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October 3, 2009

NY Times editorial on "Botched Executions"

The New York Times this today has this new editorial, headlined "Botched Executions." Here is how it starts and ends:

Ohio’s attempt to execute Romell Broom last month by lethal injection was the death penalty at its most barbaric. Even after that horribly botched failed execution, the state wants to continue putting people to death, starting next week. Ohio should at the very least call a moratorium so it can ensure that it has the technical competence to put people to death humanely. But every state should use this shameful moment to question whether they ought to be putting people to death at all....

We have long believed that capital punishment is wrong in all cases, but even those who support it should not accept cruel procedures. Ohio should halt any further executions until it conducts a comprehensive study of what is going wrong in its administration of lethal injection and what can be done to ensure that a travesty like Mr. Broom’s attempted execution does not happen again.

Ultimately, every state should pause and consider that ending the life of a healthy man or woman is no simple matter and that even in the 21st century, executioners do not have their job down to anything like a science. No government should put people to death until it can show that the condemned person will not be racked with pain, catch on fire or prove so difficult to kill, as in Mr. Broom’s case, that the executioners are forced to try again another day.

Some recent related posts on Ohio lethal injection issues:

October 3, 2009 at 03:16 PM | Permalink


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All car driving should stop until we can devise a foolproof automobile. Those still imperfect cars kill 40,000 a year.

I swear, Prof. Berman must be posting these idiocies as part of his professorial ethos of inducing heated debate in class.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 3, 2009 6:33:03 PM

Yes, SC, because the death penalty and an individual's decision to drive are so analagous.

Posted by: A.Nony.Mous | Oct 4, 2009 11:26:41 AM

A: But, driving kills 40,000, the death penalty, 40 in a really good year. Driving is 1000 times more deadly. Plus, the way people are dispatched? Ghoulish butchery with limbs going in different directions which makes witnesses and rescuers vomit at the scene. The death penalty in a car is often instantaneous and for an innocent mistake, a moment of inattention, one too many wine glasses at dinner. Most of the victims are adults at the peak of responsibility and productivity. In the case of motorcycles, the rider has done nothing wrong in two thirds of fatalities. Someone did not see them. Period. Gone. Catapulted into the sky at 60 MPH, and smashed like a bug, with broken bones, including the skull. Lots of people survive to live in agony for months, and to have to learn how to use a spoon again.

Not a word from the abolitionist hypocrites about this disgusting carnage.

The lawyer says, driving has utility. The death penalty has even more utility, besides generating $billion in lawyer appellate business. Assume no deterrence. The deceased has a low recidivism rate. It prevents hundreds of crimes to be committed by the criminal in the future. In contrast, life without parole is a license to kill better than that of James Bond. It immunizes all subsequent crime, and without the second guessing by civil service weasels hounding Bond and preventing his killing the terrorist enemies of the Crown.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 4, 2009 12:58:31 PM

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