Saturday, September 30, 2006

"Inhumane" executions

If there is any single event that can stand as a model for the wrong-headedness of our society, it is a series of court hearings taking place in Northern California.

A judge, one Jeremy Fogel, has halted all executions in the state. Why? Because he is concerned that the method of execution -- injection of lethal substances -- may somehow be "inhumane."

Let me see if I understand this: Fogel has put the execution of Michael Morales -- the next prisoner in line for the Big Needle -- on hold because he might experience a few moments of discomfort before the lights go out forever.

I wish Terri Winchell could testify in this case. She was 17 in 1981 when Morales raped her, beat her with a hammer and stabbed her. But no one seems particularly concerned with whether her final moments might have been a little bit uncomfortable.

Instead, time and money are being spent to make sure that Morales doesn't feel a thing when he pays the price for the atrocity he committed. He has had 25 years of life that Terri Winchell was denied, 25 years of regular meals, free medical care and lawyers working to keep him alive.

By the time Winchell's body was found, no one could bring her back to life.

Okay. I'll say right now that if Morales wants a big shot of heroin or a couple of slugs of Jack Black before the execution, I'm all for it. Anything to ensure that this vermin gets what he so richly deserves.

But, on the other hand, if he has a few moments of hideous pain that make those last seconds endless, that make him eager to die if only to stop the agony, I'm perfectly okay with that, too.

As far as I'm concerned, those who oppose the death penalty and/or make the comfort of the execution method an issue are missing an essential point.

In this instance, the essential point was named Terri Winchell.

Putting Morales to death won't bring her back, but it will keep him from committing another hideous crime. And it will mean there is one less violent killer for society to support.

When Morales is, at long last, executed, his suffering, if any, will be inconsequential when compared to his victim's last moments.

And that is what judges, lawyers, and assorted do-gooders should bear in mind.

12 comments:

dkmcb01 said...

I am all for tying the offender up and shooting him in that large artery that runs up the thigh....and letting him bleed to death...I hear it's quite painful. Or maybe people sentenced to death row should die the same way as the people they killed?

MrScribbler said...

At this point, I don't care how it's done, as long as it's done!

Anonymous said...

You running for elected office? If so I'll send you a few bucks and my vote, too. I couldn't agree more. :)

lowandslow said...

The "anonymous" entry was from me. Sorry. Your entry procedure is a bit confusing. Or maybe I'm a bit simple. :)

MrScribbler said...

Not running for office, thank you...I'm human (and so have skeletons in my closet), unwilling to lie about it, and therefore unelectable.

DAL said...

I don't see how there would be discomfort, aside from the IV line being put in. Are they not given a large shot of a narcotic drug to knock them out before they are given the lethal drugs?

Seems to me that they would be rather buzzed before they pass out.

MrScribbler said...

Dal, the contention seems to be that the dose of narcotic isn't strong enough and doesn't knock some perps out completely....

Why they don't just flood the s.o.b.'s system with the stuff, I don't know. If it's a budget problem, they can ask for donations and get more than enough....

gillardia said...

I am totally FOR executions. If someone can commit such awful crimes, they don't deserve to live and get an education in our prison system.

Gill

HarpO'Fly said...

Things are upside down. Good people are harassed and inconvenienced constantly, lines at dmv, taxes, bogus rules, traffic tickets, etc, but vermin are coddled. I don't trust them to get the right guy, but it is simpler for all to just off the bad ones without ceremony. How hard can it be?
What kind of person seeks to aid such a criminal, and feels fine using the state to support him, pushing for a longer life?
People got logic all twisted up somehow

amnesiacsmemoirs said...

Well, I'll be the dissenting voice in this group. As one of the assorted do-gooders, I think the point is this: Morales is a sick, twisted, sadistic murderer. We are not. We are not sadistic; we don't want to inflict pain on people; we don't get pleasure from watching others suffer; we merely want to ensure the safety of our citizens.

That said, I'm not overly-concered with Morales as an individual. But, I tend toward the Fogel school of thought about execution, in general.

I don't think people who support execution are immoral, though, as many other anti-execution advocates do. I think they have good reasons for their beliefs, good reasons to be angry and disgusted with these death-row inmates. I guess I just have a different primary concern than they do -- I'm more concerned with maintaining the integrity of those unstated principles, the intrinsic beliefs that help structure our society, the same beliefs that lead us to regared Morales's actions with revulsion.

Anyway, I'm sorry for rambling, Scrib! I rarely respond to these kinds of socio-political issues, because I don't feel I am informed enough to be certain of my views. I don't know what came over me!

MrScribbler said...

amnesiacmemoirs -- you make the case for "the other side" with eloquence.

I wish no rabid dog ever had to be put down, either.

I'm for the "intrinsic beliefs" of our society. But I can see no purpose in the survival -- in what is relative comfort, compared to what happened to their victims -- of those who have committed the ultimate act of degradation and disrespect for humankind.

You are welcome to "ramble" here at any time!

BenB said...

I will dissent, but for a different reason.
Why let the bastards die so easily? It's a quick and almost seamless death. Stick a needle in, pump the junk in, they're dead.
I don't understand why they simply can't lock them in a concrete room with no bed, and no communication with any humans for the rest of their lives. Just put the food in a sliding tray, slide it in there, watch them on camera, let them rot there.
Perhaps that is too cruel, because the rest of their lives are going to be extremely miserable, and their thoughts will be - whatever they are in the mind of a killer now that I think about it. The only drawback is the drain on public funds to keep them alive.

I guess I just think that quick death is too easy.