Thursday, February 23, 2006

No Pain, No Gain

"Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest." ~ W. H. Auden

The planned execution of Michael Angelo Morales was delayed until Tuesday night after two anesthesiologists refused to participate because of ethical concerns. Then, it was delayed until at least May because they couldn't find any doctors, nurses, or anethesiologists that were willing to administer the lethal injection, and now they want to review the case.

What kind of ethical concerns, you might ask? Well, maybe you wouldn't ask, but if you thought you knew, (assuming you haven't read of this yet) you might be wrong. I'll bet you were thinking they didn't want to participate because of some moral objection to the death penalty. Apparently not.

They are concerned that the execution of Mr. Morales constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. More precisely, they are concerned that the sedatives meant to put him to sleep before they administer the lethal dose of medication will cause him some discomfort. Translated for those in Rio Linda: Pain.

This is what I have to say in response to this:

What the....?

They have got to be kidding! Execution by lethal injection is already the most painless, humane method yet concocted. What more can they do? How much less painless can "painless" be than it already is?

The way lethal injection works is; they first administer a drug cocktail of 2 different sedatives, or pain killers. These put the convicted felon to sleep. Then, after he is sleeping peacefully, they administer a lethal dose of barbituates. The convicted person never wakes up again. That's it. Painless.

And much more humane than he deserves.

This is what Mr. Morales did to place himself upon the gurney:

He killed 17 year old Terri Winchell by raping her, attacking her with a hammer, stabbing her, and leaving her to die half-naked in a vineyard.

Call me sadistic, but I think he should be slowly tortured to death for that crime.

What in the world is wrong with California? Seriously, could this happen anywhere else in the world? Besides France, I mean.

Here's another thing that makes me say, "What the.......? Guess who is defending this animal? Ken Starr. That's right. The special prosecutor in the famous Whitewater investigation.

If I was more naive, I'd say Mr. Starr has lost his ever-loving mind. But I know that attorneys don't have to believe in their client. They just have to do their best to represent them. Right or wrong. Guilty or innocent.

But I don't understand why he took the case in the first place.

There's something else that bothers me about this thing. In all of California, they can't find anyone who will do the deed? Not one doctor or nurse? Not one? Do you suppose they searched outside the borders of California? I'll bet they could have found a willing doctor in Oregon. They have assisted suicide there. Surely there is a doctor or two there who wouldn't mind assisting Michael Angelo Morales into the next world.

There's still time, I guess. Maybe they could make arrangements to let Dr. Kevorkian out just long enough to take care of the matter. He could be preparing the request asking for the privilege of offing this vermin now.

Hey, I have the solution. I'll bet Terri Winchell's family wouldn't have any problem pulling the switch.

Ok. Time to 'fess up. The fact is, the anesthesiologists issued a statement through the prison saying they were concerned about a requirement that they intervene in the event that Morales woke up or appeared to be in pain.

"Any such intervention would clearly be medically unethical," said the doctors, who have not been identified. "As a result, we have withdrawn from participation in this current process."

The American Medical Association, the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the California Medical Association all opposed the anesthesiologists' participation as unethical and unprofessional.

Odd. Seems the only real objection is the requirement to intervene just in case. Really, though, what are the odds that he would wake up or feel pain if they do their jobs right? Perhaps the best way to solve this problem would be to simply remove that particular requirement.

Personally, It wouldn't bother me in the least if he did feel pain. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, the more pain to him, the better. I think they should return to the days of "Old Sparky", and not wet the sponge! I'm sure he wasn't concerned with Terri's pain.


Poison Pero said...

California is a joke.......Every day this POS is breathing is a cheating of justice.

It's bad enough he's been given years of appeals, but he should never have been given a reprieve-via-wussbag-doctor.

If they don't want pain they should take a cluster bomb and drop it on him.
Personally, I'd prefer he die by the "Savage Method":

“Hang them upside-down from a lamp-post and cut their genitals off. That’ll end the 'disease' overnight.” - Michael Savage

That would be justice........And pain would be just for this filth.

Mary said...

Let me get this straight--

There are ethical concerns about the administration of a lethal injection to a convicted criminal sentenced to die.

Did those citing concerns about discomfort for Morales have a problem with the agonizingly slow death sentence that Terri Schiavo received?

Her thirteen day starvation and dehydration death was called beautiful and peaceful.

Withholding food and water from a disabled woman was not considered a cruel and unusual way to die.

Giving the convicted rapist and murderer of Terri Winchell an injection is?

I can't stand the hypocrisy.

Erudite Redneck said...

The state has no business killing its own citizens.

If the state wants to create a situtation where the closest survivor of a murder victim can choose to executive this ultimate form of justice -- that, is willing to pull the trigger, inject the poison, flip the switch, or whatever -- I'd be OK with that.

What's the difference? When the state executives someone -- OK, when Oklahoma does so, or the federal government -- I, as a citizen, am made an executioner. I protest.

The state has no business killing its own citizens.

Mark said...

Right. And what is your responsibility when the state allows abortion? Are you the executioner in that case also?Would you rather be the executioner of a remorseless murderer or an innocent baby? Where is your righteous indignation when it comes to the taking of innocent life?

