisoner feels as we kill him; the other has to do with how we feel about killing him. Medicalizing executions helps us avoid the latter question.
Thursday, May 08, 2014
Publicada por Miguel Madeira em 09:19