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Headlines are being made about the suffering possibly endured by convicted murderer Dennis McGuire, who was

put to death with a new and previously untried method by the state of Ohio on Jan. 1 as punishment for his !illing of a pregnant woman years earlier. "he state used a chemical in#ection never before utili$ed to put someone to death, despite warnings from some medical e%perts who said that the process might produce what was called &air starvation.&

'() 'ews *uoted an +ssociated ,ress reporter who witnessed the e%ecution who wrote that McGuire, -., &appeared to gasp several times and made several loud snorting or snoring sounds during a /prolonged/ e%ecution,& which several news agencies said too! nearly 0 minutes from start to finish. Other witnesses said that Mr. McGuire also clenched his fists repeatedly, and tried in vain to raise himself up from the table to which he was strapped, apparently gasping for air.

in short, it did not appear to be a peaceful death 111 leaving many to as!2 3s paying with his life enough of a punishment for someone sentenced to death for a !illing...or is it acceptable for that punishment to include ab#ect end1of1life suffering and agony for nearly a half hour4

5et the main *uestion has been avoided through all the news stories and commentaries on this particular event2 3s the death penalty itself appropriate in an enlighted society4

Our answer is no. "o paraphrase +lbert 6instein, we are not going to solve society/s problems using the same energy that created them. 7e will not put an end to violence by using violence, an end to anger with anger, and an end to !iling with more !illing.

+ll we as a people are saying is that !illing is perfectly o!ay when we beileve that &right/ is on our side. (ut of course 111 with e%ceptions for those who are mentally incapacitated 111 all people and all governments thin!s &right& is on their side when they !ill, or they wouldn/t and couldn/t do it.

"he central *uestion then becomes2 3s it ever &right& to !ill people if one/s own life 8or the life of others9 is not in immediate danger4

+ man in :lorida, a former police captain, pulled out a gun and !illed another man with whom he was having an argument over te%ting in a movie theatre because the other man threw a bo% of popcorn at him, and the former police officer said he thought the other man was going to attac! him. 87hy he didn/t simply pull out the gun and say, &'ot one step further, brother....&, rather than shoot the man point blan! in the chest from four feet away is not clear.9 ;o now, once again in :lorida, we are going to have a chance to see if that state/s ;tand 5our Ground law is going to be applied to #ustify !illing someone.