The state has no business killing it's own INNOCENT citizens.

Timothy said...

That was going to be my point. What business does this same state have doing abortions, because it has been shown that babies feel pain during the process. This is the most cruel and unusual punishment... especially since the baby had committed no crime against it's mother or humanity.

As for the state not having the right to bring about justice, this is absurd. The state is complete within it's rights as an ordained entity to put to death those who have committed crimes of the heinous nature, such as the one stated. If we leave it up to the victim's family, we resort to tribal warfare, which leads to the death of those not related to the crime. In other words, anarchy.

With the state involved, we have a system that tries the man by his peers and finds him guilty and sentences him to death. The peers felt it prudent to put this man, who has no regard for human life, to death for his disregard for human life. (I'm assuming California has the jury assign sentencing... but not sure about that). This is the utmost in justice. This man, by taking life, should lose his own life. And the state is responsible and right for carrying this out.

Where the state is wrong is when the state allows death to be carried out when no crime has been committed, again, abortion.

This is so sickening...

Trixie said...

The problem in this case is in having a MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL administer the lethal injection. They cannot. It is against their ethics.

The executioner is just that -- an executioner. Not a medical doctor, nurse, or any other medical professional.

The rub came when these anesthesiologists were asked to be there to observe if they determined the initial barbituate dose didn't do what was expected. Observation is one thing, but then they were expected to intervene by administering additional drugs that would lead to death. No can do.

Instead of casting stones at these medical professionals, we should admire them for standing on their ethics.

Let the executioner do what the state has decided must be done. But don't expect healers to be the ones to do it.

Mark said...

Trixie, I agree, and that was my point when I said, "they were concerned about a requirement that they intervene in the event that Morales woke up or appeared to be in pain."

I said perhaps the requirement should be changed. If that wasn't the requirement, they would not have refused.

ER, I apologize. I made the old two wrongs don't make a right argument and I hate it when people do that.

What I should have said was this:

I find it hypocritical, duplicitous, and disengenous to suggest that killing a man who has earned himself the death penalty by taking another person's life is wrong on one hand while defending the so-called "right" of a mother to kill her own innocent baby, because having the child would inconvienience her.

Mark said...

By the way, ER, out of all the arguments against capital punishment I have heard, yours is the most logical and credible, but I still disagree.

Mark said...

Texas native comedian Ron White says, "In my state, if you kill someone, we will kill you back."

Erudite Redneck said...

I love Ron White.

Back to the point:

The state does not conduct abortions. The state does conduct executions.

Doctors, at the behest of women, conduct abortions.

If men bore young, this discussion would never have happened.

I am against abortion yet in favor of individual women making the decision whether to abort.

Wouldn't you guys just shoot dead anyone who dared invade your body and tie your tubes, or remove some organ, or do ANYTHING -- under color of law or not?

And as F. Gump said, "That's all I have to say about that."

Titus: I never meant to suggest that the state does not have the right to execute criminals. I mean to say that, regardless of that right, it is morally wrong to do so.

Mark said...

"The state does not conduct abortions. The state does conduct executions"

But the state legalized and allowed it. They are complicit. In that sense, the state is just as responsible for the death of innocent babies as they are for the death of executed criminals. It is splitting hairs to suggest the state has nothing to do with the murder of babies, just because they did not wield the knife.

Using that logic, the state doesn't execute criminals. The executioner does.

Erudite Redneck said...

BTW, Titus, you asked me to stop by, but I don't have yer blog url ...

Timothy said...

I still disagree. I don't think it is morally wrong to execute criminals by the state. The state's responsibility to the citizens is to keep peace and render justice. That is justified to take the life of one who has wrongly taken another's life.

It is wrong for me to kill you... but the state has a compelling interest to punish me if I do... otherwise justice is not kept or done.

And no, I don't think justice is being served to allow a murderer to sit in prison the rest of his life. He gets the pleasure of life... while the one murdered does not. His life should be stopped. No more should he enjoy life, even though it is restrained life... Blessings

FrenziedFeline said...

Besides, ER, the state pays for abortions, at least California does. When I worked for an HMO that had a contract to take Medi-Cal (state welfare) patients, I know for a fact that my tax dollars went to pay for the abortions for women who didn't know that pro-choice is when they chose to take off their clothes. Abstinence--works every time it's tried.

I'm fine with the state executing criminals on my (and the victims' families') behalf. I'm sure it would only open a whole 'nother can o'worms to allow the families to perform the executions. I can hear the ACLU now...

Goat said...

Mark you hit all the same points I did. Now we must reflect on a point, Sha'ria law also supports the death penalty as well as other forms of carnal punishment. I am a believer that to be effective punishments pain must fit the crime and be done publically. We are way to soft on criminals as this last travesty shows. Allowing this kind of garbage to languish and burn up judicial taxmoney is nuts. Me I am more in favor of a Judge Roy Bean style public hanging. The fact is this is the third in a short period of time for the activists here in Ca and their heals are dug in for a final fight. They chose a monster to represent this time and there will be some political backlash. Especially since this was planned by a gay and his cousin to take out the competition, his bi-lover's girlfriend, premeditated brutal murder. Kenn Starr may be morally against the death penalty though being linked to Moralles will tarnish his halo.
Hey, easy on Rio Linda, theyse juss country folk, it was one of the last areas around Sacramento where you could find a large lot and a decent fixer-upper for a decent price, not anymore. The large lots and rural zoning are turning it into a horse community very rapidly.

