Bring Back the Guillotine?

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Legal challenges to lethal injection procedures are threatening to delay executions until states can line up enough physicians who are willing to supervise the process. The central question is whether prison personnel sometimes botch the three-chemical protocol that is used by almost every state (Nebraska still uses electrocution), failing to properly administer enough of the fast-acting barbiturate sodium thiopental to knock out the condemned man before he gets the pancuronium bromide, which paralyzes his muscles (including those used in breathing, causing suffocation), and the potassium chloride, which stops his heart and would cause intense pain in a conscious person. The problem is that the American Medical Association's code of ethics prohibits doctors from prescribing these drugs, injecting them, or even pronouncing death afterward. So states where federal judges have raised questions about possible lethal injection laxness (including California and North Carolina) may have trouble getting adequate medical supervision.

A I've mentioned before, the constant striving for a sanitized, painless, "humane" way of killing people seems contrary to the punitive intent of execution. But I guess truth in advertising requires that lethal injection actually work the way it's supposed to, insteading of being an accidental form of torture. Medical supervision aside, the current method seems needlessly complicated. Why not just stop with the barbiturate (in an adequately ramped-up dose)? If it's good enough for terminal patients in Oregon, it ought to be good enough for murderers.

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  1. Hypothetically, if I want to get stood in front of a firing squad, is there any state where that can happen? State-sanctioned, I mean.

  2. …the constant striving for a sanitized, painless, “humane” way of killing people seems contrary to the punitive intent of execution.

    I don’t know about you, but my fear of execution comes from knowing the hour of my death is approaching, but I’m a caged fucking animal that can’t do anything to stop it. I could give fuck-all if it’s going to hurt, because I’m frickin’ gonna DIE. Death trumps hurt.

    So I’d say that at least as far as I go, lethal injection is as effective a deterrent and as negative a reinforcement as I think I’m ever likely to need. With the possible exception of getting raped daily for the rest of my life.

  3. Wikipedia to the rescue.


    In Utah, the firing squad was made up from volunteers of peace officers from the county in which the condemned was convicted. Execution by firing squad was banned in Utah by a law passed on March 15, 2004. As of 2006, Idaho and Oklahoma are the only states in which execution by firing squad is still legally available. Additionally, four Utah convicts that chose execution by firing squad could have their requests carried out.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Execution_by_firing_squad

  4. It is foolish to take the allegations of the
    anti-death penalty advocates seriously, for nothing will satisfy them short of the end of the practice.
    These are not arguments made in good faith, and any attempt to satisy the complainers simply leads to more complaints.

  5. Martin,

    I have a lot of fun with the kind of people you mention. When they ask me my position on the dealth penalty, I tell them I’m against it (which makes them happy). Then I tell them how the guilty deserve to be tortured first, and that my objection to the practice is that I don’t trust the government not to execute the innocent.

  6. Decapitation? See “Lucid Decapitation” at damninteresting.com …. http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=495

  7. Kinda off topic; but It’s been said that the Guillotine is actually humane, but it’s too rough on those who have to view it at work so that’s why it fell into disfavor.

    Not so said this gal that I used to go out with who was brainy but strange to the extent of being really spooky. Goth wasn’t a fashion choice for her, it was a way of life. What a trip! Sometimes I was actually scared when I was alone with her. If there’s ever a thread where it would be germane, I’ll tell more about her. But anyway, she made quite a study of execution methods throughout history, and she claimed that guillotine victims, judging by their ongoing facial contortions, suffer excruciating pain until brain death.

  8. In the USSR we used to kill the condemned by a shot into the neck that came by surprise (well, sort of) so you could call the method quite humane — probably it was a lot less inhumane than being worked to death at Workuta or in a gold mine in the Ural range.

  9. One objection to the death penalty is that it denies the right of the family of the victim to take revenge at their own hands.

