Execution, by any means

07/26/2014 11:07 AM

07/25/2014 9:30 AM

Re "Arizona execution takes two hours" (Page A1, July 24): It took 197 minutes to kill Joseph Wood in the execution chamber in Arizona yesterday, 100 minutes of which he was gasping and snorting. It took 83 minutes to kill Clayton Lockett in the execution chamber in Oklahoma in April. He was writhing, shaking and eventually cried out "Man!" All the while, prison officials determined him unconscious.

These two men were given nearly identical drugs for the executions. An appellate court ruled for a stay for Woods, but the U.S. Supreme Court and the Arizona Supreme Court overturned the stay, allowing the execution to continue. The blood of this man is on their individual hands.

James Wilson, Founding Father of our country, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, lectured on justice and punishments, saying in 1791, "A nation (that tolerates) cruel punishments becomes dastardly and contemptible. For in nations, as well as individuals, cruelty is always attended by cowardice."

-- Kathleen Stricklin, Sacramento

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