Saturday, December 16, 2006

Did Florida Botch the execution?

Florida executed a convicted Murderer, who having exhausted his appeals, was put to death by lethal injection. The press claims that the execution was botched, opponents of the Death Penalty claim it's a graphic example of a failed system.

Botch, defined as to ruin, or muff. Well the execution of Angel Diez didn't go as smoothly as one could hope, however it turns out that Angel Diez is in fact dead right now, so I would call it a successful execution. The opponents of capital punishment are trying to capitalize on this event to push for a prohibition on the Death Penalty, yes again.

The Death Penalty Opponents are claiming that the lethal injection is cruel and unusual, and thus prohibited by the Constitution. This is part of the ongoing debate in which the opponents of the death penalty decry the method of execution. This debate by the way, has been going on for literally hundreds of years.

The Guillotine was created as a "humane" means of executing criminals. The Guillotine was used publicly until 1939, and a video of the last use of this "humane" device is here. Note, it may upset some viewers, if you watch it, and are offended, please email someone else, as I take no responsibility for your being offended. You are warned, and if you go and view it, you are responsible for your own actions.

The above mentioned execution was not the last time the Guillotine was used, it was the last "public" execution. The last time it was used was on Hamida Djandoubi in 1977.

The debate the anti-capital punishment folks take is about a humane means of eliminating the convicted criminal. Personally, I have no objection to either firing squad, or hanging. Before you say it is cruel and unusual, let me point out punishment is supposed to be cruel and unusual. Yes, those links are to previous posts on the subject of crime and punishment.

Now, let's be serious here, sometimes the best manner to serve society is to remove a criminal from it, not for a few years, not for a few decades, but forever. I also am a fan of Life without Possibility of Parole. You see, that is even more cruel, and unusual if you think about it for a moment. Every minute, of every day, the convicted criminal exists without any hope. No automatic appeals, No last minute reprieve from the Supreme Court, just existence without meaning. As the criminal watches television, he sees where life continues for everyone else, and he remains waiting to die. Without hope for the future. No day in the future, near or far, will he be allowed out of his cell for the last time. The convicted criminal will die in custody, perhaps of a Heart Attack, perhaps by violent attack by Societies other convicted criminals. Perhaps the convicted will take his own life. (I use the Masculine for the simple and obvious failings of our language, perhaps someone will come up with a genderless means of referring to a person, like it.)

I am one who has considered these issues, and found I am not opposed to Capital Punishment, nor to what many of you would call "cruel and unusual" punishment. I would like to see public floggings of convicted minor offenders, in one example, I point out the obvious truth that DUI would become a very rare crime if people were flogged for it.

We could watch our prisons and jails empty out, and see people respect the law once again, if we were to use cruel and unusual punishment. BTW, Punishment should be cruel, or it is not effective in teaching the lesson to the offender. It should be unusual, or it becomes what we have today, common, and thus no deterrent towards the population to limit or prohibit criminal behavior.

Think about it, Florida may not have been as smooth as one may wish, but with the convicted criminal dead, it was certainly a successful execution.

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