Friday, July 25, 2014
Arizona Execution of Joseph Wood / Botched?
Regarding the recent Arizona execution of convicted murderer Joseph Wood, it didn’t sound pretty. And, I am a firm supporter of Capital Punishment for certain aggravated (horrendous) murders. How could anyone not be? One of the demonstrators outside the prison held a sign that said, “No One Deserves to Die.” That person is (how might I put this gently) an idiot. Of course, some murderers deserve to die.
What bothers me is that Capital Punishment is inequitably applied, and unduly delayed; but this recent execution in Arizona really mystifies me. Why does it take nearly two hours to execute someone?
I’m sure most of you have faced the necessity of ‘putting down’ an old or sick pet. I have had to do it more than once. Each time, I held the pet or comforted the pet while the final injection was administered. They died within seconds without any signs of suffering. What would a loving pet owner think if his dog or cat gasped for air for two hours? What if the veterinarian said the animal wasn’t really suffering, it was merely the residual impulses of the brain stem or some other such nonsense? Nope, no one would accept that explanation.
So now we have a system of execution for humans that seems barbaric by comparison. Whether or not Wood actually suffered is questionable. That the execution appeared to involve suffering was perceived by the witnesses and is enough. What’s going on here? Don’t get me wrong. I don’t feel particularly sorry for Mr. Wood. But, there has to be something more to this. Is this a backdoor attempt to influence American opinion? Are we being manipulated one more time? What’s the deal on the drugs? Why, currently, are they still reportedly experimenting with various lethal cocktails?
I know, I’ve heard the back and forth about various drug companies refusing to furnish various drugs due to fear that they will be boycotted or called-out in some negative way. But, there must be a supplier available somewhere. I just don’t believe it could be otherwise.
In Oregon, we have the ‘Death with Dignity Law.’ It’s actually not used that often; but it does give comfort to some who are terminally ill. The comfort is in knowing that, if the suffering becomes too great, you will be allowed a peaceful last few moments with family. From what I’ve heard, these folks do not suffer, or gasp for breath, as they leave this world. These drugs, as I understand it, are administered orally; and there is, of course, a strict protocol involved.
I suppose this would not work with someone about to be executed. They would potentially resist taking the pills. But, maybe they should be offered that option. If I was about to be executed, I would gladly take the pills and wash them down with a glass of water – or even better a cold beer.
However, the public would not buy this. The public does now and has always held a fascination with executions. They want to see a little suffering, but subsequently they often claim they are offended by the sight. Even the people who demonstrate outside prisons, when an execution is about to occur, are participating in a ghoulish act. They just don’t recognize their true motivations. They want to be there, a participant when the lights dim, the deed is done, the final exit. Something to tell their grandkids about. Sick – in my opinion.