Free Essay On The Death Penalty
Bondage has a condition medically known as Borderline Intellectual Functioning. It is a cognitive disability that results in lower than average intelligence but not complete mental retardation. People with this condition usually experience difficulties in reasoning and making judgements. In law, insanity is a full defence to criminal liability. A person would not be guilty by reason of insanity if he;
Did not know what he was doing or
Did not know that which he was doing was wrong
These are referred to as the M Naghten rules. Therefore, the first issue to be addressed here would be if Bondage knew what he was doing at that time. The second question is, whether, if found guilty, Bondage should be hanged or lethally injected.
The 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution states that cruel and unusual punishment should not be inflicted on anyone. Pain is thus an important factor in determining the execution method. The prosecution, in this case is pushing for hanging because it considers it more painful than the lethal injection.
Lethal injection is used by 34 states plus the US Government as the primary method of execution. Hanging, on the other hand is practiced only in the states of Delaware, New Hampshire and Washington. Interestingly, all the three states still have lethal injection as their primary execution method. So, is hanging more painful than lethal injection?
Oklahoma adopted lethal injection execution method in 1977 and was the first state to do so. Here, the inmate is tied to a gurney with several heart monitors placed on his skin. Two needles, one as a backup, are inserted into the inmate’s veins. Sodium Thiopental is then injected into the inmate’s veins to induce sleep. The prisoner is then administered with Pancuronium Bromide that has the effect of paralysing muscles and stopping breathing. Lastly, the heart is stopped by the injection of Potassium Chloride.
Death occurs while the inmate is unconscious and that is why lethal injection is considered the most humane and painless method of execution. However, this is not always the case. Medical doctors are discouraged by their ethics from taking part in this procedure. Prison officials are left to administer it. Because of a lack of medical experience an execution team might inject the chemicals in a muscle instead of a vein. That causes extreme pain. Furthermore, it is sometimes difficult to find a usable vein resulting in a prolonged and painful execution procedure.
Hanging was the primary execution method in the United States until the 1890s. However, its use has greatly diminished over time because of the pain involved. The condemned is weighed prior to the execution date to determine the length of rope that would be conducive for a quick death. If the rope is too long, it will result in decapitation of the neck from the body. If the rope if too short, death might take more than 40 minutes.
The prisoner’s hands and legs are first secured. He is blindfolded and the noose placed behind the head with the knot behind the left ear. A trap door opens from below and the person falls through. The prisoner is meant to die quickly through fracturing a neck muscle called the axis which would in turn severe the spinal cord. However, instantaneous death rarely occurs. The person could be having very strong neck muscles that are not quickly fractured, they could have a very light body weight, or the rope might be too short. In these circumstances, the condemned would experience a very slow and painful death.