  10. A liberatarian who is pro-dealth penalty is like a hen who’s pro-fox: The stupidest thing on the face of the earth.

    JMJ

  11. Adriana has a point that I have considered before.

    Since I have always favored a legal system based on restitution wherever possible, in the case of murder restitution is not possible.

    But if the murderer forfeits his life, why not turn him over to the survivors of the victim as a slave? They can then do as they wish with him. Lease him out for labor to help with the family income, tie him to a stake to mow the lawn in perpetuity, or beat him to death as a human pinata, or set him free as an excercise in religious forgivness. Their choice.

    Wouldn’t work in all cases, but in many it would.

    That being said, there are so many wrongfully convicted people in prison, not just on death row, as shown by The Innocence Project, that I think any imposition of an irreversable penalty like execution is un-just. Even if death is a just penalty for some crimes, and I think it is, the likelyhood that innocents are being, and will be, executed is so high as to be criminal in and of itself.

  12. For what it’s worth ($.02? if I’m lucky):

    I am opposed to the death penalty on two points, one ideological, the other I can’t label.

    The former is simple pragmatism: As a libertarian, free-thinking (gun-owning,etc.) person, I am the person the State most wants to execute. Therefore, I am opposed to the State executing anyone.

    As for the latter, it is wrong to murder. However, should an anguished family shoot the fucker who killed their child, I say, let them truly be tried by a jury of their peers. I say that with the assumption a jury of parents who have had their child murdered would surely sympathise with the accused, and would likely acquit, barring some truly bizarre aberation…

    I like to call this “free-market” justice, but legalistic pencil-dicks call it vigilantism and other stuff…

    Gee, thanks, it felt good to get that off my chest. I hope my thoughts were worthy of this august forum.

  13. Then I tell them how the guilty deserve to be tortured first, and that my objection to the practice is that I don’t trust the government not to execute the innocent.

    Why is torturing the innocent that much more acceptable than killing the innocent?

  14. A liberatarian who is pro-dealth penalty is like a hen who’s pro-fox: The stupidest thing on the face of the earth.

    JMJ, the shining beacon of knowledge concerning libertarianism.

  15. Well, sure, MP. He seems to have a full staff of libertarians living in his head to consult.

  16. I think any imposition of an irreversable penalty like execution is un-just.

    Spending 20 years of your life in prison is not truly reversible either.

    What needs to be done is to tighten up the system so that innocent people don’t get convicted in the first place, rather than replacing one irreversible punishment with another.

  17. crimethink,

    True, ‘irreversable’ was an inaccurate choice of word, perhaps recinded is better. But a 20 year sentence can be stopped, and compensation can be paid, even if it can not be undone. Once you are dead, it can not be recinded.

    The system does need some serious re-work. How perfect we can make it is another question. As it stands now, even if someone supports the death penalty, to support it, as it is applied, is to support the murder of innocent people.

  18. crimethink, you are of course correct that 20 years in prison is not reversible. But you can make restitution to a wrongly convicted man who is released. You can’t do it for a wrongly convicted man who is executed. And the idea that you can “tighten” the criminal justice system so that innocent people never get convicted is fantasy. Reduce error, maybe, but as long as judges and juries are involved, there remains the possiblity of human error.

  19. The problem is that the American Medical Association’s code of ethics prohibits doctors from prescribing these drugs, injecting them, or even pronouncing death afterward.

    Only 28% of US doctors are in the AMA, so why is that a problem?

    Spending 20 years of your life in prison is not truly reversible either.

    I think it’s interesting that we haven’t come up with better punishments than locking people in cages and/or killing them.

  20. Why bother with the pancuronium at all? That’s what the main issue is. Just use the barbiturate and potassium.

    And, it’s not anti-libertarian to say that a jury which has convicted a person and sentenced them to death should have their sentence carried out rather than having an activist court stopping it.

  21. Libertarians can support the death penalty, IMO.
    It can be considered retroactive self defense, or even pro-active in some cases.

    If J. Dahmer had been executed it would have been both. I doubt anyone can say that he would not have killed again if he had gotten out of jail somehow.

