Murderer executed with nitrogen

You might want to change that word, @beschizza. It already existed. I googled “dysthanasia” and very quickly came up with a result. It even has a Wikipedia entry. And it doesn’t mean this. It refers to prolonging a life and, thus, prolonging suffering. In other words, it’s the antonym of euthanasia.


If I have to be judicially murdered, I’ll request Death by Helium. Might as well give the witnesses a good laugh/catastrophic chipmunk phobia.


would probably violate medical ethics.


Lethal injection paralyses the subject so when the excruciating part comes, the witnesses can’t tell.


I’m not sure how that true that is these days given how many magas are in favor of overt state violence. :thinking:


When it’s used for assisted suicides, it’s a different delivery mechanism. The recipient is given a special hood that’s designed to quickly render someone unconscious (along with a sense of euphoria) before they asphixiate as opposed to being fully aware they are suffocating and suffering from panic or disress as a result. (Also never mind people undergoing this are willing participants.)

In the case of this execution, the prisoner was strapped tightly down to a gourney with their head clamped in place (apparently for a significant period of time before the actual execution was even started), a sealed gas mask was attached, and nitrogen gas was pumped into it. From the descriptions of this execution, it was a pretty horrific thing to observe as well. This is why there’s so much outcry about this being an “experimental procedure” since the BOP basically made it up as they went along.

There’s some other awfulness here too in that his execution was given a stay after his first execution attempt was botched, but a judge overrode that stay so he’d get executed anyway.


It’s a little bit like the difference between taking a sip at a drinking fountain and being subjected to waterboarding. A whole lot hinges on which person is in charge of the process.


Hanging or the guillotine seems a lot quicker and less cruel than slow asphyxiation. It seems as if the US states which want to continue capital punishment are searching for a sort of modern, scientific aesthetic of grand guignol.

I’m disgusted.


The victim was also not recommended for the death sentence, but the judge overrode the jury and gave the death penalty anyway. Judicial override was made illegal later but the victim here was grandfathered in.


The gas mask versus hood probably doesn’t make any difference. It’s the fact that he was trying to hold his breath that caused him to feel like he was suffocating (because he was). Your body has no clue that you’re not getting enough oxygen, only that it has too much carbon dioxide.


I have worked in many heavy industrial areas where asphyxiation by nitrogen or other inert gasses is a real concern.

That “burning” feeling you get in your chest when you hold your breath too long is from carbon dioxide build-up, not from a lack of oxygen. If you’re exhaling regularly, and breathing in gas with a normal-or-lower concentration of CO2 you might not notice anything is wrong. Many people who survived incidents, including a friend of mine, reported that the first symptom was “field of vision collapsing, rapidly followed by unconsciousness.” My friend doesn’t remember any fear, pain, or concern. He believes that if he had not been rescued, he would have died pretty peacefully.


As you say: my friend was not aware it was happening, and nobody was trying to kill him. Nobody strapped him down and as far as he knew, he was where he wanted to be (he was wrong - he wanted to be somewhere with more oxygen, but he didn’t know that at the time).

So yep: to say “that makes a difference” is an understatement, but I don’t have words big enough.


honestly, i think proponents want it to be cruel and painful - they claim it to be a “deterrent” after all - but to be able to kill people, they need to be able to argue it’s constitutional to the courts

they know they can’t have pictures of blood or headless bodies on the front page of every website ( historically: newspaper. ) so this is their compromise

i think it’s safe to assume if the fascists gain more power, they’ll stop bothering trying to please the courts, and gore will make a quick comeback.


there was a rather ghastly horizon documentary on capital punishment, and breathing nitrogen came out ahead.

refusing to breathe poison gas made cyanide poisoning so much more awful than it was claimed to be.

most of the méthodes began from an argument that this novel procedure would be more humane, more reliable, and ideal for society to adopt en masse. as they were adopted, these grotesque sales pitches were proven false.

it’s almost enough to make one cynical about capital punishment.

Probably available on YouTube. possibly still worth watching to know what being sold a bill of goods feels like.


Just another bit of proof of how backward we are as a country that we still use the death penalty. That, and our overflowing and for-profit prison system.

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… I doubt he was drugged — the previous attempt established he had no usable veins, and the whole reason they’re dropping “lethal injection” is to avoid any further drama with pharmaceutical companies who don’t want to be associated with executions

If he was being drugged first, there would be news articles about what the drug was, who makes it, and why they’re allowing it to be used that way :syringe:


I honestly don’t understand why they don’t use the same stuff we euthanize pets with. That whole procedure was designed to be as quick and painless as possible.

I do, however, think it should still be reserved for predatory offenders, and requires a higher burden of proof of guilt.

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Alternately, the death penalty could be abolished. Then there would be no risk of executing an innocent person, no controversies about methods of execution and no difficulties in carrying out executions.


Hopefully not repeating anyone above, but we should abolish the death penalty as it’s the only one that, once committed, can’t be overturned (for any number of reasons, innocence being an obvious example).


My concern is with the rare individuals who pose a great enough danger that the other options are to either risk the lives of guards and other prisoners, or to keep them in solitary 24/7- Which is literal torture. I’d kill someone in self defense, but torturing them for the rest of their natural life is a line I’m not willing to cross.