To the editor:
It’s not easy to kill someone — if you’re trying to do it humanely. The old style, hanging, has to balance between strangulation and decapitation. Introduced to be more humane, the gas chamber can leave prisoners choking for 11 minutes, and the electric chair has set people on fire.
The latest is the lethal injection, which involves a cocktail of ingredients, one of which causes paralysis. Thus it masks any signs of pain and is not legal for veterinary euthanasia in some states.
Killing people is not easy for the corrections officers. Prisoners under sentence of death are held in El Dorado. A prisoner would be transferred to Lansing shortly before the execution date, in order to protect corrections personnel from the trauma of carrying out the execution of someone they’ve come to know over a number of years.
It’s not easy for the state of Kansas, either. After spending (according to the legislative post-audit) 70 percent more to convict those condemned to death than other serious crimes, Kansas has given the death penalty to 12 people since the penalty was re-established in 1994. We taxpayers have also spent a large amount of money constructing the death chamber and on special training for the officers who would run it.
Of those 12 people, four sentences have been canceled in one way or another. Not one has had the sentence executed.
Isn’t it time we put our money and effort into effective control of crime?