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Heroin Overdose Execution

Already known to be fatal, perhaps even in a nice way
(+8, -8)
  [vote for,

Recently there was an outcry regarding a death penalty that was carried out by "lethal injection", but which went horribly wrong. The State does not want the condemned to suffer in agony, while dying, but that is apparently what happened, because a new mixture of drugs was used (the old ones are no longer widely available).

Well, it occurs to me that we know of plenty of lethal drugs, and some of them are definitely not associated with an agonized death. Heroin is a drug that lots of people use because they like it. If they use too much, though, they die.

So, Logically, a lethal overdose of heroin could be computed by a State's executioner, and injected. The condemned would get high, go higher, and never come down (die, that is). Perhaps that is the problem? The State wants the condemned to go DOWN, not up? But that is a matter of Religious Debate. The goal is Death, not done cruelly, and this can accomplish it.

Vernon, May 04 2014

Anoxic mouse murder displaced_20air_20mouse_20trap
Related to [Max]'s anno [Voice, May 04 2014]

Naff DNA evidence, due to cross-contamination http://www.bbc.com/...nvironment-26324244
[not_morrison_rm, May 05 2014]

Porridge - the tv series http://en.wikipedia...dge_%28TV_series%29
[not_morrison_rm, May 06 2014]


       Simple and effective. [+]
Grogster, May 04 2014

       The simplest and most humane form of execution is anoxia - that is, putting the victim in a room filled with nitrogen.   

       The result is a pleasant state of intoxication and a comfortable transition to death.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 04 2014

       I am not certain "lethal" dose of opiates kills everyone. Re methods: I think speed is of the essence here. Opiate OD might be slow. Ditto anoxia.
bungston, May 04 2014

       [bungston], I agree that different metabolisms will have different associated fatal dosages. Perhaps the answer is not so much a single injection, as an IV drip-line (set to drip fast, of course)? Eventually the lethal dose WILL be infused into the body of the condemned!
Vernon, May 04 2014

       I just don't get why people conflate "messy" with "cruel". The quickest possible executions are done by rapidly destroying the brain function. Chemicals are demonstrably innefficient at this.   

       Surely death by dropping a 100T tool steel mandrel from 25m above would be, to all intents and purposes, instantaneous? You could make it so they couldn't see or hear it coming, of course.   

       Hanging, done properly, is close to 100% effective - as I understand it. Shirley with modern fibres we could make a hangman's rope suitable for a 25 meter fall, the termination from which surely the neck would be broken or severed?   

       Some sort of mechanical, high speed guillotine? Head smashing hammer? 10kgs of your choice of high powered explosive packed around the head? A well aimed 25mm cannon round?   

       Any of these would work, and would be infinitely more humane than any of the currently used methods. The problem is people are willing to kill people for their crimes, but too squeamish to do a good job of it.   

       Once your state has decided to kill someone, surely they are obligated to do so in the most effective way. You gave up your right to be precious when you decided to kill somone.
Custardguts, May 04 2014

       [CustardGut] so true on all levels there. If you decide to kill, do it effectively & cleanly. Don't pretend you're not killing them, & just "giving them a sleeping pill" so you can feel better about it.   

       That said, why do we even have a death penalty in 2014? It's barbaric, hypocritical, ineffective at deterrence, & costs more in the USA than life in prison.   

       [Vernon] I believe the main reason, "Why not" here, is that the staff involved are not always our best & brightest in our society. And, so, you risk the drugs getting stolen (or worse & more commonly, diluted) by the staff. When the drugs are known only to be deadly & painful, & induce no high, then people won't steal/sell/dilute it. And, the bloodthirsty voters who still love the death penalty would find giving the condemned a "high" to be repulsive.
sophocles, May 04 2014

       What [Max] said. The real problem is the people who think the death penalty and/or prisons should be torturous but don't want to come out and say it.   

       What [sophocles] said.   

       I once made an idea for animal slaughter by anoxia but it was roundly reviled and I can't find it now. In a year or two someone else will write the same idea to broad acclaim.   

