As Reported in JURIST, A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Tennessee's execution procedures constitute "cruel and unusual" punishment, derailing plans to execute a death row inmate next week. US District Judge Aleta Trauger [official profile] held that revised death penalty protocols [PDF text; JURIST report ], devised by the Tennessee Department of Corrections in April at the request of Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen [official website], do not ensure that prisoners' are properly anesthetized before they receive a lethal injection and thus violate their constitutional Eighth Amendment rights. The Tennessee Attorney Generals office has not yet decided whether or not it will appeal the decision. This coincides with an article written by a British Neurologist for the JURIST, Dr. David Nocholl, demanding that death penalty cases that are carried out using lethal injection are cruel and unusual treatment because the chemicals used could allow the person being put to death to feel pain Putting aside for a moment the fact that the person being put to death had no concern for the person he/she killed in a heinous manner felt pain. There is a unfathomable hypocrisy in advocating the end to capital punishment based upon the pain it causes, while thousands of doctors inflict pain on unborn and partially born babies every day during abortions. In the period from 1976 to 2000 there were just 64 executions in the State of Florida, but records show that in 2003 alone there were 854,122 abortions performed in the U.S. Twenty-five percent of those women who had abortions gave the reason for the abortions as: "they wanted to postpone childbearing", and only 2.8% were because the mothers life or health was endangered by the pregnancy. Over 12% of the abortions performed in the U.S. are done after 13 weeks post fertilization. Available scientific evidence indicates that a fetus can feel pain 20 weeks after fertilization, and they certainly feel it when partial birth abortions are performed on fully formed babies. The source for this statistic is a Time Magazine article written in December 2006 by Nancy Gibbs.
Dr. Nicholls had this to say about the chemicals used in lethal injection:
"There is no clear medical reason for the use of the muscle-paralysing agent, Pancuronium, as there is the very real possibility of a prisoner who is paralysed but only partially anesthetized will experience intense pain with the cardiotoxin, Potassium Chloride. However, for death penalty proponents, clearly it would be disturbing to see a prisoner writhing in pain, so the use of Pancuronium would be a politically astute move. It is interesting to note how even the US veterinary association regard the use of Pancuronium unacceptable in the euthanasia of domestic pets. Today’s report clearly shows a number of cases where executions have been botched with prolonged deaths, skins burns and convulsions. Why do doctors involve themselves in the death penalty, when every medical association that has studied the matter, has so conclusively opposed the involvement of health care workers in the death penalty? Often there is ignorance of ethical guidelines amongst members of the medical profession" It is equally interesting to this blogger that the doctor refers to pain inflicted on a dog and ignores the pain inflicted on millions of aborted babies! Abortion hurts - - physically, psychologically,and spiritually. A recent column that appeared in an issue of the magazine "George". Written by Naomi Wolf, it was titled "The Dead Baby Boom." In a few words her thesis is that partial-birth abortions are so painful to contemplate that "the image pushing to the forefront of our culture is that of a tortured fetus outside the womb." Whether the victim is a newborn or an infant, these are "suffering babies". Why are people like Dr.Nicholland the Tennessee District Judge Trauger not more interested in the pain inflicted daily not occasionally in the dastardly abortion process. I think it is all about money!