    McVeigh is another example.
    Or John E. Couey for that matter.

    I see nothing anti-libertarian with taking defensive action against a known threat who has killed or seriously harmed people in the past, who is obviously a threat in the future.

    So far as I am concerned, if someone like Couey were to escape from prison, shooting on site would be justifiable.

    My problem with the death penalty is how it is administered due to the poor quality of our legal and court system.

  22. At the risk of posting in this strange thread:

    Jacob,
    You might want to expand a bit, it seems there is a trend underway

    http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2006/04/a_capital_exper.html

    Of course, it all depends on the hard-to-understand definition of what constitutes the crime. A whole lot of people might find that they could have been eligible for the ultimate humane penalty. Perhaps that will give some pause.
    Or maybe not. We all need a good, common enemy. Builds a sense of community. Terrorists are just so damn hard to catch. Since race and homos have been taken away, it’s been tough.

    Take the ultimate wedge issue, whip up the emotions, spread fear, paint anybody who is more measured as “supportive of crime”, throw in a generous amount of hate and vindictiveness and run with it.
    Decide unanimously with view to the next election and make good, sensible, solid law. Hooray, we are safe now!

  23. One point about the death penalty is that it assumes that you accept the wisdom of the State as to who deserves to die.

    If the State is so wise as that, why not also tell you how to live? It certainly knows more than you do…

  24. “Why not just stop with the barbiturate (in an adequately ramped-up dose)?”

    Because they might get addicted, duh!

  25. The death penalty is too final. Governments make mistakes or worse.

  26. So, RCD and MP, the gov’t has too much power with taxes, education, infratructure, regulation – but should have the power of life and death?

    Hypocrits, I say!!! 😉

    JMJ

  27. SR; HAH! Good one!

    Adriana, That way lies anarchy, which I think does not conform to human nature.

    We are going to have some form of leadership/government in any human grouping. What is needed is a way for the group so lead/governed to emply some sort of restraint on the leadership/governemnt.

    But that is a whole ‘nother thread….

  28. Why not use the method my mom and dad used to euthanize animals at their vet clinic?

    First, you put them under using normal anesthisia and then give them a lethal dose of something, I forget what, maybe barbituates.

  29. The irony of the whole thing is that the medical profession has pretty much done away with the hypocratic oath in the name of furthering “assisted suicide”. The medical profession is all over killing the sick and weak. Got a cancer patient who is afraid and thinking that they are becoming a burden to their family? The medical profession will be right there to help you kill that person. Have a sick bastard who raped and buried a five year old alive, oh no can’t be of help there.

  30. Let me get this straight. Dining-establishment smoking bans are an example of government wielding too much power over citizens, but state executions, even in light of a mounting record of innocent people put to death through accident, negligence or malice, are okay.

  31. Another shining example of activist judges changing the laws, in this case the laws legalizing the death penalty by conjuring up a phony pretense of excessive cruelty. Why don’t they just admit what they’re doing?

  32. A good use for all the heroin the DEA confiscates?

  33. I don’t oppose the “death” part of the death penalty. Some people need to be eliminated from the planet and the infinitesimal chance that they may escape is too great a risk for law-abiding society to take.

    Here’s “the big however”: Juries. Any of you pro-death penalty folk been on jury duty recently? A look at the pool of people that we have to choose from, along with the knowledge that one/both side(s) will pick the most easily swayed people to actually sit on that jury, eliminates any faith I have in our justice system. I wouldn’t trust them to administer anything more severe than “go sit in the corner til dinner”.

  34. One point about the death penalty is that it assumes that you accept the wisdom of the State as to who deserves to die.

    Juries decide on the death penalty, not the State.

    So, RCD and MP, the gov’t has too much power with taxes, education, infratructure, regulation – but should have the power of life and death?

    A primary government function of government is the prosecution and punishment of criminals. What punishments are valid is a political decision that must fit within the concept of Natural Rights. An inviolable right to life is a debatable point that is not clarified by libertarian political doctrine.

