In light of the very prolonged death in the execution of Dennis McGuire in Ohio, we have this:
A shortage of a drug commonly used in executions has prompted lawmakers in at least two states to call for the return of firing squads.
Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin, a Republican representing Harrisonville, introduced legislation Friday (.pdf) that would add five-person firing
squads as an alternative to the state's current method of capital punishment, lethal
Now, this is not a debate about the humaneness of the death penalty. This thread seeks to debate what would in fact be a humane method of capital
punishment, leaving aside the argument that capital punishment itself is always inhumane (with which I agree. I am opposed to the death penalty.
When I first heard about the prolonged death of McGuire, I thought, "Wow, a firing squad would have been much faster...and cheaper." And then I saw
the above article on Twitter.
I believe that the death penalty is always inhumane, and I take much of the reasoning from
Albert Camus' Reflections on the Guillotine
While there are a variety of reasons arguing against it, the one thing that has always stuck with me is the notion of impending death, and how that is
in itself inhumane (one could then argue that since everyone is going to die, everyone has that same anxiety, which I think i true, and why men fear
death as a species: they are conscious of their mortality).
Yet it cannot be denied that men fear death. The deprivation of life is certainly the supreme punishment, and arouses in each of us his decisive
fear. The fear of death, rising from the obscurest depths, ravages the self; the instinct for life, when threatened, panics and flounders among the
most dreadful agonies.
So perhaps the "most humane" method of capital punishment is for it be unknown. Even though one might know one will be executed, perhaps the execution
should come out of the blue (such as while sleeping). I am reminded of the execution in the film
The Funeral (1996).
Now even, though the person still knows that one day he or she will be executed, which still creates anxiety (even though everyone will eventually
die, naturally or otherwise), the fact that he/she is not led to death
might make it "more humane?"
Again, this thread is NOT about whether or not capital punishment is humane itself, but about what
would be the "most" humane method of capital
punishment, even though that's slightly illogical.
edit on 18-1-2014 by Liquesence because: (no reason given)