Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Death by needle or needless death

US Supreme Court upholds executions by lethal injection

The decision, supported by a majority of the justices, clears the way for such methods to resume across the country.

The US Supreme Court cleared the way today for executions to resume across the nation, ruling that lethal injections, if properly carried out, are a "humane" means of ending a condemned individual's life. (hey, How about those who are scared of needles!)

The court upheld Kentucky's use of lethal injections by a surprisingly large 7-2 vote.(I am sure those two were scared of needles when kids)
"The Constitution does not demand the avoidance of all risk of pain in carrying out executions," said Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. And there is little evidence that states subject inmates to needless pain when they are put to death.

The ruling is a defeat for death penalty opponents. They had argued that lethal injections may work to disguise the pain of a dying person, and therefore, should be prohibited.

If the court had agreed, the decision may well have stopped capital punishment. Since October, executions have been put on hold while the justices reconsidered the constitutionality of lethal injections.

"The firing squad (Waste of precious ammo we need to use against Iraqis and other nations hostile to our policy), hanging (wellhung is a rude term and in this recession we need the extra rope anyways), the electric chair(what! with oil prices where they are, we are short of power, I mean without power how will we microwave our dinners) and the gas chamber(Nazis) have each in turn given way to more humane methods, culminating in today's consensus on lethal injections," Roberts said.

Critics of lethal injections had pointed to a British medical study that suggested that the commonly used three-drug cocktail may paralyze a dying man and then subject him to searing pain when a heart-stopping drug is administered.

Roberts said there was no evidence that Kentucky officials would fail to give a dying man enough of an anesthetic, sodium thiopental. He said the justices were unwilling to declare lethal injections "cruel and unusual punishment" simply because of the theoretical and unproven risk that in the future, some prison officials may make a mistake when administering the three drugs.

To stop such executions in the future, defense lawyers must show a "demonstrated risk of severe pain" to the dying person, he said.Heyyy what if the dying man screams in pain? how would you stop it then!

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