Untold History: Edison and the botching of the electric chair

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Below is a rush transcript of this segment:

I want to tell you a story about a guy you never heard of before, William Kemmler. He lived in New York City, a pretty bad guy, a drunk, very abusive to his wife, his child, ugly. He was a vegetable cart salesman, and he would take his vegetables and stuff out, and he would get the food from the farmer’s market, stack up his cart, push his push cart out and sell it all day, he’d come home, start drinking and beat his wife.

One day, he came home and I don’t remember what the scrabble was about, but all the neighbors heard it, and he went downstairs and he went back to his cart — trying to remember what he used. I think it was a tapper or 2-by-4, but he went back upstairs, in front of his child, he beat his wife to death. Blood splattered everywhere. He throws the weapon down, walks out in the hall. Everybody in the building had heard it. Everyone was standing out in the hall. As he came around, splattered in blood, he looked at the crowd in the hallway and he said well, they’ll hang me for this. He went outside, police came, arrested him.

It was one of the more famous murders in New York City. New York City at the time was a very rough and gruesome place, especially in the Tenderloin District. This is 1890, when political corruption had gone awry, but there was something else that was going on.

Before this murder, for about five years, there was a dentist up in Buffalo, who had written Thomas Edison over and over again, and said there’s got to be a more humane way of killing people than hanging. It’s barbaric. How can we do it? You are the smartest man in the country.

Thomas Edison wrote back I have no stake on this. I don’t know how to help you. The guy kept writing him over and over. Edison, you know, was perturbed by this guy. What does he have to do with me? But that
letter kept coming.

It was sitting on his desk one day, when everyone was up in arms about Kemmler. Edison was trying to stop Tesla’s new radical idea of AC. DC was where Edison put all his money. That’s a battery, but date, it was a
power plant. A power plant would have been about every two blocks, no more than a mile away, and this would have to be some sort of a coal-fired or diesel-fired generator. I think it was coal-fired at the time and they would have to keep the again rater running all the time to keep your electricity running in your house, and it was now battery-powered, but then, little teeny generators all over the country. That was Edison’s idea.

Well, Tesla thought that was ridiculous. You can’t have all these generators running every wrote, so he thought of alternating current, AC. That’s where we get our plug, our outlets are AC outlets.

Well, Edison had all his money in DC. Edison had all the power, literally, the power in Wall Street and the power of the government. He needed to start some way to thwart Tesla. So what he had done, just google search a couple things today. Google search Topsy the Elephant.

This came after the turn of the century, but in the 1880 an ’90s, Edison actually hired a really sick, almost Mengele-like doctor to go around in the towns, all around the country and electrocute with this new AC power, new AC current, electrocute horses and cows and sheep and dogs. It made people violently ill. The doctor would say, just want you to know, this is DC power. Look, I can hold onto it and it shocks you, but doesn’t kill you, but let me show you what AC can do. It will kill you dead. You don’t want this sitting in your home? How many of us will die because of Tesla and that greedy Westinghouse? Let me show you what happens to a dog.

He would fry a dog, kill a horse. Edison himself, after the turn of the century, just out of sheer spite, electrocuted an elephant. Topsy the Elephant, you can see it on Edison vision, Edison films. He was proud of it. Look it up. Google it.

The reason I bring this story up is because at the time, he couldn’t convince the American people, so he decided he would embrace AC. He would embrace Tesla. And say that is really good for something. There’s progress for you. We can use this to electrocute people. So because the world or the country was so enamored with the brutal killings that William Kemmler did, Edison used that as the case. He wrote the doctor in Buffalo, New York and said I know what to do. You need to Westinghouse Mr. Kemmler. Westinghouse has this new AC power. I have been saying how dangerous it is.

While Kemmler was in the prison for about two years, because this went on and on. They could have hung him, but they wanted a new humane way. So Edison went and he testified and said this is the way. The doctor that went around, the sick doctor that went around electrocuting horses and — testified this is the way to do it. Do you have the volts right? You sure we can kill them quickly?

Well, while this was going on, Kemmler, now away from alcohol, now being preached to by the guards and by the warden, had happen change of heart.

