CAPITAL_PUNISHMENT_US_STATES (1)I guess in the United States they’re having a big debate about how people who’ve been sentenced to death as criminals should be executed.

Most executions that occur in the U.S. are under state authority, I think, and each state has the right to do things its own way. Some don’t even enforce the death penalty [see graphic, red being states that permit executions, blue not]. Of those that execute their fellow citizens, they apparently have five legal methods┬áto chose from. The most common is lethal injection. At least, it used to be. But the Danish manufacturer of a drug used in the deadly cocktail that first sedates, then paralyzes, and finally kills the condemned, has refused to allow its use in capital punishment. So states are searching for a new combination of drugs to do the trick.

A new two-drug cocktail was used in a recent execution in Ohio but it didn’t go very well as the the man (Dennis McGuire) took 25 minutes to die and appeared to suffer. That upset a lot of people — opponents of capital punishment, naturally. But even supporters who, while okay with a death penalty, want the execution carried out in a “humane” manner.

Then there’s hardcore righties who just shrug and say “So what?” They hold the view that no person sentenced to death has an automatic right to a “painless” execution and are even touting a return to firing squads.

You can read more on the issue here.