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No sympathy for Clayton Lockett

Re "Botched execution sparks outrage," May 1

Here is a story about a man who kidnapped a woman in 1999, raped her, shot her and then watched her be buried alive. Imagine the terror she must have gone through. Am I supposed to feel bad for him because he mumbled and twitched for 20 minutes before he died?

Clayton Lockett should have been executed shortly after conviction and not allowed to live another 15 years. The state shouldn't have had to spend untold dollars feeding, clothing and sheltering him.

Aside from those issues, there are other ways to execute someone with drugs. Justice should be swift and certain; until we get that right, crime will continue to flourish in our country and victims and their families will have to continue to endure the indignities of "perpetrator rights."

Mike Green

Santa Clarita

There are only two possible reasons for the death penalty for murder: to protect the public or to exact retribution.

Lockett's execution certainly succeeded in protecting the public. However, the public could have been protected from Lockett at a lesser cost by a sentence of life in prison without parole.

This leaves retribution (revenge) as the remaining rationale to execute Lockett. But a satisfying act of revenge would seem to require the murderer to suffer at least as much or more than the victim did. Oklahoma should study the Spanish Inquisition for possibilities.

But then there's that pesky 8th Amendment, which the late Supreme Court Justice William Brennan interpreted as requiring that "a punishment must not by its severity be degrading to human dignity."

Shucks. We'll have to settle for life in prison.

David Perlman

Laguna Beach

I don't understand how Lockett's execution could have been botched.

I have had several dental surgeries in which the anesthesia was Propofol. The drug, often used for sedation during surgery, literally puts people to sleep.

Used improperly, it can be lethal, as Michael Jackson's death showed.

Propofol was intended to be used in an execution in Missouri in 2013. However, that didn't happen after the European Union threatened to limit the drug's export to the United States if it were used in the executions of condemned inmates.

No matter how people feel about the death penalty, it is here to stay in some states, and it shouldn't take a harebrained group of state officials to figure out a painless and less brutal way to do it. Unless, of course, that is secretly not what they want.

Paula Del



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