       The steel mandrel should ideally approach nerve transmission speed.
Voice, May 04 2014

       //It's the psychological trauma inflicted on the witnesses and, indeed, the executioner, of being party to a gruesome execution.//   

       So? They wanted it. Once again we're disconnecting the decision and authority with the responsibility and consequences.   

       Make the judge clean it up. Make the Jury do it. Make some kind of reverse lottery pick random civilians to do it. Or maybe automate the whole process inside some enormous 316(L) stainless steel contraption, complete with autofeeding cremater. Call it the JUSTICISER or the DEATHKILL 2000. Live televise the spectacle to the entire nation, all channels. Or do it behind closed doors so you don't have to know what's going on, or even if it's being done the way you're told it is....   

       I really don't have a problem with the death penalty per se. I think there are crimes worthy of death. I think that a responsible society should be able to come up with a series of controls to institute a threshold which once achieved, should justify the killing of someone guilty of such crimes. What I don't like is the sanitising of hte process - the just do it but don't tell me about it bullshit. The moral gymnastics that is done to assuage your consciences about it. Your feelings, squeamishness, etc shouldn't matter in this at all - this is about ending this persons life in a humane way. Do that first. If you can do it in a way that lets you sleep at night, fine. But don't lie to yourselves.
Custardguts, May 04 2014

       //The simplest and most humane form of execution is anoxia - that is, putting the victim in a room filled with nitrogen.   

       The result is a pleasant state of intoxication and a comfortable transition to death. //   

       Meh. I'm not convinced. My certified freediver training course content insisted there's a certain percentage of the population who are able to sense low blood oxygen levels. Somewhere between 1 and 10% (EDIT - of the population that is). It's one of the many physiological limitations that preclude most of the population from competing at a high level in competetive freediving. Apparently it causes panic pain and convulsions just like high CO2 does. I've proven by lengthy experimentation and a couple of in-pool sambas that I'm not one of those people.   

       I'd need to be convinced that this was really not the case before I would support anoxic execution.
Custardguts, May 04 2014

       Interesting. I'd be surprised if it's true, because it assumes a whole different sense possessed by a small percentage of the population, but it's not impossible.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 04 2014

       I've never understood why they don't just put a nitrous oxide mask on the face and gradually crank it up to 100 percent. Happy joy joy bye bye. Easy as pie.   

       //For rapists, they should be sodomized by a breeding bull.//   

       Then bring on the nitrous oxide. Am I missing something here? It's obviously been considered.   

       Why not odorless carbon monoxide? Maybe a mixture of both just to be humane. Start with the N02 then crank up the C0 till it's a 50/50 mixture.
doctorremulac3, May 04 2014

       I am opposed to all executions, as they make (inter alia) the perpetrators equal to that of the convicted. Only a very few countries in the world carry out executions, like North Korea, China, Iran, and of course North America.
xenzag, May 05 2014

       Well folks, that's it—we've got [xenzag]'s opinion on something! Thank God for that. Guess we can all go home now!
ytk, May 05 2014

       //render them unconscious with a captive bolt to the head and exsanguinate them//   

       Also a great dating tip.
ytk, May 05 2014

       //Guess we//.... //we've got// .... do you have a multiple personality?
xenzag, May 05 2014

       Is state execution a method of achieving a form of revenge?
xenzag, May 05 2014

       No, it's a way of saving money.
8th of 7, May 05 2014

       I asked the question because in the help file under mfd it says this "...... killing a person or an animal for pleasure or revenge."   

       Taking delight in inventing new ways of ending people's lives is not something I regard as in the spirit of the halfbakery. It's actually a shallow process, and there is no end to the number of methods of terminating a person's life. I am therefore taking ownership of this second bone. [-]
xenzag, May 05 2014

       Barbaric punishments for crimes are fine, until it turns out the convicted person was innocent. Even DNA isn't always a clear indicator   

       In brief "A woman had been brutally murdered in London and biological material had been found under her fingernails..." which is kind of handy, however there was a match....to another woman, who was killed three weeks beforehand...   

       Or the German lass "traces of DNA belonging to an unknown female were found at the scene of the murder of a police officer....identical DNA was found to have been present at the scene of five other murders in Germany..."   