He accepted his consequence, knew he had to die, wanted to die, but didn’t look forward to it with glee, kill me now. He wanted to go meet Jesus. He knew the only way is if he asked true forgiveness, then accepted the consequences of his actions. At the end, he was actually preaching to the other cell mates, the other people on death row. When the warden eventually came in, the warden was crying, he didn’t want to kill him. He knew he had to. Kemmler said don’t worry about it. It’s my actions that brought this on.

When they strapped him to the electric chair, Kemmler knew that it was a big deal and knew that if it didn’t go well, it would hurt the warden. So as they strapped him in, they shaved his head, put a sponge on his head and strapped all this sponge with water, dripping down his face, they strapped his arms in, he said warden, because there were people from The New York Times, people from all over the press, witnesses there, they were all — I need to talk to you for a second. The warden came over. He said I need to talk to you privately. The warden leaned right into him. He whispered, ‘This is not going to go well for you if
I jerk too much. You don’t have the straps on my arms tight enough. Please have someone tighten them.’

The warden could barely hold back the tears. He asked for a guard to tighten them back up again. Then they threw the switch. The generator was down below. All the lights dimmed and the juice ran through Kemmler’s body. It reason through for I don’t know how long, and they stopped. And he was pronounced dead. Then he moved. They listened to his heart. And the people in the room cried out, ‘Dear God, he’s still alive!’

They scrambled and they turned the juice on again, and they turned the juice on so long to kill him. Reports will say — there were erroneous reports that he was actually set on fire. I believe he was actually set on fire. I believe that was the Edison machine that tried to lessen the effects, because the reports that I have read was that he was set on fire, that people were vomiting, that people couldn’t get out fast enough, because of the stench of the burning flesh. Edison was never, ever questioned or held responsible in any way for that electrocution.

The reason I tell you this story today is because there is a –there’s something that happened in Arizona. A man was given the death penalty. He was executed, and he lived. Now, there are some reports saying this was cruel and unusual punishment, because he was groaning, coughing, gasping for air. Others say that’s not true. I don’t know what the truth is. I don’t know what the truth is.

But there’s two things that have to be brought up: One, whether we agree with the death penalty or not is beside the point. We have the death penalty in certain states. If we are going to do the death penalty, it needs to be done correctly, swiftly, quickly. I don’t know why we don’t have a firing squad anymore. You have not 10, 12, 15 people, put a couple of bullets in, make sure they are marksmen, shoot them in the head. That’s if you believe in the death penalty. If you don’t, then let’s make that case. But if you do, what’s the fastest way to kill someone? We don’t stone people, we don’t do what Edison did. And Edison, the worst, I mean — I hope Edison had a lot of time to think about it in the eternal courts of what he did somewhere for money. But we do the right thing.

So there’s point number one. But a bigger point, because it is about us, is what’s now happening on the message boards. What’s happening on comment sections, what’s happening online, what people are actually saying about this guy. And it’s the same story we’re hearing, no matter what it is, whether it’s about Israel, whether it is about the border, or this execution. Yeah, well, look what happened. Look what’s been going on for so long. For instance, Israel. Yeah, but this has been going on for a long time. You don’t know how disenfranchised and humiliated they were. Whatever. I got it. With the border. Yeah, but this is destroying our country and we have been talking about this for a long time.

I got it. I got it. Justifiable anger. In this case, this guy’s been waiting for 25 years. How long do we have to wait? What are all of them saying? What do all those have in common? They all have one thing in common. I want justice. I want justice. When the government loses a handle on justice, we lose a handle on our mercy, because we get angry.

Now, I don’t think that the average person is what we’re reading on the message boards, the comment sections. I don’t think those people are, but I don’t know anymore. I don’t know anymore. I choose to believe that that is the vast minority, and I really, truly believe it. But I will tell you I don’t want to believe the other. I don’t want to live in that world where everyone is ugly and dark, because if that’s really the way we are, then we are so far lost, the Constitution, everything else, we are going to become Nazi Germany. If that is really who we are, where we don’t care and say well, I don’t care. Torture him. Kill him, who cares. If that’s who we are, kill all the Jews. Let those people on the border just starve. If that’s who we are, we are already lost and too far gone, but I don’t think we are.

