A couple of weeks ago, a five-day hearing was held in Ohio where U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz decreed that the State’s three-drug process proposal “will create a substantial and objectively intolerable risk of serious harm in violation of the Eighth Amendment.”
The latter proscribes cruel and unusual punishments as well as excessive bail and fines.
As a result, eight executions have been hindered by Ohio Governor John Kasich including those of Ronald Phillips, Raymond Tibbetts and Gary Otte, which were supposed to occur on the 15th and 19th February and 15th March respectively.
The case of inmate Dennis McGuire, who was sentenced to death by lethal injection – at the time (16th January 2014) consisting of midazolam and ￼hydromorphone – raised a multitude of questions concerning the use of the two-drug protocol since he was witnessed desperately gasping for air until he was pronounced dead.
The new three-drug protocol proposed contains midazolam, rumoured to be an ineffective anaesthetic, rocuronium bromide, which causes paralysis and potassium chloride, which induces a cardiac arrest, have been ruled out for the reasons aforementioned.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will follow up on the 21st February.
Is it the perfect occasion to abolish the death penalty for good?
Absolutely and without a doubt.
Currently, 31 States practice the death penalty. In almost two decades (2000-2016), 888 inmates were executed of which 7 could possibly be innocent. I know, I know, it is such a small number. It is roughly 0.8% of executed inmates. I mean, everybody makes mistakes.
So why does it matter?
First and foremost, someone’s life is taken away due to a juridical decision. Now, hear me out. I am utterly against capital punishment. I don’t see, I CAN’T see any benefits of sentencing somebody to die. It wouldn’t make me – or anyone else for that matter – a better person, it wouldn’t reverse the crimes committed. It wouldn’t bring back a dear one from six-feet-under. It’s just a waste of time and money if we were to reason it out logically.
“We could hang them and re-use the rope. No cost!”
But condemning a criminal to life imprisonment costs more to the State than killing that same person with the use of lethal injections or other methods such as Chris Clem – former State of Tennessee House Representatives – brightly suggested in 2002: “We could hang them and re-use the rope. No cost!”
That is actually a very popular misconception caused by the lack of research on the topic from the general public. We are talking millions of dollars here opposed to some hundreds of thousands in comparison to a life-long sentence without parole, and oh I wonder where all those bucks are coming from (hint: the term starts with “t” and ends with “axes”). Obviously, the largest amount of expenses cover the attorneys, the Jury and the experts that partake in the case. Moreover, an inmate on the death row usually waits an average of 10 years before the finalisation of his sentence. Certain inmates have been on death row for 17 and even 20 years. Meaning that the State has to pay the double for each prisoner on the death row than it would need to pay for a regular inmate, for a decade, understandably because the facilities require heightened security. Such occurrences are highly unnecessary and avoidable.
Why are we allowing Men to play God in our courts?
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