The death penalty is controversial enough on its own, but when you look at some of the dreadful methods used, mostly due to ignorance and incompetence, there is no way that these executions pass the "cruel and unusual punishment" test that the Supreme Court used in its 2008 decision on lethal injections. They are torture, plain and simple.
The recent self-death by 104-year old scientist David Goodall brings to the fore a key question: Whether to deem deterioration from advanced aging – beyond having an incurable disease – as another reasonable consideration for euthanasia.
Oklahoma, which badly botched a number a number of executions by using experimental methods that were scientifically flawed, has decided to use nitrogen asphyxiation instead. A look at the chemistry and physiology of a more-humane method of capital punishment.
Dangerous fentanyl is now part of the emotionally-charged, lethal injection controversy. This has erupted because Nevada wants to combine it with Valium to execute a twice-convicted murderer. Opinions abound. See who's right and who is wrong.
Whether one supports or opposes the death penalty, the debate should be based upon ethics and morality informed by evidence-based biomedical science. Not distortions and half-truths.
Lethal injection is a hot-button issue under any circumstances but has become more so in the past five years since prisons can no longer get the drugs they need. Some states have tried alternatives resulting in some ghoulish failures. And Arkansas is about to make the same mistake.