This is why we have to talk about justice. Freedom is a concept, is a luxury, is a luxury for society that pays attention, but we are not even paying attention, so how can we possibly teach freedom when there’s no justice? Because what everybody says about freedom, yeah, but what do you do about the bad guys. Well, you don’t have an answer for that, because how do I make things — how do they make things more free, when justice isn’t being served under this system?

We have to look for the ways to be just and merciful. We have to boil it down, stop look at the big concepts for a while, and start — or the small concepts and start looking at the fundamentals, just the fundamentals. And we have to be those people that begin to demand justice on all fronts. If there’s an injustice anywhere, there’s an injustice everywhere, so we must start to train ourselves to care about the other person’s injustice, even though it is not ours, because quite honestly, it is easy to fight for our injustice. It is really hard and I think it’s the only when that gives us credibility, when we fight against the injustice against someone else we don’t agree with. And that’s where we need to be on the front line.

This is a battle, this is a revolution, but it is a revolution of the mind and the heart first.

  • landofaahs

    A rope would be better. Sadly, we have need of the death penalty. I believe they should be swift and public. As a child I talked to a very old man who told me about the hanging he witnessed as a youth. He said that the experience helped keep him in check the rest of his life. People don’t fear the consequences of the actions anymore and that is one reason we have so many more murders these days. But the heart of man is bent on evil.

    • tiff

      Actually it was botched executions and public outcry that led many states to stop them from being in public. To me, I think DP is barbaric and says the wrong things about us. I don’t want the government murdering people on my behalf because I am more civilized than that. But holding them in public wow talk about a lack of compassion and mercy to make them a spectacle some form of entertainment. Also, DP has been shown several times in studies to not to be a deterrent anyway.

      • John Crafton

        So, what would you rather? Release them to do it all over again, or keep them in overcrowded prisons for life on the taxpayer dime?

        • Se Hanley

          I always wondered why we couldn’t drop them in Antartica with a week’s rations, sleeping bag, cold weather gear and a tent. You make it out, you paid your debt.

          • joe

            what if they make it out and rape/assault the first thing they see…

            youve been watching too much TV

        • tiff

          Yes life in prison and guess what it is actually so much cheaper than housing someone on Death row. Never mind the fact that if they are prison we may be able to rectify any wrongful convictions.

      • D. Kiiskila

        The view of the death penalty being barbaric and “wrong” and “not civilized” is the view of arrogant leftist intellectualism. Humans are nothing more than sophisticated animals to begin with, and it’s hubris to assume anything otherwise. If there were more public executions, the incentive to NOT murder would be greatly increased, as the hiding of the executions behind closed doors has desensitized people to the impact of them to begin with, and gives them a false sense of justice.

        • tiff

          AGain go to the death penalty information site and read up on how and why states did away with public executions it was actually due to public outcry. And yes we are civilized our brains prove it. Hindbrain vs limbric parts of our brain.

          Oh and so you know I am a conservative and a christian not a leftist.

      • Anonymous

        The State isn’t “murdering” anyone. Look up the definition. Just as it isn’t murder when I blow the brains out of anyone trying to do violence to me.

        This is the same silly error many zealots make when they try to use the Ten Commandments to argue against capital punishment. While it is commonly stated as “Thou shalt not kill,” any Hebraic linguist will tell you it actually says, “Thou shalt not MURDER.” Early Jewish cultures had no compunction against capital punishment.

        Your overblown compassion and mercy would be better spent on the victims, rather than animals like Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy.

        • tiff

          Funny if its not murder then why do the death certificates state homicide. Plus I love how you use far reaching reasons to attack my belief that allowing the government to kill anyone is not a good idea nor makes me civilized. Just because I believe mercy and love does not mean I don’t believe in harsh consequences such as life in jail. But you keep talking because my beliefs and me voicing them are not to change the world per say but make sure the world knows it will not change me and my sensibilities.

          • iffydiffy

            After I read your post, I started digging around the internet. What I find are a lot of people parroting that claim, that the death certificates say “homicide” for criminals who are put to death for their crimes. But it seems highly implausible that a state would put that on a death certificate.