Erudite Redneck said...

Mark, I simply disagree. It's not splitting hairs at all. The state allows me to, say, drink to slovenly drunkenness in my home if I so choose. Are you saying the state, therefore, *causes* me to do so? No, I'll bet you are not.

What the state allows, and what it does itself, are very different things. Not splitting hairs. No. It's following different threads of simple logic, complicated by emotions and competing senses of morality.

The state makes me an executioner when it executes. The does not involve you, or me, at all, when it steps aside and allows a woman to decide what to do with her own body -- and the unborn child she is carrying.

Sorry to be so balls-out about it. But even accepting the argument, for the sake of argument, that the fetus is a "child," it's none of your business, or the state's, what she does with it as long as it's PART OF HER BODY. What lunacy, what arrogance, what chauvinism, to think otherwise.

Poison Pero said...

I'd have no problem if implementing ER's program.

If someone raped my wife or daughters, I'd gladly do the shooting.

Goat said...

ER, seems to forget, if he doesn't like the death penalty he can vote for people who would work to overturn it. The government operates by the will of the people and a jury of peers condemned Morales for his hienous crime and it was supported by all the higher courts. Christ gave the thief forgiveness when asked by his neighbor on the cross, but He did not commute his death sentence for his crime.

Daffy76 said...

I guess I am a arrogant, chauvanist, lunatic. It isn't PART of her body, ER. It's a living human being INSIDE her body. You make it sound like abortion is like an amputation. It's not.

It is not lunacy to believe that someone should fight for the rights of the BABIES that are being killed via abortion.

What is lunacy is to believe that these women are justified in killing their babies just because of their place of residence. The baby doesn't have any control over where it is or who it is conceived by. The criminals you so readily defend have made the choice to commit the crimes they are being punished for. Abortion doesn't allow the person being killed any choices at all.

This is so heartbreaking to talk about for me, because there are millions of people who just don't get it. Abortion kills babies--bottom line. Wherever abortion is legal (and as casual as it is now) the door is open for irresponsible sexual behavior and the all out murder of innocent children.

Dan Trabue said...

To throw a twist in this, let me ask you all a question. And I write this as someone opposed to both abortions and the death penalty.

What's your view on allowing someone in pain to end their life?

In the situation where someone has asked not to be kept on life support if it appears that the end has come otherwise, are you okay with their wishes being honored?

What if they're not on life-support but in constant agonizing pain with no chance of getting better? Are you okay with them ending their life?

Myself, I am okay with both. And I am okay with it BECAUSE I think life is precious. If I were to be deathly ill and the only way I could get better was by performing a $1 million surgery, I'm not sure that I would proceed...

Life is precious to me, but death is a part of life and I’m okay with it (said now, on this side of any serious medical choices). Faced with that choice, I’d like the option of making my own decision – whichever way I decided. I wouldn’t want the state mucking in my affairs.

I’ve said all that to make a point.

I am opposed to abortions – especially so-called “abortions of convenience” (as opposed to abortion procedures for strictly medical reasons – mother dying, baby dying, that kind of thing). But I don’t really want The State to be in the business of making those decisions for people.

So, just as I don’t want the state involved in my personal end of life decisions, I’m hesitant about getting the state involved in anyone’s personal end of life decisions.

What are your opinions on the matter?

(On the death penalty, it’s pretty straightforward to me – as long as our justice system is prone to mistakes, I’m hesitant to kill anyone when there is no huge benefit to it. Life in prison seems to adequately deal with the justice issue for me. Plus, there’s that whole “killing people who’ve killed people to show that killing people is wrong” idiocy.)

Erudite Redneck said...


I am not defending criminals. I am defending myself from being dragged into what I consider unjustifiable revenge killing on the part of the state to which I am a citizen. Do not confuse that with a "defense of criminals."

And on the abortion thicket, I'll give you this. I respect any opinion you have, whether I agree with it or not, over any man's opinion on the subject in general.

Jason H. Bowden said...

While the comparisons with Terri Schiavo do not make our case, other considerations do.

To say the state has no business killing its citizens during capital punishment is like saying the state has no business kidnapping people when it puts people behind bars. It is nonsense. When one citizen intentionally kills another, they forfeit their right to life, just like criminals who violate the personal freedom of others lose their own freedom for a period of time.

That being said, there may be prudential reasons to oppose the wide use of capital punishment. The most notable is the potential to kill an innocent citizen -- this isn't farfetched if one lives in a nice warm community like, let us say, Philadelphia or Chicago with a corrupt police department. We can release people incarcerated wrongly, but we can't bring dead citizens back to life.

I wouldn't hesitate to kill bin Laden, Gacy, or McVeigh, so good sense is all I ask for. Morales must die.