Execution Takes Two Hours, Ten Tries

Christopher Newton was put to death like a dog in Ohio yesterday. The execution took two hours and ten attempts.

The execution team stuck Christopher Newton at least 10 times with needles Thursday to insert the shunts where the chemicals are injected.

He died at 11:53 a.m., nearly two hours after the scheduled start of his execution at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. The process typically takes about 20 minutes.

"What is clear from today's botched execution is that the state doesn't know how to execute people without torturing them to death," American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio attorney Carrie Davis said Thursday.

On the other hand, you wouldn't do a dog this way.

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    Hmm (none / 0) (#1)
    by chemoelectric on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:35:35 AM EST
    What is it about this country that it invents such wacky methods of execution that are supposed to be more 'humane' but which actually are just wacky? The gas chamber is particularly wacky.

    None of this is good for our own mental health. Maybe we can use that to proclaim execution an unacceptable threat to public health.

    they (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Sat May 26, 2007 at 04:15:46 AM EST
    could have strangled him by hand quicker. which raises an interesting (ok, for me interesting! geez!) question: if the legal method of execution is, for whatever reason, unable to be used, and somebody just whacks the condemned upside the head with a bat, killing him/her, is that murder?

    i know, i know, you're saying to yourself, "my god, what a maroon! who let this idiot on this site?"

    and hell, ordinarily, i'd agree. however, based on this incident, and the others sure to come, i can see this happening; a frustrated member of the detail just picks up whatever's handy, and bludgeons the condemned to death, before the horrified, yet strangely satisfied, group of official witnesses.

    murder, or merely execution by alternate means?

    I think its a good question.... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Sat May 26, 2007 at 08:48:57 AM EST
    I would think once the "death papers" are duly signed by the authorities, the executioners are off the hook legally.

    10 shots with a poison needle or a brick to the head...same result.


    Kdog & "a brick to the head" (none / 0) (#4)
    by naschkatze on Sat May 26, 2007 at 11:12:33 AM EST
    I was wondering if you were referring to the poor girl who was stoned to death in Iraq.  I read that that execution took all of 20 minutes, so maybe you have a Swiftian point.  God, and we are supposed to the civilized society.

    Do US citizens (none / 0) (#5)
    by HK on Sat May 26, 2007 at 11:30:01 AM EST
    actually like having a justice system that is laughable?

    In the linked article, it says this:

    It took so long that the staff paused to allow Newton a bathroom break.

    That event belongs in a satirical comedy sketch, not a genuine court-controlled situation.  

    As I wrote in this article last year, such ineptitude surrounding the death penalty process does not do anybody any favours.  The system as it stands causes immense pain to the loved ones of the condemned and affords no dignity to those who knew the victim; both sets of people have endured arduous appeals for many years to reach a situation which too often culminates in a little more than a deadly farce.  Whether the inmate is eventually executed or not, many people involved struggle to move on from what happens inside execution chambers.

    The death penalty should be consigned to the history books, where it belongs, so that true justice can prevail for the sake of all and the US can move towards a justice system to be proud of.

    HK, (none / 0) (#6)
    by cpinva on Sat May 26, 2007 at 04:10:19 PM EST
    apparently we do. in spite of centuries of evidence to the contrary, some still claim the death penalty acts as a deterrant. clearly, that isn't the case, or we'd only have one murder a decade or so.

    some claim it's biblical: "an eye for an eye........", except that's the old testament, and it was meant as a warning, a proscription of what not to do.

    some claim it's "justice", except life without parole would serve the purpose equally well, and it isn't going to bring the victim back to life.

    basically, it's state sanctioned revenge, but no one wants to admit that, at least not in public; wouldn't look good in 30 second campaign shot.