            I cannot your claim, other than by reading it in repeated statements in on-line blogs and places like Yahoo “answers” which are hardly reliable sources.

            I did find more than one state statute (the actual pdf of a state’s law regarding capital punishment) that says that the cause of death shall be listed as “execution” or “by lethal injection”. Here’s a screen grab of an actual convicted killer’s death certificate from California that says:

            Cause of Death: Lethal Injection

            Due To: Judicial Execution


            Here is Oregon’s statute:

            …which says that,

            “An appropriate certificate
            of death that reflects the cause of death as execution by lethal injection in the
            manner prescribed in ORS 137.473″

            ORS 137.473 (which you can also look up) contains specific instructions on how to carry out the lethal injection, but nowhere in it does the work “homicide” appear.


            I’m not saying that NO state lists “homicide”, but it sounds very unlikely, and I still cannot find a single verifiable case of any state actually doing that. I can find lots of people *claiming* that a state does, but no proof.

          • tiff


            Manner of death homicide.


            Geez that took a nanosecond on google. And for reliable DP into go to deathpenaltyinformationcenter.org

      • Brian

        the reason the DP is not a deterrent is because its drug out far too long. A guy on death row can be there for decades. in NE we have a guy who killed two cab drivers for drug money in 1979. He was caught and condemned shortly later. 35 years later he is still on Death row and no chance of an execution anytime soon. also some criminals from the 80s are still there as well. You tell me they cant decided in 30-35 years that either the guilt was in doubt or his Constitutional rights were not upheld? How can the DP be a deterrent if its rarely carried out?

        • Mike

          That is one of the biggest “fallacies” in discussion. If the person that committed the crime is killed through the DP, the FACT of the matter is that this individual is completely deterred from doing it again!
          How is that NOT a deterrent?
          If you want to see how a deterrent works, take a look at Singapore’s drug laws. They NEVER get a repeat offender!!

      • landofaahs

        If you don’t want government killing murderers then let the victim’s family have a shot at it. The other point of you logic is flawed. Since murderers often display recidivism in their deeds, putting them to death stops them from ever doing so again. Frankly if it saves the life of an innocent then it’s worth it. We should have one trial and if found guilty a quick execution. Who wants to feed and medically treat a murderer for life? Nope, they deserve what they get. It’s sad you have no sympathy for the victims but instead side with murderers.

        • tiff

          Wow talk about misinformed. First of all Life in prison is cheaper than the costs of DP. Yes some people may reoffend that is why you have life sentences. The idea of speeding executions is scary and alarming in light of all the exonerations of the last 15 years.

          I am a victim of violent crime I do have sympathy for victims but you must also research the affect of DP on them in that it doesnt make them feel better and often times makes them feel worse because they expected it to feel better and instead realize they just created more victims (the family of the criminal) in the name of vengeance. Remember we are not of this world and therefore we can not let this world dictate how compassion, love,and mercy.

          • landofaahs

            Wow!!! Talk about misinformed. A $15 rope after one trial with no endless pleas which amounts to no more than a lawyers employment act would be much cheaper than housing and feeding and doctoring a worthless criminal for decades. It’s also just. The one thief on the cross even admitted to Jesus that they deserved to be put to death for their crimes and Jesus did not refute that. Put that in your pot pipe and smoke it. I am amazed that people like you have sympathy for a murderer but seem to have none for the murdered. There is no compassion without justice. You are a sick individual with no more morals than an alley cat.

          • tiff

            Wow…I hope you are not Christian do you really think Jesus would be hooting and hollering the killing of people. I remember when he stopped the stoning. Also, our justice system is based on the premise that it is better that 10 guilty go free rather than punish an innocent so your idea of a fast execution and limiting appeals like that is very scary and shows your lack of mercy, compassion and understanding!!!! Now you go smoke on that and let me know when you find the real Jesus.

            Remember we are not of this world and we are suppose to act in a way that shows the evil of this world that we are better than that.

            It must be nice to have such a dark spot on your heart. I bet you would pull the switch to or maybe not because that wouldn’t be close enough for you.

