Cruel and unusual drug cocktails must go

Joseph Wood’s execution lasted almost two hours; it was cruel and unusual punishment.  Since the US Constitution specifically forbids cruel and unusual punishments, drug cocktails that fail to end the life of a prisoner in a timely fashion must be abandoned.

The elimination of inhumane drug cocktails need not halt the execution of death-row inmates. State legislatures must consider alternative ideas. For example, if a drug cocktail designed to lessen anxiety and pain were paired with a traditional firing squad, emotional and physical suffering would be limited, and death would be quick. The outcome would certainly be more humane than the fate suffered by Joseph Wood.

Update: apparently Mr. Wood received more than a dozen injections before he finally died.


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