Are you in favor of Capital Punishment?
If you do support state-sponsored killing, do you prefer hanging, firing squad, lethal injection or death by electric chair?
Is the current method of execution in America Racist and muddled in gender biased while being based on misinterpreted Laws of Moses using “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” as a rationale for killing?
There is a rather gruesome conversation going on in the state of Nebraska right now concerning their use of the electric chair as the sole method of capital punishment.
The argument isn’t over the issue of using the chair or not or if killing people is right or not.
The discussion concerns just how much electricity it takes to “humanely” kill someone:
The protocol calls for the application of 2,450 volts of electricity for 15 seconds. The application is repeated if the inmate has a pulse or heart sounds 15 minutes later. The Corrections Department adopted the protocol after a state judge ruled the old procedure was inconsistent with state law.Under the earlier protocol, used in three previous executions, condemned inmates received 2,450 volts for eight seconds, followed by 480 volts for 22 seconds. The sequence was repeated after a 20-second pause. Judge Robert Hippe of Gering said in a 2000 order that the protocol created the “potential for the inmate to regain consciousness and experience substantial and unnecessary pain.” He also said the protocol didn’t jibe with state law, which called for the uninterrupted flow of electricity until the inmate’s death.
The matter of electrocution is being discussed in Nebraska because of problems found on the bodies of the previously state-sponsored dead:
In his order, Bataillon referred to coroner’s reports on John Joubert and Robert Williams that both had blisters on their bodies after being executed in Nebraska’s electric chair. Williams’ body reportedly was charred on both sides of a knee and the top of his head, the judge said, and a witness to the 1994 execution of Harold Otey said Otey was still breathing after the first two jolts. Other testimony suggested a person could still be conscious even if his heart stopped, said Bataillon, who wrote that “the pause in application of the current is likely more painful than a continuous jolt would be.”
Does the brain die before the heart? How does one’s weight, body type and muscular structure respond to the application of deadly voltages?
According to Wright, who has researched the effects of electricity on the body, the current shuts down the brain so a person cannot feel pain. In the report he submitted to the Corrections Department, Wright said that even 125 volts have been shown to “produce instant loss of electrical function” in the brain. He said the 2,450 volts used by Nebraska is “somewhat higher” than the voltage used in the first seven electrocutions in the country. “Thus,” he wrote, “the effectiveness of the 2,450 voltage in producing death cannot be doubted.”Wright, who said he reviewed about 1,200 articles in preparing the report, said the application of 15 seconds of electricity, first proposed by a researcher in 1890, should be sufficient to cause death. But he cautioned against applying the voltage for more than 30 seconds, saying it could cause burning or start a body on fire. He also said the human heart can continue to beat even if it’s removed from the chest — Wright said he knew of one that beat for 18 minutes — and thus recommended the department wait that length of time to determine death.
Having such a gory conversation about killing via the electric chair makes one wonder if the chair has outlived its usefulness.
It seems a state-sponsored beheading would be a quicker, a kinder and a more reliable method of killing someone than the “maybe this much’ll do it” wondering about the effects of electricity on a condemned body. Beyond Nebraska we need to wonder on a grander scale if there is Racial discrimination and Gender Bias in finding your end on Death Row:
- Of persons under sentence of death in 2005: 1,805 were white 1,372 were black 31 were American Indian 34 were Asian 12 were of unknown race.
- In 2006, 53 persons in 14 States were executed — 24 in Texas; 5 in Ohio; 4 each in Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Virginia; and 1 each in Indiana, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, California, Montana, and Nevada.
- Of persons executed in 2006: 32 were white 21 were black
- All 53 inmates executed in 2006 were men.
- Lethal injection accounted for 52 of the executions and electrocution for one.
- Thirty-eight States and the Federal government in 2005 had capital statutes.
Here’s the Racial breakdown in America according to the latest Census results:
- White – 80.2%
- Black – 12.8%
- American Indian/Alaska Natives – 1%
- Asian – 4.3%
Are you concerned with the disparity between Whites and Blacks on Death Row/Killed compared to their percentage of the population in America? Why are there so many Blacks on Death Row? Do they really kill at an astronomical rate compared to Whites — or is the justice system jiggered to punish Blacks with death more than Whites?
Is Death Row gender bias sustained by the courts — or are men just more frequent and innately talented killers? If we want the states to kill people — shouldn’t we require that death be found fairly and equally across all Racial lines and gender?