Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Lawyers fight to halt Ohio execution condemned as human experimentation.

I am sure we all remember the story of Romell Broom:

A death row inmate has been given a week’s reprieve after executioners were unable to find a vein to administer a lethal injection.

Convicted killer Romell Broom even tried to help, by turning on his side and flexing his fingers to make his veins stand out, as the victim’s family looked on from behind a screen.

But after two hours, officials at Lucasville prison in Ohio gave up and took the condemned man, who began to sob at one point, back to his cell.

State governor Ted Strickland ordered a week’s reprieve for the 53-year-old former heroin addict.

Charles Wille, a state prosecutor, told Associated Press: "Somebody has to be first. This plan is consistent with a long history of states attempting to take a very difficult social responsibility and make it less difficult."

Richard Dieter, head of the Death Penalty Information Centre in Washington, said that it was only because of the extraordinary nature of executions in the US that Ohio would be permitted to test out a new method on humans. "In other countries or in any medical field there would be all kinds of restrictions about doing things to experiment on human beings. It would never be allowed."

Under the Nuremberg Code, which stemmed from Nazi medical experiments, doctors must abide by strict rules relating to human experimentation, including that any test must be voluntary and for the social good. But executions are not covered by the code.

Amnesty International are arguing that this amounts to human experimentation, and it's hard to argue with that when one hears arguments along the lines of, "Someone has to be first."

The death penalty is, to me, simply a barbaric thing for any society to carry out. But Ohio is taking that barbarity to new heights, by literally experimenting on human beings regarding new - untested - ways to kill them.

Click here for full article.

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