27 Responses

  1. Wave at |

    Execution is only acceptable I’m cases of rape . That’s my stance.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Matthew D. Zarzeczny, FINS at |

      Dear Wave,

      What manner of execution would you recommend in cases of rape?

      Best,

      Matthew

      Reply
  2. 5minutes at |

    I am pro-death penalty, and believe that the American system is the best application of this. A person sentenced to death in the US spends ~10 years on death row, getting appeal after appeal after appeal to make sure that the person is the one who knowingly committed the crime and deserves to be executed. The crimes that one can be executed for mostly center around murder. There are a few non-murder DP crimes (treason, being a drug kingpin, etc.), but mostly, you have to take a life to get the DP – and mostly, you have to do so in such an egregious and remorseless way that the jury of 12 has no real choice but to hand you over for execution (and multiple appeals).

    Reply
    1. FMH at |

      Maybe you are right, but I think the method of execution in the US is barbaric. There are so many better methods than the lethal injection, but they are refused, because the death has to be “clean”.

      Reply
      1. 5minutes at |

        I’m not sure what you mean by “better”. When it comes to execution, lethal injection (the most widely used method) is probably one of the most merciful ways to put someone to death there is, especially with the 3 drug cocktail that basically lets them die in their sleep. There’s some issues and struggles, but it’s not really barbaric.

        There are other methods that are used in the US. A few places still use the electric chair (ugh), hanging (when done correctly, it’s merciful, when it’s done wrong, it’s torturous), the gas chamber (which looks a lot worse than it really is), and firing squad (again, done right it’s merciful, done wrong, it’s torturous). There’s been some talk about nitrogen gas being used, but no real movement on the issue. Beheading has been proposed (and was once used back in the colonies), but it’s messy and extremely distasteful and considered highly barbaric, even by DP supporters.

        If you’ve got a better idea, I’d like to hear it. Personally, I’d have recommended strapping someone to a space shuttle booster rocket at the next shuttle launch, but now that the space program is grounded…

        Reply
        1. FMH at |

          You allready named my problem with the other methods you listed: Things can go wrong. Lethal injection is done with minimal medical assistance since doctors are bound to their oath, but anaesthetics is a whole branch of the medicine and takes close surveillance of the patient. This is not guaranteed with the lethal injection, so the chances that something goes wrong are extremely high. Worse, you might not even notice that something is wrong. The three drug cocktail only paralyzes you for a quite painful death if the anaesthetics dose just a bit too low. There are good studies showing that this happens a lot. (There’s this famous quote by the inventor of this execution method, Chapman: “It never occurred to me when we set this up that we’d have complete idiots administering the drug”)
          But it’s always clean and smooth for the witnesses. All in all, with the lethal injection you just make the execution less stressful and terrible for the people watching it and the executioner itself, but you don’t know how much the delinquent suffers. The electric chair was the first step in that direction, but it failed. I’m still amazed why it was ever used at all, after the first tests.

          Still, you could even improve the lethal injection by switching to different drugs. This isn’t done because DP supporters don’t see why (not few even think that a bit of suffering is ok) and non-supporters usually don’t settle for compromise, even if it really would help.

          High drop hanging is quite safe, but refused because sometimes the neck might tear. Beheading is not as safe as it sounds, you’d need to design a new guillotine, since the old models malfunctioned quite often (especially the German ones). Nitrogen gas is a good idea, but it takes quite long and I think that takes it out of the race immediately. Shooting is still one of the best ways. The shot in the back of the neck the Warsaw Pact states used is almost completely safe.

          Saying that something is “barbaric and distasteful” because it doesn’t leave the body intact is something which makes me mad, especially when a DP supporter says it. This is really something the delinquent can care least about. You don’t want to produce a beautiful corpse, you want to end a human live – as quick and painless as possible. The less invasive the method is, the less you can grant a quick and painless death.
          All in all, all the methods that don’t involve complicated mechanisms are less likely to fail, especially when handled by less trained personal.

          Reply
          1. JessKief at |

            There is no safe way to kill someone.

            Reply
  3. Rachel at |

    It’s sad that they felt the guillotine was appropriate for basically any crime.

    Reply
    1. gerryc at |

      I believe it should be used for murder,rape,child molestation and heinous crimes of that nature.There really is no quicker method except for a properly carried-out hanging.

      Reply
      1. FMH at |

        The quickest and safest method is the Sowjet-style shot in the neck – even if the execution is botched, in the most cases the delinquent is unconcious and will bleed to death in minutes. You can never rely on an execution being carried out properly. Hanging requires a lot of skill on the side of the executioner, and even if he has that skill, he might still make a “mistake” to punish someone for an especially terrible crime.
        The Gilloutine might sound safe, but it hast to be kept in perfect working condition. There are many accounts, especially from Nazi Germany, where they caused serious pain and suffering because the blades were dull or jumped out of their railing.

        Reply
        1. gerryc at |

          Well,no more executions by guillotine–the mouton will leap out of the railings-bummer,huh? I just found out too,that the blade is dull and can’t be sharpened.No more hangings either.We can’t trust the hangman and he’s likely an incompetent as well. These are really legit reasons too and well thought out too.

