On February 2, 2014, talented actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead on the bathroom floor of his West Village apartment in New York City—a heroin-soaked needle still stuck in his arm. He was 46 years old.
This past Tuesday, the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma returned attention to the issue of which lethal injection drugs should be used to exact capital punishment on our worst evildoers. In 1999, Lockett watched as his “buddies” shot Stephanie Nieman and then buried her alive.
He certainly qualifies for some Old Testament justice, in other words. And he got what was coming to him, believe me.
According to eyewitnesses, Lockett began writhing in pain, muttering unintelligibly and even lifting his head as the drugs collapsed one of his veins. Then the doctor ran out of drugs and could not continue with the execution, leaving Lockett to die of a heart attack half an hour later.
Think The Green Mile without Old Sparky. Messy.
The drugs used in Lockett’s state-sanctioned murder were Midazolam (to render him unconscious), Vecuronium Bromide (to stop his respiratory system) and Potassium Chloride (to stop his heart and send his soul to Hell and eternal damnation… or whatever). Unfortunately, not everyone can agree on which combination of which drugs offer the most humane and pain-free “bang for the buck” (execution-style, of course).
It should be fairly obvious where I’m going with this.
Peep this stat: in 2011, nearly 4.3 million Americans admitted to trying heroin at least once. And that number is growing at an alarming rate across our great nation. Granted, we normally don’t hear about it unless famous people—like Hoffman—overdose on the drug or some deadly combination. Things like painkillers and alcohol almost always play a role, as well. Instead of lamenting this fact, though, why not take advantage of it?
Stay with me.
Cops all over America are busting heroin dealers and users, confiscating their supplies and then disposing of them, most likely in furnaces or huge bonfires. Step One: Keep the drugs. We can use them later.
I do not profess to be a heroin expert, but from what I’ve read, it seems as if a heroin overdose makes you fall asleep. As you’re sleeping—and because heroin basically becomes morphine in your bloodstream and causes extreme relaxation—your body forgets how to breathe and you die.
While you’re sleeping. Sounds painless to me. Step Two: Use the drugs from the criminals to kill the criminals (a.k.a. what goes around comes around).
Instead of bitching about which drugs to use in executions and torturing more prisoners until we get it right, why not use the heroin we collect on the streets to kill our worst criminals? They fall asleep, they never wake up and everybody’s happy. Problem solved… well, almost.
According to statistical data, only 14% of heroin overdose deaths are instantaneous—as in Hoffman’s case. He didn’t even have time to pull the needle from his arm, for goodness sake. However, toss in a few painkillers and some Long Island Ice Teas and you can probably improve these odds. Step Three: Implement an open bar prior to every execution and when inmates aren’t looking, slip Mickeys into their drinks. That should make the heroin much more effective.
There you have it: three steps to ending the lethal injection controversy and saving taxpayers money.
And if you’re reading this, U.S. government, you can have that idea for free.
Posted on May 2, 2014, in Perspectives and tagged Capital punishment, commentary, Crime and Justice, current-events, entertainment, heroin overdose, ideas, lethal injection, news, perspectives, Philip Seymour Hoffman, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.