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August 11, 2014
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Letter: If we must have executions, at least make them swift and painless

Ban cruel and unusual death

Like most of the civilized world, I’m against the death penalty. Even though 35 states in the USA have banned capital punishment, we still rank in the top five in the world for execution. China, Iraq and Iran are the top three.

The Eighth Amendment to our Constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual” punishment. Recently the stories about prisoners gasping for breath for two hours after being injected with untried cocktails of chemicals have crossed over into the “cruel and unusual” punishment zone.

If we’re still going to put people to death, let’s at least make it as swift and painless as possible. Such a method exists. It’s called inert gas asphyxiation. We currently use it to humanly put chickens and pigs to death. It’s a simple method of filling a room or bag with helium or nitrogen. Within 30 seconds, a painless and peaceful death occurs.

It’s time we act like a civilized nation and ban “cruel and unusual” executions.

Michael T. Hinojosa


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The News-Review Updated Aug 20, 2014 12:38PM Published Aug 11, 2014 10:30AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.