Do you know who the poster boy is for the death penalty?
Jesus Christ. Think about it.
Couple of weeks ago, on Easter weekend, I went to church. While the priest droned on, I stared at Jesus up on the cross, and naturally, I thought about the death penalty. The best advertisement we’ve ever had for why we execute prisoners was hanging there on the wall behind the priest. Gazing upon his pained visage on Easter Sunday I was reminded: Jesus had to die. He needed to be iced like coffee to save the rest of us. Some people need to die.
Kids like to think that when Rome killed Jesus they made a huge mistake. But if you talk to kids you quickly learn kids think a lot of stupid things. When Rome executed Jesus they were doing the Lord’s work. If they didn’t nail Jesus up on the cross like he was a Christmas decoration, not only would a lot of crazy people have to find new jobs, but there would be no Christianity. No Santa Claus. Or the Easter Bunny. If there’s no crucified Jesus, then no Cadbury Crème eggs. We had to kill Jesus … for the chocolate. And for the kids.
Yes, the kids. They’re a big reason why prisoners on death row get sacrificed. Just like Jesus, those prisoners’ deaths send a message to the rest of us. And kids, man, they pay attention. They’re not sleepwalking like adults. They’re absorbing the culture. We have to make sure those little bastards absorb the right messages. When we kill death row inmates, you could say each one of them saves us by reminding us (especially, the kids) not to end up like them. Each death row inmate is a dirty, crooked Jesus that has to die to remind us not to kill each other. It’s an important lesson.
My girlfriend’s the real reason why I was in church on Easter Sunday. She’s the Catholic one. Not me. Bored as I was, I spent most of the hour staring at the statue of the crucifixion. There was Jesus, frozen in agony, in the moment just before his tormented death, and I remember thinking, “Jesus that looks painful.” Thank god when we kill people these days we use far more humane forms of execution. We’ve come a long way from crucifixion, baby.
I know this may be unpopular opinion in light of the recent death debacle down in Oklahoma, but hear me out when I say: we should move our executions out of the gas chamber. We owe it to the executed to kill them with dignity. Let’s learn from Oklahoma and put down the death needle and find new ways to kill people. Because if it’s good enough for Jesus; it’s good enough for anyone.
Wardens and state legislators, have you ever considered: death by lethal erection?
You remember the mystery game, Clue? “It was Professor Plum in the library with the candlestick. Or was it the candlestick? No, maybe it was the lead pipe.” There were so many ways to kill a man. In America, much like Clue, we have choices as to how we kill someone. We use a few different methods: electrocution, lethal injection, gas chamber, hanging, and firing squad.
Only two states still offer a firing squad: Utah and … wait, for it …Oklahoma. I wonder if they know that. I mean, you would think when the execution went bad they could have woken up a judge and gotten the okay to drag that poor black bastard out into the yard and shoot him there. If it was me, I would’ve told a deputy to put him down like Ol’ Yeller after he turns rabid. (Oh, sorry … spoiler alert.) But in our culture no one has the balls to put Ol’ Yeller down. We’d rather let him suffer while we tweet about it. #DontShootOlYeller
It used to be that if you wanted to be shot to death you could get it done in a Utah prison. But they switched that law. Now you can only be grandfathered in. You have to have been put on death row prior to the repeal of the use of a firing squad.
Meanwhile, in Oklahoma they still reserve the firing squad as an option of last resort. A bullet may be messy but it usually works better than that faulty batch of murder juice they used to slow kill that prisoner. And he still escaped. Nature got him. He died of a heart attack. Despite the fact those dumb-ass Okies made all executions look inhumane, lethal injection is the preferred method to kill a person. Thirty five states, the US Military and Federal prison system all prefer to jab a prisoner with the poison prick. At the present, only three states still like to get kinky with their kills: Delaware, New Hampshire and Washington. All three of those states reserve the right to hang prisoners. Translation: you better act right when you’re in Delaware, son.
Of course, lawyers and prisoners’ rights advocates constantly file lawsuits, claiming that one method of execution is a more or less humane way to kill a person. This botch-job in Oklahoma is likely to fire up public opinion. But as the mindless clicktivists of the internet argue about what’s the most humane way to kill a person, all those hypocrites will continue to overlook one crucial fact: You’re killing the prisoner!
When you kill, is faster better? Does a paralytic agent that masks a person’s suffering make it more humane for the dying prisoner? Or is it more humane for your conscience?
I hope you know you’re killing me softly with your song … of self-righteous bullshit.
