Keep the death penalty humane

August 9, 2014

I am incredulous over the fact that effective and swift imposition of the death penalty now seems impossible to achieve due to stunning incompetence on the part of states seeking to enforce the law.

Our country has undertaken a variety of means over the years to put to death those who are the worst of the worst, individuals who have committed heinous crimes. We came to believe that lethal injection was most humane and safe way to carry out an execution until recently. Now the process seems to involve a lengthy and torturous process for all involved. Jarring reports are being heard of lengthy executions and those being subjected to it gasping and moaning as they are still conscious but paralyzed.

Now death penalty opponents are licking their chops, saying, “You see? We told you all along – the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme Court must abolish it!”

It would appear that death by firing squad is now the most certain, swift, and humane way to kill, but I fear that objections that some have to it will not enable it to become a common means of putting anyone to death.

We are a civilized country or would like to believe that we are. While recognizing that some deserve to die for committing the worst crimes, we do not revel in gore, nor do we engage in sadism when we execute a prisoner. Is there no way that the will of the people and the law can be carried out without torture being an element of it? Surely a country which has brought about so much innovation and which is not a Third World nation can find a way.

Oren M. Spiegler

Upper Saint Clair


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