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Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Death penalty case is cruel and unusual

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

If the death penalty was not such a sober topic, you could find ample humor in the ongoing battle over capital punishment in Missouri. First, a prisoner scheduled for execution in Missouri files suit charging that the three-

drug method of lethal injection in Missouri is cruel and unusual punishment. A dim-witted district judge had earlier ruled in the convict's favor but on Monday, a federal appeals court reversed the ruling. Let the games begin!

Is it just me or is this entire debate over cruel and unusual punishment simply too bizarre to fathom? I sit in utter amazement reading how a judge can effectively halt all executions because of the manner in which capital punishment is rendered. I was under the impression that those who murder someone could expect to die a fairly painless and fairly quick death. It is not a pleasant topic of discussion that's for sure. But this nation supports capital punishment in overwhelming numbers. So how can some judge halt the process?

Michael Taylor killed 15 year-old Ann Harrison in Kansas City nearly 20 years ago. There was no question of his guilt. But when it came time to meet his maker, Taylor petitioned the courts to halt his execution. He said that the drugs administered by the state of Missouri were ineffective in guaranteeing no pain. And in an amazing decision, U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. ruled in his favor. That was over a year ago. Taylor remains on death row awaiting his inevitable date with the executioner.

Here's what puzzles me - among many other issues. If these coddled killers don't like lethal injection, how about a firing squad? There's little doubt that a firing squad will cause minimal pain and will accomplish the task in a rapid fashion. Or hanging. I have other suggestions but this is a family newspaper.

We've had a lengthy discussion in this country over the emphasis on the criminals and not the victims. We lean over backwards to assure that the poor murderer is not mistreated. We cost taxpayer untold millions to support, house, feed, etc. these animals. And then some asinine judge says the process of lethal injection may cause some pain? So we put a halt to the entire process?

Taylor's attorney says he will appeal. I wonder who is paying the tab for this legal advice? But the day will come for this killer and others. The only question is when and at what cost to the taxpayers.



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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen