Some find it counterintuitive that an anaesthetic can cause pain during an execution, but if the anaesthetic does not work, then the prisoner is first paralysed and then poisoned in a particularly painful way. Unfortunately, the probability of such a mistake is very high, no matter what the drug the executioner may use.Simple answer, then. Point out to the doctors that their oh-so-principled policy is causing suffering, rather than alleviating it.
Doctors' ethics prohibit them from taking part in an execution, so the prison must ask one of its employees to mix up the drugs, and then "administer" them.
It is ironic that sodium thiopental was abandoned by veterinarians on both sides of the Atlantic some years ago, as it was consider unreliable, the side effects unacceptably painful. So, we currently kill people with drugs we would not use on animals.So, now they are going to use a drug that IS used on animals instead. Has that made Clive happy?
Perhaps this gave the Oklahoma authorities an idea: the condemned prisoners are, in populist parlance, no better than animals. Rather than look for more sodium thiopental, Oklahoma has chosen to turn to the vets for help. They have asked the court for permission to execute John Duty on 16 December – just in time for Christmas – with phenobarbitol, the drug the vets currently use to kill dogs.It’s the humane thing to do…
One of the sidebars of the execution debate involves the people who design each method of execution. Dr Jay Chapman is generally credited with selecting sodium thiopental 30 years ago for use in executions. No great humanist, he is baffled by the suggestion that we cannot put prisoners to death as we put down animals: "If they have a bit of pain exiting this world, it is of no great concern to me."Me neither. The animals are innocent. Not so these convicted criminals…
Oh. This chap’s offence? I’m glad you asked, because it’s never mentioned in Stafford-Smith’s little diatribe, and for (no doubt) good reason.
Thanks to a commenter, MoveAnyMountain, we can see that he killed a fellow inmate for kicks and with malice aforethought, and then wrote a letter to the lad’s mother, boasting of his crime.
So, I guess we can deduce from this that Stafford-Smith is rather blasé about convicts being subject to the death penalty when it’s administered by other convicts.