Thursday, March 15, 2018

Laughing Gas

Oklahoma Turns To Gas for Executions:

Oklahoma announced Wednesday that after failing to obtain lethal injection drugs, it will seek to execute inmates on death row by asphyxiating them with nitrogen gas.
If the plan is approved by state and federal authorities and courts, Oklahoma would be the first state to put prisoners to death using this method. 
The state has 49 inmates on death row, including 16 who have exhausted their appeals, Mike Hunter, the state’s attorney general, said at a news conference.
“We can no longer sit on the sidelines and wait to find drugs,” he said. The method, in which a mask would be placed over a condemned person’s nose and mouth to flood the lungs with nitrogen, would be “effective, simple to administer, easy to obtain and requires no complex medical procedures,” Mr. Hunter said.
And he should definitely know since he's a medical expert, and not some doofus lawyer/politician who happens to be attorney general. 
Oklahoma’s announcement follows years of national turmoil about execution drugs, including pitched legal battles and resistance from pharmaceutical companies that have questioned whether their products should be used in death chambers.
The scramble for drugs has caused some states to consider unusual or antiquated ways of putting inmates to death.
In 2014, Tennessee authorized prison officials to use the electric chair if lethal injection drugs were unavailable. Gov. Gary R. Herbert of Utah signed a bill into law in 2015 approving firing squads when drugs could not be obtained.
Damn straight.
At the news conference in Oklahoma on Wednesday, officials did not discuss the use of sedatives, but said they had not yet determined a protocol in which to carry out executions with nitrogen.
Death penalty policy experts said that if a federal court approved the method, it would take at least six months — and probably longer — for such an execution to be carried out.
Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes the death penalty, called the potential use of nitrogen in capital cases “an experimentation” that would likely cause suffering.
Exactly. Oklahoma is basically saying they're going to make the shit up as they go along, and just see what happens in the gas chamber. Er, execution chamber. Whatever it takes to get 'em dead, no matter how experimental or gruesome the method (paging Dr. Mengele).
Mr. Hunter, the attorney general, said studies described those who had been exposed to “excessive amounts” of inert gas as feeling “fatigue, dizziness, perhaps a headache, loss of breath and eventual loss of consciousness.”
He added: “If oxygen does not displace the inert gas within the individual’s system, in just a few minutes, death will occur. This is the safest, the best and the most effective method available and we’re moving forward.”
Frankly, they should investigate helium rather than subjecting them to nitrogen. Helium is currently used in assisted suicide via underground networks like Final Exit. You put a plastic bag over the dude's head (like a turkey roasting bag you buy at the grocery store), attach it to one end of a hose, and attach the other end to the helium tank. Plus you can buy the shit at Party City or whatever so maybe pick up some balloons to celebrate.

Better yet, why not large doses of nitrous oxide? It's base is nitrogen. You could literally send the condemned to his end laughing his ass off.

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