Fox News contributor Erick Erickson reacted to the botched execution in Oklahoma tonight - by calling for firing squads or hangings as capital punishment. To save us from the "hand wringing" of being humane.
In case you missed it, an execution went grotesquely wrong in Oklahoma tonight. From The New York Times:
McALESTER, Okla. — What was supposed to be the first of two executions here Tuesday night was halted when the prisoner, Clayton D. Lockett, began to writhe and gasp after he had already been declared unconscious and called out “oh man,” according to witnesses.
The administering doctor intervened and discovered that “the line had blown,” said the director of corrections, Robert Patton, meaning that drugs were no longer flowing into Mr. Lockett’s vein.
The Times also reported that Lockett later died of a heart attack. The second execution that was supposed to occur tonight has been postponed.
But Erickson tweeted his solution:
(H/T Media Matters)
photo credit: By UNDERWOOD & UNDERWOOD [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
@janet, I think erics comments were insensitive and should of been kept to himself. But looking at the report, Lockett was brutal. After reading that, it makes you mad for what he did. There are two reactions i usually see, a reaction from people who are directly affected by this crime and another by people who are not directly affected.
I’m surprised, also, that you’re not interested in a factual account of the details published in the local newspaper. Especially considering that you were more than glad to equate the two men in question. I’m curious what equates them in your mind.
“Testimony indicated that Neiman refused to give Lockett
the keys to her pickup truck or promise that she would not
go to police after her assailants beat and assaulted her.
Bobby Lee Bornt, one of those kidnapped, said Lockett
took Neiman to a shallow grave that one of the
co-defendants dug. Bornt said he saw a flash from a shotgun
that Lockett carried, and heard Neiman scream.
Bornt testified that Lockett came back to the road where
the co-defendants were holding Bornt and another female and
told them the shotgun was jammed. Lockett found a file in
Bornt’s truck and fixed the shotgun, and then returned to
Neiman, who was groaning. Bornt said he saw a second flash
of gunfire, and then heard no more groaning.
Bornt and his then 9-month-old son and the other girl
were released after promising they would not go to police.”
This appeared earlier in the article:
“The jury also recommended that Lockett serve 2,285 years
in prison on 18 counts of kidnapping, rape, sodomy and
robbery of three other victims, one an 18-year-old
girlfriend of Neiman’s.”
Perhaps you and I have different definitions and criteria of what constitutes “savage” but Lockett more than meets mine As a society we, through our elected governments, have decreed what we smaller segments ie at the state level, that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for certain crimes. We have also decreed that only the most heinous of crimes are eligible for such an ultimate punishment and that extensive rules be used to review the process. We have also imposed mandates that no matter how heinous the crime the best that modern science has to offer be used to assure that execution itself be as humane and painless as possible.
I don’t consider that murder by the state. The only brutal savage murderer here is Lockett.
I agree that Lockett was entitled, under our laws, for the coup de grace to be administered while he was in a deep sleep. The fact that that failed due to a blown IV is unfortunate but not, IMO, de facto grounds to overturn the death penalty itself or for a long term halt to all executions. The very simple solution is to use a picc IV, which is routinely utilized in hospitals and even homes across the country.
My conclusions about all this are not swayed because Eric was being, well, Eric. I also don’t think that puts him anywhere closer to Lockett than that they both lived in the same world until very recently.
@ Tom: No. Decapitation is no more humane than any of the other “traditional” forms of execution. That said though, lethal injection could be the most humane but the real problem here is that the “state” wants to keep the ingredients of their “cocktail” a secret and not even allow anyone to know the source of the drugs. Could you imagine what would happen if a number of diabetics were to die from insulin injections but the doctors were protected by the State from having to reveal the source/manufacturer of the insulin? Or a number of children died after getting vaccinations but no one was allowed to know who made the vaccines? And yet, denying anyone to know who’s supplying the drugs/chemicals for the “lethal injection cocktail” has been upheld by courts in several states. (Point worth noting: The condemned man had fought to find out the source of the drugs after somehow learning that the state was going to have to change the mix of drugs and he wanted to ensure that they weren’t tainted.) What do you think the reaction would be if it turned out that dogs and cats being “put to sleep” in animal shelters were whimpering and howling and otherwise exhibiting pain during the process? (Most of us pretty much know how animals react when they’re getting injections to prevent various diseases but our pets don’t spend more than a few minutes or so with the vets and assistants treating them; shelter animals usually spend days, even weeks, with the people taking care of them and are less likely to get as nervous.)
I always here people saying, “I hope i die in my sleep”. In this case it didn’t happen. People can react in different ways to drugs. Not everyone is the same. I can’t think of a full proof way that is humane.
@joseph, if decapitation was full proof, would that be the most humane of all methods?
Civilised countries have eliminated the death penalty (aka State execution) from their legal system and that elimination has not resulted in the major upsurge in crime predicted by vengeful supporters of the death penalty. That’s revenge in their hearts, not justice.
There is NO “foolproof” form of execution. Hanging, if done improperly, leads to the condemned being strangled to death. With the firing squad, unless the squad performs a “kill shot,” the condemned individual can wind up bleeding to death (and, depending on where the shot hit, that can be a very agonizing death). Hell, even the guillotine and the older forms of decapitation deaths weren’t foolproof—there’s plenty of documentation of people who had to suffer several blows from the axe before the head was finally severed and with the guillotine, there were plenty of cases where the condemned’s head was improperly fitted to the block so that the blade hit bone and slipped just enough so the head remained attached, just flopping around.