Letters: Executions, American-style


Re “Aftermath of an execution,” Jan. 18

It’s unfortunate that the family of convicted murderer Dennis McGuire had to witness the prolonged pace of his execution.

His son described the “agony and terror” of watching him suffocate.

But let’s not forget the true victims, Joy Stewart and her unborn baby, and what must have been her own unimaginable agony and terror while being raped and stabbed to death by McGuire.

Christopher Grisanti


The current methods used for executions came about for political reasons.

For example, the company manufacturing pentobarbital, a drug formerly used, declared it was not “safe” for executions — in itself an irony too absurd to be understood.

Opponents of the death penalty would rather have had McGuire die a painful death from use of an untested drug rather than a painless one from pentobarbital. They can then show how cruel the death penalty is.

Victor Sollazzo
Los Angeles

Although capital punishment is never easy, McGuire had it easy compared to the real victim, Stewart.

McGuire’s son should count his blessings that his dad was not a victim of the same violent and brutal attack that was administered to her.

Allan Chan


If capital punishment must be administered, then it should be done in the most humane and peaceful way possible.

There are simple, merciful and subtle means of inducing human demise.

We often hear of the tragic deaths of entire families due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The phrase “gas chamber” conjures horrible images of past historic cruelty. But if I were to be sentenced to death, I would greatly prefer to lie down in a hermetic pod and go to sleep with an undetectable, gradually altered, ultimately lethal atmosphere that might be pleasantly scented with an aroma of my own choosing — perhaps gardenia or popcorn.

Ted McKinney
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