Abolishing Capital Punishment



Time was, executions were prime entertainment in America: large crowds would gather to watch a court sanctioned hanging — or a well publicized lynching.  Eventually, the barbarity of this public spectacle upset the voting public, so now, the execution takes place in a private ceremony, in front of invited witnesses.   Replacing the quick, rough, and often racist judgements of the that bygone era, we now have a nearly endless series of appeals, stretching on for decades, as the court system tries in vain to assure that it has removed every possibility of a flaw in its procedures.  Instead of the old fashioned rope, we attempt to render death quickly and humanely by applying new fangled technology: formerly, the electric chair or the gas chamber, and now, a complex cocktail of intravenous drugs.  This approach is difficult to administer: competent medical professionals won’t cooperate because of a code of ethics…

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