          • landofaahs

            Better that the guilty should go free than that the innocent be punished? Does that apply to citizens being attacked by the IRS? Try that innocent until proven guilty there. They take control of your assets and determine you to be guilty until; proven innocent.
            The harlot that Jesus forgave was also told “Daughter. go and sin no more”. And yet she no doubt some years later died. She is not alive so she did not escape the death penalty for sin. Jesus came to die for our sins and even though we taste the first death, we are saved from eternal death if we trust in Christ.
            Putting murderers to death is not evil. It’s just and merciful to both the victim and the murderer. Imagine the tremendous guilt a true Christian would have at the knowledge of having murdered someone. Every night one would have to live with that guilt. But I am sure that you would also be against murdering little babies in the womb right? I mean you really don’t think Jesus likes abortion do you? Go smoke on that one a while until you find real Christianity. God is love but he is also just. The death penalty for murder is just.

          • landofaahs

            By the way. If it’s not loving to put murderers to death then why would we put them in prison for life? How torturous would that be?

  • Anonymous

    I am not a believer in State executions. Too many innocent people have been on death row. I do believe in being allowed to defend yourself and others with deadly force.

    • AsSeenOnTv

      So far it has been 140 out of about 3800 since 1976. From a statistical point of view it is an acceptable number.

      • tiff

        Please tell me that was a very bad attempt at humor if not please reread the last couple paragraphs from Glen.

  • Jon Galt

    I believe the guillotine is completely flawless and very fast.

    Hanging by rope is also very fast, especially if properly set up so the drop breaks the neck.

    And both of these methods are environmentally friendly!

    • JW Appling

      I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a beheading it is gruesome. It may be quick buts it’s a bloody mess that’s very traumatic to those who see it. The only reason this came about was so that common people in France could be executed like a rich person instead of being hung like a commoner.

      • Mike

        and? :)

    • Anonymous

      What makes you think that they are not already stockpiling the Guillotine for massive use?

      Revelation 20:4

      Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to
      them And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their
      testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had
      not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on
      their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with
      Christ for a thousand years.

      • Elena

        Sounds like the muslims!

        • Mike

          @Elena – YES IT DOES!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Hitler guillotined many more people than were guillotined during the French Revolution

    • Anonymous

      The guillotine is probably the quickest & least painful. It’s only drawback is emotional reluctance by most people, and certainly the “witnesses” are going to find it memorable, to say the least. On the good side, just the thought of being sliced up like that should serve to dissuade some potential murderers, no matter what those phony “studies” claim.

      The problem with hanging is that it’s impractical for certain criminals, particularly if they are quite obese. Then those nice scientific “drop tables” don’t work well, and you’re liable to behead them when they drop, making one hell of a mess — not only the massive blood-spewing, but cleaning up the vomit from all the witnesses.


    Executions are immoral. To kill a man who is no longer a threat, is wrong. An execution isn’t about justice or righting a wrong, it’s about revenge. If you kill a murderer, it doesn’t bring back his victim. The only thing you’ve done is dipped the jury’s hands in blood. If people want to execute someone, they should have to do in a manner that doesn’t look clinical. A firing squad or hanging will do. This way people will have no choice but to see their barbarism.

    • John Crafton

      So what would you rather? Put him away for life at the cost of the taxpayer? Or release him so he can do it again? What’s your solution?


        First off, it costs more to execute a man than to keep him in prison for 50 years. In addition, you also need to care for him in the 10-20 years (depending on the state) leading up to the execution. You can’t eliminate the appeals process, because innocent people will definitely be killed by mistake. The appeals process is what cost so much about executing people. I want these people to spend the rest of their lives in prison. They might even try to reform and mentor other inmates to get them to repent their criminality.

        • Michael Lile

          It costs more because of all the limits put on it. You can only use drugs, you can only use certain types made by such and such company, etc. If it were right, we would only pay a $1 for the bullets.


            The appeals process is the biggest cost in executing a person.

        • Anonymous

          30 cc sodium pentathol, 30 cc fentanyl, 10 cc sodium cyanide. Quick. Painless. 100% effective. @ $7.oo


            Do you want to kill people without an appeals process? That’s the only way it will be less than $2 million to execute a prisoner.

