- Politics and Social Issues
A Suggestion for Clearing Death Row Quicker
I am not a fan of the death penalty. But since we have one, we need a way to make it work more efficiently.
I am not going to suggest that we destroy the appeals process. That process has prevented numerous executions of non-guilty parties.
What I am suggesting is a way to motivate death penalty prisoners to end the process sooner that will not infringe upon their rights.
The solution to me is so simple, I'm surprised it hasn't already been implemented. Give the condemned man a random chance. It would work like this:
The condemned prisoner is allowed to complete an appeal to the highest court in his state. In Texas, death penalty appeals go straight to the Court of Criminal Appeals. In Texas, it takes about two years for an attorney to complete such an appeal.
After the prisoner's case is rebuked (including everyone who was already under sentence of death at the time the law becomes effective), the prisoner is given the opportunity to risk death at the chance of having his sentenced commuted to life (with eligibility for parole in 25 years). The prisoner must make the choice within 30 days, and the choice is irrevocable unless new evidence is presented.
If the prisoner choses the risk, he is given his choice of potential methods of execution: Lethal Injection, Hanging, or Firing Squad.
The execution is handled in a similiar manner to any other execution, except that random chance is introduced: If the prisoner is guilty of one murder, the chance is 1:3 of execution. If the prisoner is guilty of two murders, the chance is 2:3 of execution. Serial Killers would not be eligible.
The prisoner appoints an agent who oversees the random process. A locked box with switches setting the lethal choice(s) is set about 30 minutes before the sentence is carried out. The agent sees that only the correct number of choices have been made and that the mechanism is working properly. The boxed is then locked until the execution begins.
How it Ends
When the time comes, the prisoner enters the death chamber and makes a selection. The prisoner is allowed to make a statement before the process is completed.
The Warden turns a key that "arms" to device. The executioner presses a button that activates it. The results are instantaneous. If it is by lethal injection, the fluid is colored to indicate it is flowing. If it is hanging or firing squad, the prisoner will be dead before he realizes that he lost the bet.