       So, as naff as the current stacking people in prisons is, it's a lot better than sewing people's hands back on, or whatever. See Link.
not_morrison_rm, May 05 2014

       //This idea refers to the recent botched execution where the prisoner writhed in agony until suffering a fatal heart attack.// I am aware of all of that, but so what?   

       Finding alternative ways of carrying out revenge killings is not inventive in halfbakery terms, and it fits within the mfd category. It's just boring and lacking in invention. Simply sedating people, then doing whatever to them in order to kill them is not inventive. As soon as a person is comatose through use of a well tested anaesthetic, you can do anything to them and they will die without any prior awareness.
xenzag, May 05 2014

       My two cents on the execution controversy is that it's for revenge more than deterrence, although there is some of that. Bad guys understand revenge very well, it's their language.   

       I have no desire to be so civilized that it's safe to hurt me or my loved ones without penalty, and spending the rest of your life being cared for with a free room, food, health care and even entertainment is not sufficient punishment.   

       As far as deterrence, criminals are for the most part very egocentric. To take somebody's life shows how self important that person is. The most important life on Earth is their own in their eyes and to put that at risk is a very bad thing for these guys.   

       But even if deterrence doesn't work, ok. Put me down as an un-civilized barbarian when it comes to dealing with violent criminals. Just make sure all the violent criminals know who the barbarians are and who the sheep... uh, civilized people are when it comes time to do their hunting.   

       Not a fan of torture though. Quick trial and painless execution works for me. And yes, I'm aware that innocent people may die, information about crimes that the executed take to the grave will be lost etc. Like I said, I'm on the barbarian's side of the spectrum with all it's downsides when it comes to this sort of thing. If I ended up getting tried and executed for a crime I didn't commit, that would certainly suck, but I'd find solace in the fact that for every innocent like me getting executed, there are probably 100 guilty murderers getting the ax. I'd consider myself an innocent casualty in the war against violent criminals, but I wouldn't consider that sufficient grounds to stop the war.   

       That being said I don't have a problem with people opposed to execution on moral grounds. I can't say it's a bad thing for somebody to not want to kill another human being. I'm just not that civilized, and if it means I'm evil and wicked, well, so be it.   

       Needles are barbaric though. Put a gas mask on em and let em go to sleep.
doctorremulac3, May 05 2014

       Yeah, I don't see what's new here either. It's a different drug than what is commonly used, but someone's sure to have suggested it before. It's still a drug that causes death, etc.
the porpoise, May 05 2014

       //far MORE merciful than a lifetime in prison//   

       So you say. If mercy is the directive, then give the condemned a choice: life imprisonment or death.   

       Being strapped to a gurney and injected with drugs is unnecessary, in view of the option of lifetime imprisonment. It is also unusual, as only ~10% of countries executed someone last year. Some would argue that it meets the other two prongs of the cruel and unusual test as well.   

       If cost is the issue, well I don't know what to say. The government controls the costs, so that can be tweaked any way you like. And I would like to think that this is not the kind of policy that should be left to the accountants.
the porpoise, May 05 2014

       That decision is little different from the dozens of other decisions the felon has made in his defense, from picking an attorney to deciding whether or not to testify, whether to appeal, etc.   

       I don't really trust the state to decide what's merciful.
the porpoise, May 05 2014

       // As 8th pointed out, it's a matter of economics. A bullet, rope, or dose of poison and an executioner's salary cost the taxpayers less than providing a lifetime.....// So the reason why the USA executes people is because it's the cheapest option, and not as an act of vengeance for crimes committed? Bizarre logic.
xenzag, May 05 2014

       [21] just admit you're a murderous sociopath with a bent for revenge wrapped up in a sweet candy shell.
Voice, May 05 2014

       //to cull the herd, so to speak//   

       Life imprisonment already "culls the herd". Doing so via execution is a.k.a. eugenics.
the porpoise, May 05 2014

       That's why Hitler gassed people - because it was cheaper and merciful, and efficient..... a nasty notion to transfer to a country founded on better ideals than this vile practice.
xenzag, May 05 2014

       I have a feeling that the guys who flew the planes aren't available for macheting.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 05 2014

       Those who flew the planes managed to kill many thousands of people for the price of a few craft knifes.... That must fit well into the philosophy of "Death by the Cheapest Means" as prevails in the American Prison system.
xenzag, May 05 2014

       Do any of us really come to the HB for this type of discussion?   