    • D. Kiiskila

      Execution is about justice, it’s about balance, and punishment. A life for a life, balance, justice. Why should a murderer keep their existence, when they forfeited that right of existence by ending another’s unnaturally. If you execute a murderer, you are 100% certain they will not commit murder again. Society is also protected from such recidivism. Even Christianity recognizes the need for putting murderers to death, in Exodus it states very plainly that murderers must be put to death.


        If a murderer is kept in prison the rest of his life, he can’t hurt an innocent man. That being said, you must have never taken a man’s life. It is something that should only be done to safeguard life. I have a moral objection to killing a man who can’t hurt an innocent person ever again.

      • http://kohlrak.sytes.net Shane Tyler Yorks

        And what did God say to Cain?

  • keeks

    If the perp dies, the execution was not botched.

    • JW Appling

      He never cared about his victims suffering why should I care about his. What about the suffering of the family members who had to live with the knowledge that this beast was with us for so long after his heinous crime.

    • Anonymous

      Nice Green Mile reference. Sort of.

  • Michael Superczynski

    I tried reading the article but after stuff like this: ” That’s a battery, but date, it was a power plant.” and ” It reason through for I don’t know how long, and they stopped.” I don’t understand nor speak gibberish.

    • Kasie

      It’s a transcript from his radio show that is also televised. He doesn’t read from a script, the transcript is made from his run-of-consciousness words. Hence the bad grammar.

    • Anonymous

      The incompetent editing turns most of his articles into a complete joke, often, i suspect, saying the exact opposite of what was intended.

      Truly an embarrassment, the sort of thing you wouldn’t even expect on a junior-high paper.

    • Type 53

      Beck’s stream-of-consciousness musings rarely *mean* anything. He’s a blabbermouth, always in search of a profound thought or turn of phrase, but never finding it.

    • iffydiffy

      Actually, it’s SUPPOSED to be a transcript, but if you listen to Beck’s actual video clip, and then read this “transcript”, you will see that it was horribly botched. The text reads:

      ” DC was where Edison put all his money. That’s a battery, but date, it was a
      power plant. A power plant would have been about every two blocks”

      but what Beck actually said was,
      “DC was where Edison put his money. Now, that’s a battery, but at the time it was a power plant”.
      What he meant was that today, typically, DC power comes from a battery, but at the time, Edison wanted to build DC power plants that would be numerous and close to where you lived.

      I don’t blame you. The transcript is hard to understand. Why they can’t do a simple read-through to correct things like this is beyond me. It’s almost as if a computer-driven auto-correct went over this and replaced “at the time” by “date”.

  • Anonymous

    I believe in the death penalty and that, regardless of its efficacy as a deterrent, it is an instrument of justice. But here’s the problem. It has been used erratically at best as that instrument of justice. There have been misguided juries who, outraged at the horrific nature of a crime, convicted the man in front of them without the full weight of evidence. How do I know this? Because later, when DNA technology was employed, the cases were overturned.

    In most of those cases, the conviction was based on an eyewitness identification. Unfortunately, we’ve come to realize that the “rock solid” foundation of eyewitness testimony is rarely accurate. Many have lived lives that have led juries to speculate that they MUST be guilty because they have been involved with so many other crimes. In these cases, the ultimate punishment derails justice because, while the people are satisfied with the result, the real perpetrator of the crime has escaped that justice and the wrong person was executed. The same thing has happened due to inexpert representation. The rich can buy the best attorneys on the market, along with the best expert witnesses who can obfuscate and confuse the evidence to the point that “beyond reasonable doubt” cannot be perceived by a jury. Case in point…O. J. Simpson. It is inconceivable that the man was not convicted, but there is absolutely no doubt that he was guilty and bought his way to freedom, something that ordinary defendants with limited resources simply cannot do. Now, these cases are few and far between and the majority of the time, those executed are more than deserving of their punishment, but what about those where society has unknowingly executed the innocent?

    The pain of the families bereft of loved ones is also often used as a reason for continuing state sponsored executions, but this is not how societal justice is meted out. This is why families are only allowed to testify after a conviction, unless they are direct witnesses to the alleged crime. Only then, when the sentence is being considered are they allowed to passionately emplace their pain into a process which is supposed to be as dispassionate as possible. Some may say that this is wrong, but if we are going to mete out punishment based only on the level of outrage, pain and anger of the family members, then the process cannot be fair either because what happens in the case that a family member does not lash out against the accused, instead forgiving them and asks a judge for mercy? How then, is society’s rightful need for justice answered if the judge imposes a sentence out of proportion to the enormity of the crime because of those pleas?

