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February 18, 2007

Readings for Feb. 21 on execution methods

BUMP & UPDATE:  Please consider starting our discussion of these readings (which will kick into gear Wednesday 2/21) with some comments here.


Shoshana and Kate have provided two law review articles for posting/review in preparation for our class session on Wednesday Feb. 14 21:

Accompanying these reading they asked to pose the following questions: 

1.  What do you think about the Court's view that instantaneous death equates to painless death? 

2.  How do you feel about the theory that society's current values shape the acceptance/rejection of capital punishment and how this relates to current and past Constitutional methods of execution?

They also have provided this document regarding the Constitutional methods in each state:
Download authorized_methods_of_execution_by_state.doc

As they explained to me, "we plan to go over the information contained in the law journal articles and also plan to discuss past methods of execution and current Constitutional methods.  We also plan to discuss the current debate surrounding the Constitutionality of lethal injection."

February 18, 2007 in Student-assigned readings | Permalink


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Response to question 1:
As a practical matter, I disagree with the Courts conclusion that instantaneous death equates to painless death. Just because death is instantaneous does not mean that the individual did not experience several minutes or seconds of extreme pain before actually expiring. The Courts' conclusion would lead one to believe that those minutes or seconds of excruciating pain do not matter in the scheme of things. I wholly disagree with this conclusion. If the goal is to make death painless, then alternatives can be viewed that might not necessarily be quick in application. Some methods of execution are instantaneous, however, the assumption should be made that those methods are also painless. Those methods should be called what they are: quick and painful.

Posted by: Nichelle P. | Feb 20, 2007 3:06:09 PM

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