  35. I have just been called for jury duty in May

    The last time was a death penalty case which I was excused from due to my views on the DP.

    I wonder if I will be chosen for one this time.

  36. The last time was a death penalty case which I was excused from due to my views on the DP.

    For liking or disliking the DP?

    I think that MP has half of a point when he points out that decentralized, economically disinterested jurors are ultimately in charge of dishing out the death. This is different in a very important way than a central government mandating death from on high. On the other hand, the gov’t rules does tend to slide into some rules and practices that do lead to an overuse of the death penalty. One easy way to see is the practice of death-qualifying juries.

    A more important way is happening in the Moussaoui case now. Specifically, the gov’t gets to show horrifying pictures and play horrifying tapes over and over again. The fantasyland justification is that the jurors might not understand how awful death by crushing and burning is, so they need frequent reminders. the grimmer reality is that the video of the jumpers and the precious audio of Flt 93 are just there to distract from the question of “did Moussaoui do the crime?”

    Then we wonder why we have ppl on death row who turned at not to have done the crime.

  37. MP wrote “Juries decide on the death penalty, not the State.”

    Maybe. But the state, in the form of prosecutors, decides who to *try* to execute. All too frequently for political reasons. And having decided to go after someone, *winning* (ie, killing) becomes the only objective, not justice.

  38. MP:

    ” An inviolable right to life is a debatable point that is not clarified by libertarian political doctrine.”

    Huh????

    Could you explain that to me?
    Especially the first part.

  39. For disliking it. At the time I was adamantly against the DP for doctrinaire libertarian reasons, which I have since rethought.

    Unlike smoking-bans, as mentioned above, or laws against rugs, prostitution, etc, the DP is a response to an actual crime of harm against another.

    To equate restraint and harrassment of peaceful people that do no harm to others with punishing a murderer is not valid.

    One description of what the just powers of the state can be, is anything an individual may do. We can delegate our authority to governemnt to do something.

    We have the right to self defense, so we can delegate to the government the authority to defend us. This need not be an exclusive authority, and such an exclusive delegation would be stupid to say the least.

    If someone murders my familiy I believe I have the right to defend them, even after the fact. Once they have committed that crime, so far as I am concerned, I have the right to hunt down the killer(s) and kill them, even if it can only be described as an act of retroactive self defense.

    I can delegate that authority to the state, hence the death penalty.

    Does anyone think that a person does not have any of:
    The right to self defense
    The right to defend their family
    the right to defend their friends.
    the right to defend their community
    the right to chase down those that have attacked any of the above
    The right to kill those that have killed others a person has a right or duty to defend?

    If you believe that the last is not permissable, does that mean if someone kills your child that your right to defend that child ends after the childs death? After the killer walks away? After the killer is out of sight? Or at waht other point?

  40. tomWright,

    You just confirm my earlier point: Take the ultimate wedge issue…

    Why do you think it is a good idea to use killing of a child to support your argument when that is by far the minority of cases that would be covered by your above list?

    And yes I do think you do not have the right to take justice into your own hands because it becomes state-sanctioned revenge. You would be in no shape to make a sound judgement as to the facts, such as the minor one of the true identity of the perpetrator.

  41. “An inviolable right to life is a debatable point that is not clarified by libertarian political doctrine.”

    Self defense which results in the death of the attacker is a morally legitimate act to most. This in itself invalidates any belief that the right to life is inviolable. As for execution as a legitimate form of punishment, this is a bit more morally nebulous than self defence.

  42. If someone murders my familiy I believe I have the right to defend them, even after the fact. Once they have committed that crime, so far as I am concerned, I have the right to hunt down the killer(s) and kill them, even if it can only be described as an act of retroactive self defense.

    Reteroactive self defense? What the hell kind of selfnegating concept is this? Can you kill the killer’s family in reteroactive self defense, too? How about pre-emptive self-defense?