    Frankly, as a physician, I find the failure of those who are performing the execution to carry it out properly pathetic. There are simple ways to ensure that this can never happen, yet, knowing all of this, these methods are never employed, leading to more botched executions. Why is this important? Certainly not because the condemned may or may not feel pain. On that point, I do not agree with Glenn. But if we are going to avoid miring ourselves on this debate, then executions should be carried out as humanely as possible so that we are focused on the issue of capital punishment, NOT the method.

  • D. Kiiskila

    I fail to see how difficult it is to execute someone. We have people who die of drug overdoses, interactions, or even on the operating table from anesthesia by the thousands every year in this country. Why don’t they just get Michael Jackson’s old doctor to do executions?

    • Karen Cadenhead

      Frankly, if you had ever attempted suicide, you would know how difficult it is to kill a human body. Overdoses resulting in death are reported & become public knowledge, but the vastly greater number of overdoses which the individual survives obviously go unreported, therefore the public gets a very skewed picture of the “effectiveness” of an overdose. Granted, a medical professional would have more skill in determining what should be an “effective” dose, but I have had medical professionals tell me that I “should have died” from the amounts of the 2 overdoses that I had taken in the past, so, as they are human, there is always a margin of error. Unlike most people would like to believe, medical science is actually not an “exact” science.

      • LarryKingOfTheDullards

        A shotgun blast to the head with 00 buck is pretty foolproof.

        • Karen Cadenhead

          …and your expertise is drawn from…? Personal experience, I suppose? Many firearm injuries – even to the head – are not deadly, by the way, but that was not my point. I’m sure for an execution, a gun would be more effective than drugs… Unless you were so sweetly offering me another option for a more successful method of suicide…? Just so you know, I did try a gun, but police arrived before I could complete the act. And for your information, a handgun is infinitely more easily handled than a shotgun for a suicide.

          All that aside, my intent was to address D. Kiiskila’s comment about so many people dying in various DRUG-RELATED ways “each year in this country.”

          By the way, great choice for a screen name. It fits you perfectly.

  • http://kohlrak.sytes.net Shane Tyler Yorks

    Glenn, you have way too much faith in americans. Have someone go around with a camera for you. No edits, no targets. A small camera so no one can see or something. Keep it private. Find out what’s really out there.

  • Anonymous

    The various State government are wasting their time on their various drug cocktails, many of which work badly. One might also suspect that the physicians who concoct these mixtures are, like most doctors, very liberal and are picking poor mixes so as to sink the death penalty in the long run, from public outcry over “botched” executions.

    They need to just go ask any junkie downtown how to do this. One good overdose of heroin and the beast will go down quick and painlessly — perhaps even enjoyably.

    And thus ends the difficulty of obtaining the necessary drugs to send these monsters straight to Hell. You can pick it up on street corners in any city or town, undoubtedly cheaper than what they’re paying now.

  • Christopher

    I don’t ever comment and I think Glenn, a lot of other people don’t either. Your comments make me want to actually say something… so you actually read the comments? That’s quite a lot of work to keep up with :)

    I know for certain God is who He says he is, therefore I know I will be accountable for what it says. The fear of God is so strong in me that I know I deserve death and no quick and easy one either. For the wages of sin is… just finish the rest.

    Here’s why I stand where I stand:
    Genesis 9:5-6
    And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.

  • Anonymous

    Lets go back to the firing squad.

    • Mike

      How about if we give the convicted a choice on how they die?
      Hmmmm Logic always kills the Progressives!

  • Chuck D

    They should die in the manner that they committed their victim’s death(s).

  • Anonymous

    as to the man that died, by lethal injection that took too long. I have performed surgery on people that were put under, and they moved, they groaned and was always assured by the anesthesiologists that the patients were feeling no pain, but normal nerve reaction to stimuli.