You know, sometimes we kill innocent people. How’s that for cruel and inhumane? But that’s what happens when the government decides to kill some of its citizens. Mistakes will be made. That ship has sailed.
Let’s not be distracted by the unfortunate experience in Oklahoma. Let’s turn that tragedy into a learning experience. It seems like now is the perfect time to talk about how we kill prisoners. It’s time we bring that conversation into the 21st Century. Shall we?
To open the discussion I recommended: death by lethal erection.
Imagine feeding a prisoner Viagara until his pecker explodes, or he drops dead from a major coronary event. His death is serving humanity. His death furthers our medical understanding. From his death we learn how much Viagara can be fatal. We can put that on the bottle. That prisoner’s death saves lives.
Our medical industry always needs fresh bodies. Clinical drug trials shouldn’t have to rely on homeless people and starving grad students. If you need to know how much bleach a person can drink before their esophagus melts, well, you could go get yourself a death row inmate and find out. This could be our future if we have the courage of our convictions. We can commodify death.
Lots of American prisons are now private institutions. This gives me ideas. Let’s toss out the regulations. We’re halfway there already. I mean, let’s face facts. We plan to kill the condemned person. But why waste that body? What if prisons leased-out their death row inmates? They could rent them to do really dangerous professions. When I say dangerous, I don’t mean like loggers, roofers or Alaskan fishermen. I mean dangerous like uranium miners.
Crash-test dummies are expensive. All those sensors and readout displays cost money. That gets passed on to you, the consumer. Let’s save you some money on your next car purchase by using death row inmates as crash-test dummies. Then we’ll really know if those side-impact air bags are working or not.
Let’s give death row inmates dignity in death. They could again be productive members of our culture. Let’s restore them to society’s bosom by crushing their head with a three-hundred pound weight we drop on them to stress-test a new helmet for the military.
It’s often said one should judge a nation by how it treats its prisoners.
Today, there are 3,081 men and women waiting on death row in the prisons of the United States. That’s out of a total state and federal prison population of 6,937,600 offenders.
We used to kill a lot more people. Back in the good old ‘90s, America killed 98 prisoners in 1999. In 2013, we only killed 39 prisoners. There are graphs that indicate this obvious downward trend. Lots of states are grappling with the decision to kill their citizens. Only things keeping the numbers up are California, Texas, Florida and the Ol’ Confederacy states. Otherwise, the murderers of America might not get the clear message that we’ll put them down like Ol’ Yeller if they don’t act right.
I don’t care what recent studies suggest, I still think our national murder rate would skyrocket if we didn’t ice bad men (and women) to get some respect. It’s the criminals that are making America have to act gangster. They need to know we’ll put death on your ass faster than Kim Kardashian can say something stupid. We need to kill our death row inmates to remind everyone to act civilized. We grease the gears of society with their blood. Keeps the machinery turning.
Isn’t the death penalty pretty much the only reason we don’t kill people? If it went away, I don’t know what I’d do. It keeps me in check. My stupid-ass neighbors can sleep soundly because we have the death penalty. That’s why I understand that we have to corpse a few citizens to keep the ship’s course steady.
Of course, yes, innocent prisoners are wrongfully killed. There are those who we ice by mistake. All I can say about that is, shit happens, bro. I’ve read studies that suggest 4% of executed prisoners were innocent. Well, statistical variance is 4%. You do enough of those studies and that 4% might disappear.
Let’s stop all this nonsense about “is it cruel to kill a person this way as opposed to that way,” or “my client would experience pain in the instant before his death.”
Sorry, to hear that, bro. Maybe he shouldn’t have killed someone.
It’s time we finally admit there’s no two ways around it: it’s inhumane to kill someone.
Torture is cruel. Death is final. Mistakes can’t be undone.
In an execution, suffering is assumed. Because you’re depriving them of their life.
But cheer up, Lil’ Campers. Think of Jesus. Remember that some folks need to die. Because how else would you or anyone else remember to not kill others?
Let’s drop this silly discussion of cruel and inhumane treatment. Instead, let’s find some new fun and creative ways to kill people. Let’s get 21st Century on their asses. Let’s come up with death-hacks. Let’s give prisoners dignity in death. Let’s remember the lesson of Jesus while we employ a death row inmate to test bullet proof vests, well, at least until we find the one vest that doesn’t work. You ready for the silver lining? That executed prisoner might’ve just saved a cop’s life. Who knows?
One thing’s certain. A dead prisoner makes a great cautionary tale.
The day we start giving prisoners death by lethal erection, that’s when everyone wins.