Death sentencing.

Last night we watched the Green Mile, which starred Tom Hanks. I’m not particularly wanting to talk about the movie and its supernatural aspects; rather I want to talk about the Death Penalty in general.

This afternoon I watched Foreign Correspondent and its documentary on the death sentence in America. There the majority of executions are done through lethal injection. Supposedly its a painless and quick method of execution; yet according to testimony its often far from it. Many of the executions can take up to 35 – 40 minutes to complete and in one case it took 2 hours…during that sentence – they allowed the man to get up and go to the toilet after the first botched attempt and then tied him down again for the 2nd attempt.

Incredibly; the executioners don’t have to have any medical training and many have never been trained how to insert a needle / catheter into the vein of the person being executed. A doctor said that even for trained medical staff; it can be hard to find a vein and insert a needle properly – yet alone someone without training. The result of a botched execution means that the drugs are pumped into the flesh of the person, resulting in an agonising torturous death.

Getting back to the movie the Green Mile, there is a seen where the executioner deliberately botches the execution by electric chair. The execution becomes agonisingly torturous and the body catches fire. The visual effects of this are so horrifying that the witnesses get up and try and stampede with horror from the witness room. It’s easy to discount this as Holly Wood drama; yet according to an executioner who has executed people through both the electric chair and lethal injection – it was common for bodies to catch fire, during the electrocution process. Yet despite the horrible physical visual effect this has on the body during the process; its supposedly instant and better than what lethal injection is.

Under the American constitution; any execution has to be quick and relatively pain free and so there is a ban in America on executions taking place, while the Supreme Court hears a case on whether lethal injection is instant or not. The documentary had a doctor who said that the only instant execution method known to man was invented by the French and that is with the guillotine.

It appears that while most Americans believe in the death penalty – they want it to happen in a way that doesn’t disrupt their sensibilities. And therefore it doesn’t matter so much if a drug induced execution goes terribly wrong – what matters is that it appears to be going right.

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About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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5 Responses to Death sentencing.

  1. Vern says:

    Your well aware I disagree with this. As a person who is intimately familiar with violent crime I have no desire to worry if the criminals who rape and murder have a few moments of discomfort before they die. The U.S. Constitution does NOT guarantee pain free executions. What it does say is it is not to be cruel or unusual. If it were up to me I’d save the millions of $ we waste on long drawn out trials and appeals that go on for yrs and just shoot the bastards in the head. That would be quick and painless. Until you can show where YHVH changed His mind on this (Gen 9:6), I’ll stick with his plan

    • Craig Benno says:

      Hi Vern.
      On the documentary that I watched – they had one guy who was a witness of his brothers murderers execution – change his mind about execution after he saw it taking 40 minutes for the man to die…in an agonising way. If its done properly – yes its quick and relatively pain free….if its botched… its an agonising torturous death…through the acid being pumped under the skin and into the flesh and not to the heart through the vein.

      While your methods might save the state time and money… what about those who are sitting on death row and are innocent. There are countless stories if men who are found innocent at the last moment… and just as many stories about people being found innocent after they have been executed. Btw I think execution by firing squad would be quicker and is why that guy last year asked for that method.

  2. Vern says:

    I’d be curious to see confirmation of ” countless stories of innocent men”. In the USA we provide appeal after appeal and spend millions of dollars to ensure it is just. The scriptures confirm that, while guilt must be proven, the penalty for murder is loss of life

  3. In Texas I read about men dying on death row who later had evidence overturned more than I would have thought. There’s also quite a few who spend years and years in prison for violent crimes that are later overturned because of new evidence.

    Craig:
    I’ve heard that John Coffey in “Green Mile” is supposed to be a Christ figure (notice the initials).

    • Craig Benno says:

      Yes; its well documented that many are falsely imprisoned and it costs the state millions in victim compensation for false imprisonment.
      I have often thought of the Christian themes in that movie – though head slapping myself re the J.C initials. I haven’t picked that before.

      @ Vern – Regarding the death sentence – Personally I am against it – but my previous post wasn’t speaking against it – I was speaking about the way its portrayed as being painless and quick… I didn’t know that you were intimately acquainted with violent crime and I am sorry to hear that.

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