Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

May 15, 2014

VALLEY: Cruelty, in the eyes of the beholder?

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Declaration: I am neither condoning nor condemning capital punishment. I am merely commenting on the situation.

The death penalty is making the news, again. Well, the execution of the execution is. It came under fire for what's been described as another bumbling, less-than-smooth application. It seems as though opponents of capital punishment are up in arms over the states' inability to make them (the opponents) feel comfortably guilt-free over the process.

The old “cruel and unusual” adage is bantered about as though the prisoner's actual execution is the only hard part he/she has to go through. (Apparently, there's no anxiety the last 24 hours or so of the condemned person's life – it's just another day at the beach.)

Personally, I feel as though death, all by itself, is the embodiment of punishment, cruel or not. Once you set the dial to "kill" someone, anything before or after that is a minor technicality, especially when you put it in perspective. I think the speed bumps in the process fall far short of the complaint. But that's just me.

Here's the one thing that I can't figure out: The states are complaining that they “can't find” the right mixture of lethal drugs to administer the sentence. They claim there is a shortage of drugs or whatever to carry out the execution. Really?

Have they checked with the prison population? There's a rumor that you can get any drug you want behind prison walls. If not, there is a plethora of other options.

Every bottle of cleaning solution in our closet mentions “lethal if swallowed.” And almost all of the medicine commercials on TV state that as a side-effect the product can sometimes cause death. Just sayin' ...

Furthermore, there are those who claim that large soft drinks are deadly – so why not just buy the prisoner a couple cases of Mountain Dew and say “have at it!”?

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