Cruel and unusual punishment

The rash of botched executions got me thinking again. Due to the lack of available drugs since 2010, death by lethal execution has ceased to be a humane method of execution. If it ever was.

Unable to get the three drugs that used to be used, states with capital punishment have been experimenting with various drugs in different combinations and in different amounts. Since no one in the world will produce the needed drugs, they have turned to compounding pharmacies to make them. And hidden the names of their suppliers behind laws designed to give the pharmacies anonymity.

The result has been torture. Inmate after inmate put to death by lethal injection since 2010 has suffered through a slow and painful death over an extended period of time. A cruel and unusual punishment. This goes against American principles. This violates our Eighth Amendment.

Perhaps we need to stop and rethink our approach to lethal injection, our approach to capital punishment. Perhaps we need to reflect on our principles, our Constitution. Perhaps we need to remember that we are a country of laws, not revenge. Perhaps we need to reflect on why the drugs we used to use are no longer available: the countries in which these drugs are made oppose the death penalty and refuse to allow the drugs they make to be used to destroy others.

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