The death-row inmates who had challenged the use of controversial drugs in their slated executions, and who lost their appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, may now count their days until the okayed chemicals do their thing. Oklahoma’s highest criminal court just set the dates for their end-of-life procedures.
Aside from the debates on the efficacy and justice of killing people to demonstrate that killing people is wrong, why doesn’t it give more Americans pause that we, and we alone, continue to rely on capital punishment when, with the exception of Japan, other western industrial democracies abolished the death penalty years ago?
For those who relish such American exceptionalism and desire to be number one in all things vile and ugly, how must it feel to be so far down the list of state-enacted killings in deaths per million? Surely, if we put our minds to it, we could move up the ladder in a big way. It will take some doing, however, since Iran executes over 2,200 for every million inhabitants, whereas we’ve managed to kill just 70 for ever million Americans (source). Oklahoma is doing its best. Louisiana even better.