Today in Arizona a man was put to death. To say it was botched would be understating things, as it took over two hours of struggling for him to finally expire from the process. It was a clumsy effort, at best. This comes only a couple months after a similarly hamfisted attempt at state-sanctioned execution went equally poorly in Oklahoma. It is truly shameful.
Now before I risk being labeled a "limp-wristed liberal" or "bleeding heart democrat", let me explain myself. It is shameful because of the utter incompetence the state is showing in their ability to terminate something as fragile as human life. You hear stories every day about some unfortunate prick tripping while boarding a subway and being dragged to his death, or dropping dead from a heart attack while buying doritos at the supermarket, yet the government has the killing prowess of the bad guys in a G.I. Joe cartoon. Any five year old with asperger syndrome could tell you how to make significant improvements on the outcomes of executions in america. "Hey Billy, how do you kill someone?" you would ask. "Shoot 'em!" would invariably be the response. I swear, the chinese must be laughing their asses off right now at this rookie display.
So why do we insist on using complex cocktails of chemicals to off every run-of-the-mill child rapist/murderer? For two reasons, which I will discuss in a bit more detail.
Firstly, we have bad beurocracy at dealing death because the real experts in the field of killing people are barred from playing the game. That's right, the military isn't utilized since the public would find it distasteful, and the medical professionals that routinely end lives on accident by drinking an extra mojito the night before performing a heart transplant aren't allowed to participate in the execution process due to the hippocratic oath and the position the medical bar takes on killing people on purpose. And for the same reasons the state can't legally obtain the super-lethal injectable goodies the docs get to play with, and it is such a hurdle that some states have taken to lying about their intentions to foreign chemical companies to obtain them.
But why rely on the uber deadly meds administered by untrained civilians to kill our death row inmates to begin with? Well that ties into reason number two. Because the majority of those among us that are bloodthirsty enough to call for capital punishment are too cowardly to face their decision head on. It's the same as the PETA-supporting hippocritical douchebag hungrily munching on a greasy big mac while condemning the hunter that shoots the poor deer, guts it, then drags it off whatever mountain he hiked up to find the bastard to take it home and eat it. There is not a single asshole on this earth that would choose the life of a cow in a feed lot over the life of a wild deer, but since they don't have to see the slaughterhouse they feel insulated from responsibility for it. Mankind used to do it correctly, by firing squad or the guillotine, or any number of bloody and violent ways. And can you guess the survivability rate of those “barbaric” methods were? Depending on if you are christian or not, the historic survivors number between one and zero.
So, as is often the case, the answer lies in the most simple and practical option: good old-fashioned bloody violence. And if that conclusion strikes you as unthinkably cruel, you need to ask yourself if you would rather suffocate while conscious but paralyzed, or be shot through the heart with a 30.06 round fired by a trained expert. And if your answer is “neither”, then I guess you must be against the death penalty.