Saturday, September 24, 2011

How to Kill a Human Being

Former Tory MP, Michael Portillo, wouldn't be someone I would normally have much time for, but watching what he put himself through in researching a more humane method of execution, I have to say my respect for the fellow went from minimal to moderate.

The only previos part that I can remember with any clarity, is what is depicted in this last segment of the program. Particularly what the ''expert on capital punishment'' has to say starting from the five minute mark, and Portillo's counter-argument I must add.

And what he does have to say, I think reflects tellingly on the motives of pro-death penalty advocates in the US. It's not justice they are looking for, it's vengeance.

Part 5 of 5 - How to Kill a Human Being - BBC Horizon

Former Conservative MP, Michael Portillo pushes his body to the brink of death in an investigation into the science of execution.

As the American Supreme Court examines whether the lethal injection is causing prisoners to die in unnecessary pain Michael sets out to find a solution which is fundamentally humane. To do so he examines the key methods of execution available today: he discovers why convicts can catch on fire in the electric chair, learns how easy it is to botch a hanging and inhales a noxious gas to experience first hand the terror of the gas chamber.

Armed with some startling evidence Michael considers a completely new approach. Will it be the answer? There is only one way of finding out - to experience it himself.

Part one here if you're interested. h/t CooCurrent for the upload.

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