Thursday, March 27, 2008
Heartening News . . . Er, Not So Fast
I was momentarily heartened to discover via this photo of the state of Texas death chamber that
the US has not executed anyone for the past six months, the longest time without one in since 1982. I was just about to congratulate us and for a microsecond entertain the possibility that maybe this was because somehow we were growing a collective conscience when I discover that we'll start the killing again once these pesky questions about whether lethal injection violates the 8th Amendment get resolved. I was amazed to discover that since 1982, there have been 47 instances of botched executions, and many of these involve lethal injection.
But of course, by the time the constitutional question gets resolved, the hue and cry to clear out the backlog of unexecuted people will have become deafening. And suppose lethal injection in its present form does violate the 8th Amendment? Is there any doubt at all that somehow we shall find another way to kill these people?