Prayer intentions
Please pray for the following people. And if you know someone who needs a prayer, by all means feel free to add as many names as you want.

April 25, 2007

Scientific American: Lethal injection probably not painless

An article at Scientific American titled Bad Drugs: Lethal Injection Does Not Work as Designed, states that a study was done recently "which found that if any of the doses [in the lethal injection cocktail] are off the recipient not only feels pain, but he or she also must suffer a slow death by the asphyxiation following total paralysis."

In the modern age of capital punishment, the guillotine was seen as perhaps the most humane because it was instantaneous, but was decried as being too bloody and barbaric.

Then there was hanging, which was not quite as quick but a lot cleaner. Nevertheless, hanging gave people the willies, watching the condemned move and jerk about as they died.

There was the firing squad, which depended on a sharpshooter's accuracy.

Then there was the electric chair, which began as a stunt by Thomas Edison, who was the main developer of direct current technology for home use, to discredit George Westinghouse and his superior alternating current theories as being too dangerous for use by the average consumer. A few botched executions using the electric chair proved that it truly could be both painful and horrifying.

Gas chambers proved to be poisonous not just to the condemned, but to those who must administer the execution and clean up afterward. They are also both visibly painful and too reminiscent for some folks' tastes of the Nazi gas chambers.

Then came the lethal injection. I recall the first time I heard it mentioned, and how it was touted that the condemned would just sort of drift off to sleep. Nothing "cruel or unusual" there, they said. Now justice could be served to those who had committed the worst crimes, they said.

Now it's shown that this isn't true, either. They don't "drift off to sleep", they lie there and suffer, slowly.

Truth is, there is nothing good or painless or clean about executions. Nor can there be. The State, even when composed of generally good people, cannot judge perfectly as God can. So when the State orders executions, they are placing themselves in loco Deus — in God's place — by usurping for themselves the power over life and death. Only God can create a painless death. Any attempt to force death to occur before its intended time will be painful for the recipient, and that pain will be attributed by God to the souls of the people who created it, as will the hubris that came with playing God.