I am an enthusiastic supporter of capital punishment, but I hate lethal injection and I think it should be abolished. The problem with lethal injection is that we are a nation of liars, hypocrites and cowards. We do not want to actually admit that we are killing people, so we make it antiseptic. We are hiding the truth behind an antiseptic, “safe” and “humane” wall of lies and deception. It is despicable.
Instead of terminating a murderer’s life in a way that there is absolutely no question what we are doing, We make it look like he is being prepped for surgery. We put a needle in his arm as he drifts peacefully off to sleep. Done. No pain, no muss, no fuss. (In theory. More on that later.) We do not have to face the truth, and we do not need to see the reality of what we are doing.
I hate lethal injection. I hate it.
We need to be honest about what we’re doing. We need to have a spine and tell the truth. The message should be very clear: “This person deserves to die and we are going to kill him.” So we kill him via a firing squad, the electric chair or by hanging him. (The men who included a prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment in our Constitution would laugh at the notion that those methods listed above are cruel or unusual.) But we should never use lethal injection.
Executions should be violent. I am not saying we should torture people to death, but forcibly ending someone’s life is an inherently violent act and it should be obvious to all what we are doing. Making it look like we’re prepping someone for life-saving surgery is cowardly lies and hypocrisy.
As to the procedure itself, lethal injection is in a mess right now because state governments have had a difficult time getting the drugs used to kill people. (Which would not be a problem if we were shooting, hanging or electrocuting prisoners.) Because we are using untested methods, we are essentially conducting human experimentation. Alternate methods of execution should be used if only because they are more reliable.
Finally, lethal injection inappropriately mixes medicine with killing. Doctors administer the drugs that cause death, when executing prisoners should be the job of an executioner. (Obviously.) We should not be asking our medical professionals to kill people, and having a doctor do the killing is another way for us to lie about what we are doing and pretend it is something else. If we are going to kill people, then we should kill them and be honest about it.