    And personally I don’t care if the man does feel some pain. Seems the only pain that we as society suffer are the lawyers that want to prolong the sentence, and the bleeding hearts that don’t like a death penalty.

  • Lee in Phoenix

    Why not the firing squad? It is quick and cheap and, unless you’ve got some really bad shots, foolproof.

  • Todd Woodell

    We should bring back the gas chamber and use Co2. Plumb in a 57 Merc exhaust pipe and the bad guy goes to seep and never wakes up. Not real fast, but peaceful and humane.

    • Anonymous

      30 cc sodium pentathol, 30cc fentanyl, 10 cc sodium cyanide. Quick. Painless. 100% effective.

  • David

    I learned about this from the History Channel. The program was “Man, Moment, Machine”. Ironic that Edison designed the electric chair specifically to run on Tesla’s DC. But when you consider that it was a ploy to convince people to use his AC instead, it becomes less surprising.

    • OK_Bayou

      Tesla/Westinghouse were the AC folks.
      Edison was the DC guy.
      Edison wanted AC to look bad — to look to deadly to be in everyone’s homes.

  • Mike

    This goes back to Glenn moving in a direction to support ending the DP. Seems he is turning more and more Progressive by the week!!

  • http://suzeraining.wordpress.com/ suz

    we have been at the point for some time now that we actually have to stipulate to the right and wrong of a thing before we continue.

  • 2 IT too

    ‘IN—DUST—Re- – -ALL—ism’
    ————————-and the ‘ELECT—TRICK’

    Those with an ear —TAKE HEED!

  • Anonymous

    We are able to successfully put down thousands of old and unwanted animals in this country every day. There is no need to experiment with lethal injection. I personally don’t care if a bad man suffers in death, but what is the motivation in experimenting with the way we put people down? Do we want to make them suffer or is it done so we will quit administering the death penalty?. Why is it we don’t have a reporter smart enough to ask the authorities these questions?

  • Anonymous

    Glenn, did you have a schizophrenic write this incoherent, meandoring babel of a post? WTF?

    • Hoosier Daddy

      Can you read? It wasn’t “written”. It is a “rush transcription” of his voice broadcast, so isn’t necessarily going to be grammatically correct.

  • Bob Anderson

    Had a discussion on a local radio station. One caller said we should kill them the way they murdered their victim. The problem with that is simple in one question: Who will be the one to pick up, say a baseball bat, and beat that person to death if that is how they did it?

  • Cathy Davis-Jaeger

    Bullet and marksman.. cheap, effective and fast

  • landofaahs

    I’m shocked that Glenn would attack a famous American who even though not perfect, did a lot for America. His work everyone can use. Glenn’s? Not so much. But Glenn is starting to sound like a democrat. Which founding Americans will he disparage next? But you have that right especially when they deserve it. But don’t complain Glenn when others berate you little heroes. I however, really have only one Hero. His name is Jesus and he didn’t make mistakes or sins or errors.

  • Chris Layton

    I thought the points were good. You can’t have freedom without justice.

  • Ncrdbl1

    No where in the Constitution does it say that the execution has to be painless.

  • Ncrdbl1

    How many knew that Tesla started designing the AC generator while he was working for Edison?

  • Anonymous

    Why does Beck bring up Israel & Jews all of the time, is he a Zionist?

  • Lee Wilson

    Did not Jesus turn to a criminal And say ” I forgive you and to this day you will be with me in paradise? ” who then can we judge if a person has truly repented God gives a way out when man does not.
    Jesus, the Son of God saves the first person from Hell..He was a theif, murderer, but he stopped and had the clarity to realize he got what he deserved and the theif got a full pardon from Jesus Christmas the son of God because he confessed and was repentant.

    But Christ also gives a Stearns warning to those who think know they can get out the easy way.. You can’t just say Lord save me and go on about your business. you have to mean it.

    • Equis

      Jesus also said ‘I have not come to change the law, I have come to fulfill the law. He was speaking of the commandments and their judgements. I don’t know why people ignore the law in the Old Testament when it’s still valid today. The only thing that has been taken away are the blood ordinances because Jesus was the one and only sacrifice of all time. So the laws and statutes remain in affect. God further said ‘send them up to me and these things will cease to happen among you.

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