Monday, January 27, 2014

Update: Is There a Difference Between Capital Punishment and Human Sacrifice?

Update::  Dennis McGuire surpassed the projected five minutes--experiencing the "agony and terror of air hunger as he struggles to breathe for five minutes after [executioners] intravenously inject him with the execution drugs"--before he loses consciousness and expires--his lawyers said it would take to die,  It took 15 minutes for him to die, as he "gasped, snorted and snored during a prolonged execution" from "air hunger" on January 16, 2014, when the state used the controversial, never-before-tried lethal injection after supplies of the state's previous drug dried up.

The 53-year-old's attorneys had argued against using intravenous doses of the sedative Midazolam and the painkiller Hydromorphone, claiming the combination would cause 'air hunger' - where someone experiences immense terror and agony as they strain for breath during the execution."
[...]
He was then still for five minutes before emitting a loud snort as if snoring and continued to make this noise for several minutes. His stomach rose and fell several times as he repeatedly opened and shut his mouth, making what the Columbus Dispatch described as 'deep, rattling sounds.'

His family sobbed as they watched him slowly die. At one point, his daughter exclaimed 'Oh my God' as she observed her father's final moments.

A coughing sound was Dennis McGuire's last apparent movement, at 10:43 a.m. He was pronounced dead 10 minutes later. McGuire as first injected with the drugs at 10:29 a.m."
Why can we put a dog/cat to death in less than 10 seconds but can't seem to do it when it involves putting a human-being to death. The answer is we can but the sequence of the "lethal cocktail" that enters the body is designed to provide the condemned with a feeling of terror, otherwise why not just inject a general anesthetic followed by whatever it is that stops the heart immediately?

Moreover, McGuire's children watched their father die in such an inhumane and terrible way. They weren't to blame for his crimes but they will now suffer with flashbacks of his horrible death until their last days. Even the victim's family may suffer--if not from watching this man's terrible death--from the memories of his children's reactions. I mean, people who takes enjoyment or satisfaction from this man's suffering only makes them as barbaric as the people they claim deserve this type of suffering.

Make no mistake, Dennis McGuire was guilty for the 1989 rape and fatal stabbing of Joy Stewart and her unborn baby in Preble County in western Ohio. His victims suffered unimaginable terror. However, revenge has no place in a truly civilized system of justice, because not only does the outcome contribute to an unending cycle of violence, its example teaches the public that malice, retaliation, and violence are appropriate means of handling problems. In other words, when government goes beyond the steps necessary to protect society, and sinks to the level of using vengeance and hatred, the wrong message is sent, and the results are demeaning and destructive.

Judge Rules 'Not Entitled to Pain Free Execution'.

Over the past six years, six states — Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and New Mexico — have done away with capital punishment, but one state in particular, Ohio, is planning to go through with a never-before-tried combination of two drugs, which defense lawyers say threatens to leave convicted murderer and rapist, Dennis McGuire, 53, writhing in agony from “air hunger”--"McGuire will experience the agony and terror of air hunger as he struggles to breathe for five minutes after [executioners] intravenously inject him with the execution drugs"--before he loses consciousness and expires. This  "death chamber 'experiment' by the state" will occur on Thursday, January 16, 2014.

Why only two drugs? Well, it's becoming harder and harder to get the three drugs needed for the three-drug cocktail used in lethal injection. Many of these drugs are manufactured in Europe, where opposition to the death penalty has led to a ban on exporting drugs for that purpose, according to the Death Penalty Information Center's (DPIC) report. This has led to states — including Ohio — turning to compounding pharmacies, which were not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration until November 2013.
Ohio and other death penalty states have been struggling to keep executions going because supplies of pentobarbital traditionally used in a three-drug mix have all passed their sell-by dates thanks to its Danish manufacturer prohibiting its sale to US prison services. The European Union has also threatened to restrict sales of Propofol, a leading anaesthetic used in hospitals, were US death chambers to use it instead."
I feel my whole body burning.

So  how are we to determine what is "cruel and unusual punishment?"  What about experiencing "air hunger" for five minutes that probably feels like five hours or more?   And what about the execution in Oklahoma last month, where about 20 seconds into the execution of Michael Lee Wilson, he uttered “I feel my whole body burning?” Potassium chloride, which is used to stop the heart, is known to cause an excruciating burning sensation should the prisoner be partially conscious at that stage, but because execution records are normally shrouded in secrecy, the precise cause of Wilson's apparent agony will never be known.

These are only a couple examples of many, yet, we claim to live in a civilized society.  DNA has proven that our "justice" system too often convicts the innocent,  not to mention the economic cost of capital punishment to society  is astronomical, so how can anyone claim state sanctioned murder is in anyway beneficial, except maybe to those who still believe in human sacrifice...because that's exactly what it is.

Outrageous, you say?

Well, the practice of human sacrifice is as old as humanity.  The oldest recorded human sacrifice dates back to somewhere between 3,700 and 3,400 BC. and, more than likely, even dates further back than that.  Yet, despite the Eighth Amendment that bars "cruel and unusual punishment"which “must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society,” here we are, more than 5,000 years later, supposedly the most civilized of societies, sacrificing humans--the majority of them, poor people of color--on the altar of so-called "justice" and social order.  So it follows, just as it was believed  thousands of years ago that the ancient gods  demanded human blood to pacify and appease, the same must hold true today.  The modern day secular "gods" of justice are just as bloodthirsty as their ancient counterparts, because  even if you eliminate the morality issue, the highly ritualized practice of state sanctioned execution offers no additional benefit to society that would justify its use.  It is more expensive than life in prison.  It is not a necessity or an additional deterrence for the prevention of crime and needless to say, but I'll add it anyway, it's not rehabilitative!

Then, there is the arbitrary way in which it is applied.  The only rhyme or reason to its application is that it's almost exclusively administered to the most marginalized members of society, while men of means who are convicted of sometimes much greater crimes almost always escape the gallows

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