According to Attorney Nicole Chiravollatti, a St. Louis criminal defense
lawyer, Ohio's "botched" execution could be the catalyst
needed to reconsider the death penalty.
A convicted serial killer may have suffered cruel and unusual punishment
during his execution, news sources speculate. According to witnesses,
the man exhibited signs of pain, such as clenching his teeth and straining
to raise his head, even though he was supposed to be unconscious.
Officials halted the execution and the man died several minutes later of
a heart attack.
Officials blame the incident on a collapsed vein, but the case has already
raised questions regarding Ohio's ability to administer the injection
humanely. Opponents of the death penalty hope that the case will lead
to a reconsideration of the punishment, and the White House stated that
the recent incident was not humane.
Supporters of the penalty argue that the Constitution does not guarantee
the right to a painless execution. According to Chief Justice John Roberts,
"The Constitution does not demand the avoidance of all risk of pain
in carrying out executions."
Others remain concerned that the three-drug lethal injection fails to meet
the Eighth Amendment requirement for ethical punishment.
According to Jen Moreno, staff attorney at the Berkeley School of Law Death
Penalty Clinic, risks associated with the lethal injection method are
obvious. She also indicated that the fumbled execution isn't the first
of its kind – there have been other instances of potentially cruel
and unusual capital punishment.
Attorney Chiravollatti and others like her hope that the story will raise
awareness of inhuman execution methods.
She said, "This latest 'botched' execution should and will
provoke constitutional challenges to the death penalty based on the 'cruel
and unusual' phrase in the United States Constitution. It is unlikely
that the pace of executions in Missouri will slow down, but perhaps this
latest incident will get Missourians talking about this very important
issue in a more thoughtful and meaningful way."