First, a bit of business. As you’ve probably gathered, this isn’t going to be a daily blog. I am crazy busy at the moment, yes, but no matter how busy I am, I make it a point to write something every single day (and have done for more than a decade). Writing is as much a piece of my nature as sleeping, and I do it more or less constantly. It just can’t always be this blog. For one thing, as everyone who writes humorously knows, the funny juice doesn’t flow every day. For another, I’m usually (and currently) in the middle of several different writing projects, one of which I’m trying like hell to get published.
I just wanted to make that clear in case it comes up later. I started this blog for a very specific purpose: to write snarky. I don’t often have the chance or the inclination to write funny stuff, and as such, those particular mental muscles are a bit stiff, and I would like to see them strengthened. That’s it, that’s all, hopefully I’ll never be this serious again, now on to the subject of capital punishment. After all, what’s funnier than a lethal injection?
What can I say about this great nation of ours that hasn’t already been said? We’re the greatest superpower in the world! (Kind of.) We rush to the aid of nations in trouble! (Except when we don’t.) We have term limits (thank God for those, huh?).
Not to mention, we are the only nation to have such freedom of ideas, expression, enterprise. Just for fun sometime, try drawing a cartoon of Hamid Karzai looking like Alfred E. Neuman and distribute it all over Kabul. Let me know how that works out for you.
The point is, we have a lot of freedom and a lot of say over how our lives should proceed, and we should be very grateful for that. I know I am, and I’ll bet Richard Cooey is as well. At least, he should be. Everything he’s received for this insane supplication is an example of the best and most absurd points of our justice system.
Here’s what he did not receive: a response of, “Okay, let me go find those, whaddayacallem, ropes we used to use and we’ll, whaddayacallit, hang you instead! Bet you’re not too fat for that!” (which was barely audible over the raucous laughter).
That is what my response would have been. But no, instead Cooey got to chat with the US Supreme Court over his inalienable right to bite the dust with the very least possible amount of discomfort.
Let me start with the obvious. No wonder the nation is such a frigging mess if the US Supreme Court has nothing better to do with their time than split hairs over the amount of pain a rapist and murderer endures as they die. There is a really, really easy solution to this (besides not caring, of course)—give the guy six months to lose weight. I’m sure he’ll be throwing in random appeals until the very last possible second anyway, so a six-month extension is nothing he wouldn’t get as it is. If he hasn’t lost weight by then, he gets to contemplate a little concept called personal responsibility on his way to the afterlife.
Oh, but wait! That’s not the only reason the execution will be “excruciating.” He doesn’t have good veins to begin with. Even if he does lose weight, they still might not be able to find a vein. After all, a prolonged execution of this sort for that reason is not without precedent.
Gee golly gosh, Mr. Cooey, is that so? That would suck. Perhaps you would prefer another method of execution that has a little bit better chance of killing you nice and dead the first time? I hear that electric chair is pretty reliable. Or maybe we can borrow a garrote from Spain. Just because they don’t use it anymore doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.
In fact, why don’t we just let you (and your fellow death-row inmates) choose your own method of execution outright? Let’s see how long it takes an inmate to request the “natural death” option. And while we’re at it, in addition to choosing a last meal, why don’t we let you out for a few days before your execution, so you can enjoy your final week of life in peace with your family in the sunshine? (If your execution is scheduled for winter, why then, we’ll just have to reschedule it.)
Hmm. That does sound very humane. Yet there’s still an annoying little detail tugging at my brain… can’t quite get at it… oh yes, there it is. Didn’t you, like, rape and murder a couple of college coeds or something?
Right, right, that detail.
Let me clue you in, buddy. It’s only in the last half-century or so that anyone gave a shit about routinely anesthetizing people prior to killing them. In most countries, most of the time, not only does anyone not care how much pain a prisoner is in pre-death, a whole bunch of people get their jollies from watching a condemned person struggle in agony. What’s more, I would bet my rent money that you are one of those people yourself. Let’s remember why you’re in this position to begin with.
I happen to be against the death penalty. But considering the historical alternatives to state-mandated death, I’d say you’re getting off pretty damn lightly even if it takes them two hours to find your vein through that blubbery mess. Would you rather be beaten to death? Drowned? Skinned alive? Stoned? Burned at the stake? Broken on the wheel? Drawn and quartered? Or hey, killed the way your victims were? You get the idea. I hope.
Be grateful that you have a chance to be heard, however pathetic and transparent the attempt to skate on your penalty. Remember as well that you brought this on yourself, every step of the way, from the extra poundage on the body to the body’s current location. I’m against the death penalty, not personal responsibility.
Hmm, now that I’ve written this, I’m wondering just how funny the whole thing really is after all. Perhaps we should consider this my token serious entry.
In the interest of authenticity, I’ll leave it in. But I’ll try to keep these to a bare minimum.