Autopsy reveals flaws in Oklahoma execution system




The autopsies will be continued until a favorable result is obtained…


That’s significant because phlebotomists aren’t actually licensed to start IVs in the state of Oklahoma. So the DOC had someone doing a job they weren’t licensed to do, which might have led to an execution that didn’t meet the standard against cruel and unusual punishment.

The Department of Corrections has released a statement: “If he didn’t feel his treatment was up to standards, then he can feel free to sue us. Since he hasn’t, we consider the matter closed and plan to continue executing people in the same way.”


Am I wrong in believing that execution is only a threat to the innocent (and guilty) who try to press their claim for freedom and release back into civil society rather then take a plea bargain offered by the prosecution?
I suppose there is a bloody part of my mind that believes there are people who need a killi’n, but that is pure vengeful emotion. I find it difficult to imagine a way that we can reach a high enough quality of evidence in a system where the police and crime labs are rewarded for falsifying evidence to actually kill someone for a capitol crime.
Leaving the issue of whether execution should even be up for discussion lets discuss lethal injection, why not use a firing squad of several dozen, issue 50% blanks and 50% killing rounds. Execution should not be bloodsport entertainment but it also shouldn’t risk torture to leave a nice body for embalming. If the state sets out to intentionally kill it needs to be as close to 100% as possible odds of instant death.
The famous head shot execution photo from the Vietnam war was brutal to our senses, but it at least wasn’t a slow torture leading to a heart attack.


In this instance, I really don’t see how the right to privacy trumps the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. If you are willing to put someone to death, then you should be willing to have your name and credentials released.


Do ‘right to die’ laws for assisted suicide carry the same anonymity?


If it is a decision that the individual decided upon, it’s not exactly the same thing as ‘being put to death’. But if a practitioner botched the death to such a degree that they inflicted much more suffering than the terminal illness, because they were not qualified to do it or were absolute hacks, then maybe not.


The release notes “serious questions about the training of the personnel who performed the execution.”

Sod the rest of it. I just can’t wrap my brain around the concept of some personnel undergoing training in execution. Shouldn’t we be using rather more grandiose terms for such actors and acts?


For this reason one wonders what the ratio is of innocent vs. guilty parties put to death. It imagine it’s shockingly high.

Not that innocent people being convicted of crimes isn’t a huge problem other places. There are plenty enough famous cases of innocent people being let out of jail, their innocence having been proved, long after they would have been let out if they’d just said they were guilty and behaved well.


Linked article, and entire tulsaworld site, seem to be down.

[Oops, it was NoScript.]


First I would like to clear up an idea that firing a blank round would hide the knowledge of who fired the live rounds. A rifleman can easily tell the difference between firing a live round or a blank.
The idea of not rendering “cruel or unusual punishment” is really a misnomer because we are not trying to protect the person being executed it is all for a “feel good effect on society”. A “properly done hanging” would most likely be just as painless as our “cocktail” method. But a hanging doesn’t look pretty and it’s not the latest science has to offer.
Executions are about being painless to society.


I’m just surprised that they don’t have some special banal euphemism for the purpose.

Who could possibly oppose the good work of the Expedited Release Professional?


If you like a powdered zinc round then, we have the technology to make it happen. AFAIK it is more to give the rifleman a plausible deniability around others. The rifleman could claim she was sure her round was a blank.


Other than the obvious, glaring flaw in execution systems, that is.


I agree with you completely here.

I am baffled by the squeamishness of The State that is willing to carry out retributive homicide, but wishes for those deaths to appear to be a peaceful slipping away to eternal slumber.

It is beyond ironic that East Germany (in 1966) established unerwarteter Nahschuss in das Hinterhaupt, “unexpected close shot in the back of the head” as the preferred method there. Hardly a bastion of enlightenment or freedom, but (as long as we insist on executing people) we could learn from their example.


Just ask for Ginger and the happy ending special…


Some people call this decency.


I’m not doctor, but unless you aim for the head, isn’t there a possibility that a prisoner can feel what is essential a heart attack if shot through the heart? Killing is a messy business, no matter who does it.


Would it be better if the person to be executed was allowed to choose the method of execution? Within reason of course, old age wouldn’t be allowed. Some people would choose massive heroin overdose, others would go with a nitrogen-filled room, and others would go with a Mythbusters size explosion. I’d really prefer you people stop executing people in the first place, but if you’re going to do it, do it in a way that causes the least pain possible.


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