       There are countless other places to talk politics/ethics & get into endless flame wars.   

       I don't think we need to be very inventive on "how to kill people", as humans have invented too many ways to do that already.
sophocles, May 05 2014

       I agree. See the help file and read why cruel and revenge methods of killing people are [marked-for-deletion] There, I called it. Over to moderators to decide.
xenzag, May 05 2014

       //I have a feeling that the guys who flew the planes aren't available for macheting   

       But there must be samples of their DNA still floating around...so....   

       But anyway, death sentence stuff is boring.
not_morrison_rm, May 05 2014

       //See the help file and read why cruel and revenge methods of killing people are [marked-for-deletion]//   

       ..But the proposed idea was for a non-cruel way of doing it - that was the whole point (even though I reckon there are even less cruel ways as per my annos). At no point is revenge mentioned - that's your analysis.   

       If you don't like the idea of execution, or discussing it, you have the inalienable right to not click on the idea. Or maybe close your eyes if you do.   

       [marked-for-not-deletion] neither of the things it's accused of being.
Custardguts, May 05 2014

       //If you don't like the idea of execution, or discussing it, you have the inalienable right to not click on the idea. Or maybe close your eyes if you do.// You should take up that argument with the moderators. It's not for you to tell me how to look at the ideas posted here, or how I should react to them. This is also not a debating platform.   

       I happen to believe that this idea does not fit the parameters of that which constitutes a halfbaked idea, and has the potential to open the floodgates to numerous similar ways of killing people. I trust the moderators to decide either way, and leave it at that.
xenzag, May 05 2014

       If this was an mfd post, which it isn't, it'd be for the reason of "pales by comparison": you may as well be arguing what colour the execution room should be painted, such issue irrelevant in the shadow of "should a murderer be allowed to live" vs "should the government be able to kill off its citizenry?".
FlyingToaster, May 05 2014

       The only problem I see with this is, as a schedule 1 controlled substance, heroin is illegal. So in order to do this, we need some effective drug policy reform. That's two for the price of one, so let's get to work!
tatterdemalion, May 06 2014

       //The only problem I see with this is, as a schedule 1 controlled substance, heroin is illegal. So in order to do this, we need some effective drug policy reform.//   

       Uh, no. “Illegal” just means the government has a monopoly on its use.
ytk, May 06 2014

       //effective drug policy reform//   

       I think the world's ripe for this. Unfortunately, the alternative to complete prohibition, is some government supply. Through corruption or incompetence, some of it WILL end up in the wrong place. I don't think anyone wants to be in the first government that accidentally ships a kilo rather than a gram to a user.   

       Prisons, however, would be an ideal place to model reform. It could be successfully argued that traditional measures have failed, and that a prison is a sufficiently controlled environment. I'd argue that addicts in prison with a reliable supply of pharmaceutical-grade diamorphine would be pretty easy to control.
bs0u0155, May 06 2014

       1) I'm not bunning this until you at least come up with some humorous or amusing ways of execution, like some kind of universal solvent and the criminal is dressed as the wicked with from Wizard of Oz.   

       2) //Barbaric yes, but so are many acts of terrorism and school shootings.   

       Isn't the whole point of modern justice that is supposed to be not barbaric, but a civilised way to deal with problems, for example not doing trial by ordeal and that kind of crap?   

       3) I can't of something for 3, I'm too tired and drinking sake.   

       I would refer you to the Uk comedy, "Porridge", for the more intricate bits of prison life. And, I have no idea which prison I would end up in...
not_morrison_rm, May 06 2014

       And in a classic case of thread drift, now you made me think of those internet quizzes " Which predator are you ? " or " Which Firefly character are you ? ".   

       So you'd answer a handful of guiding questions and end up with " You are going to San Quentin " , or " You are bound for Rikers ", or " You will be in a county honor camp for a brief period of time ".
normzone, May 06 2014

       Concerns about the method being "cruel and unusual" have no place in this discussion. Killing someone is cruel and unusual, we're just debating the method. Once you've decided someone must be killed, what difference does it make how you get there? Beat them to death with a rusty chain.   