  43. Questioner:

    Pre-emptive self-defense is why we are in Irak

  44. Martin, I use the example of the child since a child is arguably the least able to defend itself or to have presented a need to be defended against, depending on the childs age. A child is also, again arguably, the one a person has the most right to defend, as well as the highest obligation to defend.

    A spouse, sibling, parent etc are still defendable, both by right and obligation, but a child is top of the list, I think.

    In whose hands can justice be, if not ours? While I do think that courts need to be instituted, and that vigilante justice is a bad thing 99.9% of the time, if we ourselves do not have the right of retribution, than how can we permit a court or a government that power?

    We use courts because they can, in the proper system, do a better job of retribution, (justice), than we can. Humans have a propensity for mob action, which can easily lead to witch hunts. Courts are a way to try to cool passions as much as possible, so that reason can be applied over passion.

    I think we DO have a right to take justice ito our own hands. The problem is that too often when we do, we are wrong because we are acting in emotional ways, not rational ways. Just because we have the right to do something, does not mean it is wise for us to exercise that right.

  45. s.m. koppelman:

    Yes, this is a twisted logic which says that granting the greater you can deny the lesser.

    Once you let the Government have a right to your life (under certain conditions, natch), then what rights can you reserve for yourself?

  46. MP – you’re parsing.

    JMJ

  47. QfW, See the part of the post just below your quote.

    Reteroactive self defense? What the hell kind of selfnegating concept is this? Can you kill the killer’s family in reteroactive self defense, too? How about pre-emptive self-defense?

    Self negating? maybe. I was trying, unsuccessfully perhaps, for a turn of phrase.

    The family? If it was a gang that did the crime, then yes. Otherwise, obviously no. I do not see how you could possibly have gleaned that idea from anything I have posted.

    Pre-emptive self defense? Sure. If someone is pointing a gun at me in a threatening manner, I am not waiting for the trigger to be pulled to confirm my suspicions.

    If they are just talking trash about it, then no. THough I am justified in taking precautions like arming myself and keeping an eye on them, and letting my friends know what is going on so they can help if need be.

  48. Someone above mentioned the mounting evidence of innocent people being executed. That is an urban myth right up there with Rod Stewart throwing up on stage. Time and time again the anti-death penalty people point to this scumbag or that scumbag being innocent and time and time again when the full facts are revealed the guy is guilty as hell. There has not been one case of an executed person being even probably innocent. Yes, there are lots of cases where anti-death penalty activists present half truths and make it appear the guy was innocent, but there are no cases where the real facts match the claims.

    The best example was Roger Coleman who was executed in the early 90s for the rape and murder of a young woman in Virginia. This guy got an Arnold and Porter attorney to act as his PR agent and managed to get himself on the cover of Time magazine as an innocent man about to be executed. For years the Coleman case was the poster child of the “an innocent man has been murdered” crowd. Of course it was all bullshit. The DA had an air tight case against him and the activists left out key facts to make it look like he was innocent. Finally, the State of Virginia called their bluff and ran DNA tests that were not available at the time of his trial and sure enough, Coleman was guilty as hell. We then got the great pleasure of watching this nitwit minister tell CNN how he didn’t understand how Coleman could lie like that all the way to his grave. The guy rapist and murderer, I doubt lying to a dope like you really bothered him too much.

  49. Adrianna:

    Pre-emptive self-defense is why we are in Irak

    That may be one of the justifications used, but I think it is a load of bull, along with most of what shrub says.

    Just because they use it, in a lying way IMO, soes not mean it is invalid in other contexts.

  50. Pre-emptive self-defense is why we are in Irak

    I still remember that day in the summer of 2002 when I first heard the phrase. For one second I thought the radio announcer was playing a joke or that I didn’t understand correctly. Then, when I realized the thing was serious I became dismayed and a chill ran through my body. “This is the start of something bad,” I thought.

  51. MP – you’re parsing.

    Believe what you will, but libertarianism does not speak to the legitimacy of execution as a form of punishment. The philsophical foundation of this policy is clearly open to debate.

