Quicker Death

December 06, 1993

The governor's commission also recommends replacing death-by-gas with lethal injection. Suffocation, strangulation and asphyxiation associated with lethal gas can cause "extreme pain for as long as ten to twelve minutes," the commission notes, while "injection of a fast-acting barbiturate or other lethal drug appears to cause death quickly without the pain. . . caused by lethal gas."

While a desire to prevent ten minutes of unnecessary pain no doubt is humane, it is clearly bizarre to be more concerned with preventing pain than with inflicting death.

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