       I agree with Maher, re the Oklahoma execution last week - "stop calling it 'botched' - the guy died, didn't he?" Damn right.   

       If you're going to be for capital punishment, then get it there and fucking do it. None of this pussy lethal injection shit to make yourselves feel less guilty about it. Send the executioner in with a chain saw, and leave the blinds open.   

       And don't waste perfectly good heroin on them.
tatterdemalion, May 06 2014

       Perhaps they could save the lethal injections and other pussy techniques for false convictions.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 06 2014

       Oh now that is an idea, perhaps for use in a police state: the death method depends on the level of good faith on the part of the state. If you're hanged, They think you're a rank bajin and that they've convicted you fair and square. If you're disposed of judicially for political reasons, you get the guillotine. The method of execution is not known until it is upon the condemned, the final reveal of what They thought of you, this knowledge either a useless terminal comfort or a twist of the knife - the dead man walking to the guillotine mind afire with vengeful possibility.
calum, May 06 2014

       I changed my mind... I'm thinking it would be better to nudge them out of the International Space Station in the direction of the sun.
Grogster, May 06 2014

       People killing people is wrong so if we, as a people, kill people who kill people...   

       //Upload the videos for deterrence.   

       Ho hum, in the UK executions this style used to happen. Now let's think about that...somebody who knew they were going to broken on the wheel if they did the crime still went ahead and did it. So, zero deterrence value.   

       There is just something wrong in the culture of high-murder rate societies, it would be a lot cheaper to try and fix that, but that involves the kind of introspection cultures can't do.
not_morrison_rm, May 06 2014

       //cultures can't do (introspection)//   

       I beg to differ. Cultures change constantly, almost always through a gestalt of moral belief.
Voice, May 06 2014

       //It's only wrong if you think they're getting off too easy, which means you're in favor of more cruel forms of punishment.//   

       Does it?
I thought I just meant that if killing warrants death by a society then isn't that society guilty of murder and so therefore sentenced to death by it's own law?

       Where does that leave then? Tibet I suppose.   

       Now wait a minute, here! At least if they're nudged into space (as happened to Arthur and Ford), they WILL have an (albeit statistically unlikely) outside chance of rescue from a passing spacecraft! So in that regard, they've got a sporting chance!   

       Much higher likelihood of survival than, say, that guy that recently was put to botched death for beating, sodomizing, shooting twice then burying alive a teenager. Poor form, that.
Grogster, May 07 2014

       Hmmm... now that I think about it, that execution may have gone horribly right.
Grogster, May 07 2014

       //but show the vids to the Boston bombers beforehand and maybe they'd think twice   

       In the old days anyone could go to Tyburn and watch people being dismembered with red-hot pincers...but obviously there had to be a criminal to be dismembered, so obviously some people don't twice....and that covers 1500 to 2014 so not a great hit rate for deterrence.
not_morrison_rm, May 07 2014

       //we've established statistics are not your strong suit.   

       True, 74% of my statistics are made up on the spot.   

       I just like it when people say "this is a deterrent to crime" and then someone commits the crime. My point was in the past there were phenomenally cruel methods of execution, which no one in their right minds would want to experience, but the people still committed the crimes. I don't see any deterrence there.   

       Also (by repute) in China in the old days, the penalty for every crime was death, one way or another, as you'd get jailed and have your hands and feet tied far too tightly, so you'd get gangrene and conviently die before the trial. Strangely, there was still crime, and I presume, more serious ones as you're going to die whether you shoplift a chocolate bar or do a school shooting.   

       In conclusion, no matter how awful the punishment, some idiot is still going to commit the crime, so stick to the relatively humane ones.   

       Referring for the last time to Porridge, one of the prisoners was gay. All the hetero prisoners were afraid their partners on the outside would find someone else, the gay character had the opposite, he was locked in with a load of guys, so it was his partner on the outside who was more worried.   

       </end of pointing out the obvious.>   

       //There is no Facebook in prison   

not_morrison_rm, May 07 2014


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