  52. John, All I can do is point to The Innocence Project and the fact that they, (and not just them), have gotten people off death row, using DNA evidence that proves innocence. These people would have been executed otherwise. Just going on averages that means some innocents have been executed. And that is without even looking into black people executed in the jim crow south.

    To think that everyone until now has been guilty, and that the justice system works flawlessly is naive at best.

    One reason why no one has been found innocent after execution is that until very recently no state has permitted post-execution review of a case, let alone retesting of evidence using more up to date methods. Only a couple of times has his happened.

    I suspect the governments do not want to take the chance on being found to have executed an innocent.

    ou argument that they are all perfectly guilty would be more sound if post execution review was permitted in all cases where it is requested, but it is not.

  53. John, All I can do is point to The Innocence Project and the fact that they, (and not just them), have gotten people off death row, using DNA evidence that proves innocence. These people would have been executed otherwise. Just going on averages that means some innocents have been executed. And that is without even looking into black people executed in the jim crow south.

    To think that everyone until now has been guilty, and that the justice system works flawlessly is naive at best.

    One reason why no one has been found innocent after execution is that until very recently no state has permitted post-execution review of a case, let alone retesting of evidence using more up to date methods. Only a couple of times has his happened.

    I suspect the governments do not want to take the chance on being found to have executed an innocent.

    ou argument that they are all perfectly guilty would be more sound if post execution review was permitted in all cases where it is requested, but it is not.

  54. Dave,

    Now that Iran has nukes, I guess we should just wait until they use them before we do anything. They keep saying that it is kosher with sharia law to nuke people and talking about how they plan to wipe Isreal off the map. What is one city or two when you are talking about big concepts like self defense.

  55. Tom,

    True they have gotten people off of deathrow. No question that innocent people have gone to deathrow. What hasn’t happened is someone who was innocent who was actually executed.

  56. John,

    The US is talking about wiping Iran off the map,a nd even going that further step of drawing up special priority plans for doing so. If a nation talking about wiping another nation off the map is nukeworthy than the United States should nuke itself first to set a good Golden Rule example.

    Of course, Iran’s beef is that they feel that the West wiped the nation of Palestine off the map, and worse: wiped it out not when they had refugees to send there, but only later to reparate for a big Holocaust in central Europe which was so terrible that nobody can even research it critically.

    Too much hypocrisy abounds for loose talk to be nukeworthy or even warworthy. Instead, a nation should wait for that initial act of aggressive because that keeps people honest. Sure, that initial act of aggression could take out thousands or even tens of thousands of people. Don’t care, shit happens. Crime first, then punishment. Not other way round. Until 9-11 I thought most people felt this (hardheaded) way. Now I realize that people’s fears cause them to eagerly adopt double standards. Pre-emptive war is one. Who is talking about Iran’s right to make pre-emptive war on the US? Allowing the US & Israel to verbally sabre rattle in a way Iran is not allowed to is another.

  57. Will someone *PLEASE* toss another server squirrel on the server wheel?

  58. John,

    The US is talking about wiping Iran off the map,a nd even going that further step of drawing up special priority plans for doing so. If a nation talking about wiping another nation off the map is nukeworthy than the United States should nuke itself first to set a good Golden Rule example.

    Of course, Iran’s beef is that they feel that the West wiped the nation of Palestine off the map, and worse: wiped it out not when they had refugees to send there, but only later to reparate for a big Holocaust in central Europe which was so terrible that nobody can even research it critically.

    Too much hypocrisy abounds for loose talk to be nukeworthy or even warworthy. Instead, a nation should wait for that initial act of aggressive because that keeps people honest. Sure, that initial act of aggression could take out thousands or even tens of thousands of people. Don’t care, shit happens. Crime first, then punishment. Not other way round. Until 9-11 I thought most people felt this (hardheaded) way. Now I realize that people’s fears cause them to eagerly adopt double standards. Pre-emptive war is one. Who is talking about Iran’s right to make pre-emptive war on the US? Allowing the US & Israel to verbally sabre rattle in a way Iran is not allowed to is another.

