Letters to the Editor

Abolish death penalty over botched and wrongful executions

Oklahoma's botched execution has been in the news recently. The execution by lethal injection was described in a recent Associated Press article as "a bloody mess," too gruesome to be viewed by the audience. Part way through the process, the officials drew the curtains to shield the scene.

States are having difficulty obtaining traditional lethal drugs, and the substitutes are unsatisfactory, resulting in unbelievably prolonged executions and extreme pain. Pets can be euthanized in two minutes!

An Oklahoman state legislator is quoted as saying, "The average Oklahoman is saying he got exactly what he deserves. A lot of people think they should suffer even more than they do. They think the lethal injection is too easy for them."

In other words, a lot of people believe in physical torture. They would probably be happy with a resurrection of public executions by the guillotine. The spectators could bring a picnic lunch.

In England in the 1200s, convicts were disemboweled, cut into four pieces and publicly displayed for long periods. Women were let off easy by simply being burned at the stake. A revival of these methods should satisfy even the most bloodthirsty individual. We seemingly had evolved beyond this unspeakable barbarism, but evidently, in the hearts and minds of many people, we have not.

Most people believe that execution will never happen to them or their family, and an occasional wrongful execution is a small price to pay for law and order. The best solution would be to abolish capital punishment.

After serving a total of 289 years in prison, 20 death-row inmates have been released after being exonerated by DNA testing. Without the DNA tests, these innocent convicts would surely have been executed. It is better for all murderers be imprisoned for life than for one innocent person be executed.

Darrell L. Shahan

Bradenton

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