The Curmudgeon


Saturday, July 06, 2013

These Things are Sent to Try Us

I am sure we all sympathise deeply with the Christian state of Missouri, whose attorney general is having just the most awful time ensuring that prisoners are done to death according to legal schedule. Missouri usually bags its offenders with a lethal injection, so the boycott on sales of medical drugs for executions has resulted in a bit of a problem. Normally executions are carried out with a cocktail; Missouri tried to save itself time and trouble by simply administering anaesthetics large and straight, but twenty-one death row inmates kicked up a fuss over the "unprecedented, substantial likelihood of foreseeable infliction of excruciating pain". Doubtless those perennial excuses, the victims and their relatives, would have nothing against the premeditated infliction of excruciating pain; but there remains some doubt as to whether it would be in keeping with what is left of the US constitution. The Missouri supreme court has refused to schedule any more killings until the matter is settled, which means the attorney general is all of a tizzy trying to look sufficiently tough on crime. He has pleaded with the court to be allowed to execute just a couple of inmates before the drugs run out, and has also made the constructive suggestion of bringing back the social cleansing methods favoured by that great American, Adolf Eichmann. Even so, a spokesman for the Death Penalty Information Center claimed that this may be nothing more than an attempt to prod the supreme court back towards the more civilised, enlightened and compassionate option of strapping people to gurneys, paralysing them and stopping their hearts.


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