  59. “They keep saying that it is kosher with sharia law to nuke people ”

    Wow, what a spectacular lie! In point of fact, “Iranian religious leaders including Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei have prohibited production of nuclear weapons as ‘Haram’ (religiously forbidden)” — http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/050713/2005071335.html

  60. Now that Iran has nukes, I guess we should just wait until they use them before we do anything. They keep saying that it is kosher with sharia law to nuke people and talking about how they plan to wipe Isreal off the map. What is one city or two when you are talking about big concepts like self defense.

    Last I checked, Israel has nukes too, right? And a pretty impressive military/special ops units. Let Israel deal with Iran (who is directly threatening Israel, not the US) — maybe we can sit this one out.

  61. But a 20 year sentence can be stopped, and compensation can be paid, even if it can not be undone. Once you are dead, it can not be recinded.

    Sure it can — just pay the next of kin a pro-rated amount for the difference between life expectancy in prison and the age of execution. Since monetary compensation makes up for lost years of one’s life, as you seem to believe, it shouldn’t be a big deal.

  62. crimethink,

    Insurance companies and courts set compensation claims all the time.

    What is your alternative? Give ’em nothing and sypathize with the poor oppressed person unjustly sent to jail?

    At least in a system of restitutuion over retribution, they get soemthing.

    Easy to critisize in a snarky way, but unless you offer an alternative, STFU.

  63. Chicago,

    The French have nukes to, but I don’t think either them or the Isrealis are much danger of using them on either Western Europe or the United States. If you think there is moral equivilence between Iran and Isreal, go back with Pat Buchanan and David Duke where you belong.

    “The US is talking about wiping Iran off the map,a nd even going that further step of drawing up special priority plans for doing so”

    Moonbat, you really are a moonbat. The U.S. has never said it would take Iran off of the map, it is Iran who has said that they will wipe Isreal off the map.

    “Of course, Iran’s beef is that they feel that the West wiped the nation of Palestine off the map, and worse: wiped it out not when they had refugees to send there, but only later to reparate for a big Holocaust in central Europe which was so terrible that nobody can even research it critically.”

    Give me a fucking break. The Iranians care so much about the Palistinians, I guess that is why they have taken in so many Palistinian refugess. Yes is it all Isreal and the Jews fault. If we would just kill off those troublesome Jews, the will leave us alone, as if abdoning Isreal would do anything but embolden them.

  64. The Talmud describes a method of execution–for heretics of some sort, I think–that involves burying the offender up to his neck, forcing him to open his mouth by strangling him lightly with a rope, and dropping a bit of molten metal down his throat. Sounds worth checking out.

  65. In steel mills, molten steel is poured into huge crucibles. Sometimes it has been poured while a worker was still inside the crucible doing maintanence. The worker is instantly vaporized — which is painless — and the entire glob of hardened steel is buried in lieu of a recoverable corpse.

  66. How about pre-emptive self-defense?
    The “women’s right to choose” people consider that a vaild form of reasoning.

    FWIW, my girlfriend’s eldest son was murdered. The murderer had contacts and spent about a month in a mental hospital.

  67. SR,
    Can’t somebody just be spectacularly wrong? I had heard something to the effect that some clerics had OKed nuclear weapons (I don’t remember use), though I can’t find where I read it at this time.

  68. I’ve been pointing out for a while that while the US att’y gen’l has tried to interfere with assisted suicide in Oregon (use of controlled substances), the same objection has not been raised w.r.t. the adjunctive barbiturate used in execution of a death penalty. Apparently it’s OK only if the recipient is UNwilling.

    But here, I’m wondering who gets to handle the thiopental, if not a physician or an assistant acting under a physician’s supervision. Whose hands (literally) does the controlled substance pass thru?

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