          Reply
  4. Gene Claridge at |

    Dr. Z.,

    Do you think it is ironic that Robespierre was killed by the same device that thousands of others were killed under his power?

    Best,

    – Gene C.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Matthew D. Zarzeczny, FINS at |

      Dear Gene,

      Perhaps. Do you think he deserved his fate? In fact, which “ruler” was best/worst for France during the revolutionary years: Louis XVI, Robespierre, Barras, or Napoleon?

      Sincerely,

      Matthew

      Reply
      1. Gene Claridge at |

        I believe that Robespierre deserved his fate, especially as he sent so many to the guillotine. I do not think that everybody that he sent to be executed was completely guilty. For instance, Robespierre may have found somebody as a threat, thus punishable by execution even if the person was simply talking in favor for the reestablishment of a monarchy. Therefore, I believe that Napoleon was the best ruler for France during these revolutionary years. During his rule, he made huge strides for France. He made France a powerful nation and empire that dominated most of Europe. I do not believe that everything Napoleon did was just, such as how he handled the situation in Haiti. Nevertheless, he did not send thousands of his own countrymen to be publicly executed like Robespierre. Napoleon also spoke out against the Inquisition, which was far worse than the Robespierre’s “Reign of Terror.”

        – Gene C.

        Reply
  5. Kevin at |

    I gotta go with Napoleon, while he did cause untold amounts of death and destruction, he helped his own nation, and he also exposed monarchies for what they really are. Kings who had long ruled with unjustifiable amounts of power and authority that was their *cough* divine right were terrified of him because he sought to expose them for the false idols they really were. In the end, I have more respect for one who comes to power because he is the wisest leader/commander, as opposed to someone who sits on a throne because of who his family is and keeps his seat by spreading fear and ignorance.

    Reply
  6. Rene at |

    I think the guillotine is probably the most humane form of execution. It’s over so quickly. There are people out there that think criminals should suffer, and I’m not going to argue against that. But we don’t need to make a grand showing of it. Just get it over with. Even the current method of lethal injection is a “show”, with the strapping to the table, applying IVs, the anesthesia, and only then the lethal dose is administered. Just hurry up already!

    Reply
    1. Cupcake at |

      I totally agree with you Rene. Not only is lethal injection a show, it is often performed by amateurs who don’t know how to properly insert the IV!

      Reply
  7. Joshua Y. at |

    The movie The Green Mile always seemed to embody the frightening finality of death, for me. At least executions today are more necessary punishments and less productions than in the past. Stoning in the Middle-East? Misogynistic amd crule. While we are not perfect, we at the very least are striving to punish people as peacefully as possible.

    Reply
  8. Regal A at |

    Ive heard that when someone gets their head cut off they actually have a tiny amount of time with the oxygen in their brain that they can still see around as their head rolls on the ground. I personally would never want that type of execution. It would be weird to see yourself rolling around just after your head gets cut off. The guillotine at the time I think is better than a hanging, gun shot to the head would prolly be expensive maybe? Not sure if they were on short supply with their ammo, gun shot to the head would be nicest way to die though.

    Reply
    1. gerryc at |

      It is well-known that there is a post-beheading minute or two during which the head is aware that it has been severed,and can hear and see as well–it is part of execution by beheading and is quickly over. The moment of guillotining is swift and final and supremely just. Also felt is the tugging on the scalp when the head,still bleeding badly, is seized by it’s hair, and held up by the executioner to be witnessed.None of this should prevent the guillotine from being used to administered justice.

      Reply
      1. Cupcake at |

        gerryc, there is anecdotal evidence that there is a post-beheading awareness because people have reported movement of facial features of the victim however, I’m not sure there is much real evidence that the victim can feel the tugging of the hair!

        Reply
        1. gerryc at |

          It is more than movement of facial features.Charlotte Corday turned crimson with embarrassment when her face was slapped by her executioner moments after her guillotining,and Lavoisier ‘s eyes blinked a dozen times or more as he he had said they would when he was guillotined.Feeling one’s scalp tugged as one’s head is held aloft to be witnessed is hardly unlikely.

          Reply
  9. Cupcake at |

    I don’t agree with capital punishment, however, surely guilottine is the quickest and therefore the most humane way to be executed.

    Reply
  10. Christie Wade at |

    I agree with Wave that rape is a case where execution is definitely appropriate. However, I think that murder is definitely a crime that should be included as well. The guillatine seems like a quick and painless way to do it, except for when the blade is dull. That would not seem like much fun. To me, a hanging sounds like the worst!

    Reply
    1. gerryc at |

      Rape and murder should be punished by execution.The guillotine is the quickest method,but hanging with a carefully measured drop and proper placement of the noose is just as quick(too damn bad if the neck is not broken and it takes longer–should have thought of that before the crime).No reason the blade should be dull.

      Reply
  11. Tyler at |

    Wow i can’t believe the guillotine was last used at 1977! Thats not even 40 years ago, thats way too recent for such a means of execution. This article really opens up eyes to how different our means of execution have altered over the years and yet its still lasts as a big conflict in our society today.

    Reply
  12. gerryc at |

    Cupcake–if the other sensory modes are working,it’s not likely only one would not.

    Reply

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