Is The Electric Chair Humane Essay, Research Paper
Is the electric chair a cruel and inhumane way to punish criminals for the crimes they have committed in the past? This is the huge controversy that has been stirring up in Florida news lately. The electric chair has proven to have malfunctions and is not killing people instantly. The criminals have been feeling pain from the evidence that has been found.
Recently the electric chair has been reconstructed. The original electric chair was made out of oak wood in 1923. The new electric chair is also made out of oak wood. The only thing new about the chair is the wood. The electric current running through it is received by the same apparatus as before. The inmates constructed the first one and the most recent one by the Corrections Department Newly-constructed Electric Chair 9 Jun. 1999. Immediate Release. Online. America Online. 25 July 1999.
The electric chair was first designed in the late 1800 s. The electric chair was found by accident. It was the beginning of the electrical era and Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse were fighting over the control of electrical utilities. Edison designed the DC current of electricity while Westinghouse developed the AC current. Edison proved is was safer by showing that the AC current can cause electrocutions. New York state felt that the death by electrocution was more humane than hanging and developed the electric chair which was powered by the Westinghouse AC generator History of the Electric Chair www.theelectricchair.com. Online. America Online. 27 July 1999
It s now oblivious that electrocution is in no way more or less humane than hanging a person. My personal beliefs are that no matter what, we are sinking down to the criminals level. I feel that being executed is looked at as being the easy way out of things. You just move on to your afterlife. Staying in a small jail cell sitting there and thinking of how you got there is more of a punishment. To grow old and be alone is bad not dying and moving on.
The electric chair is proven to be in humane and cruel. A lot of executions have gone wrong. The person does not die immediately and suffers, which is what they want to avoid. The most recent execution that has taken place in Florida was the Allen Lee Davis case. Davis was executed for murdering pregnant Nancy Weiler and her two daughters brutally Sugg, John F. Witnessing a Time to Kill. Orlando Weekly 15-21 July 1999.
The man was extremely obese, weighing in a 344lbs, at the time of his death. He was placed in the chair and was strapped in with no final words to say. The electricity was put on and he jolted forward and a big spot of blood appeared on the front of his white shirt. A medical technician removed the mask from his face and saw a small amount of blood coming from his nose but not enough to cause the huge blood spot on his shirt. Sugg, John F. Witnessing a Time to Kill. Orlando Weekly 15-21 July 1999.
The cause of the nosebleed was suggested to be cause by the blood thinning medication Davis was on for his obesity. But there was no reason for the spot of blood on his shirt even thought suggestions were made that he could have ruptured all inside or a buckle could have pierced him. Official reports also disputed that there wasn t enough electricity pumped into Davis due to his size. Officials also have stated that they did notice his chest raising and falling as if he were breathing. Sugg, John F. Witnessing a Time to Kill. Orlando Weekly 15-21 July 1999.
The huge question here is if he felt any agony. The whole point of any type of execution is for the criminal to die and not suffer. It s a way for the officials not to feel guilt by killing them and not to act as a criminal and afflict pain. I feel that the easiest way would be by lethal injection. This doesn t mean I m for or against the death penalty. I simply think we are letting the person die in peace and letting them drift off minus any pain assures the officials that they have done right and justice has been served.
Unfortunately that is not the only case, a lot of mishaps occur with Old Sparky in the state of Florida. Another case that has been controversial was the execution of Pedro Medina. When the electricity was pumped into his body flames exploded from his head. This was one of the main factors Florida decided to make a new electric chair. The chair seems so brutal especially when you hear stories that the guards have to use sledgehammers to break the joints of the deceased to remove them from the chair because their joints fuse together from the shock. Sugg, John F. Witnessing a Time to Kill. Orlando Weekly 15-21 July 1999.
Besides having to die, the life of an inmate on death row is far from pleasant. They have a lot of restrictions and rules. They eat only three meals a day and visitors are only allowed on weekends from 9am to 3pm. They are allowed showers every other day and are counted every hour to make sure no one is missing. They can receive mail only on weekdays and may have non-cable, black and white television snacks, cigarettes and radios. It only costs about $55.14 per day to house an inmate on Death Row Newly-constructed Electric Chair 9 Jun. 1999. Immediate Release. Online. America Online. 25 July 1999.
A lot of people feel that criminals deserve everything that comes their way and we should have no remorse whether or not mishaps occur. They feel that they knew the consequences when they committed their crimes and they should but punished. Others feel they should suffer in jail for the rest of their lives. It is a controversial issue and maybe will never be resolved. All we know is that there are more and more crimes happening and our world today is a nightmare.