The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

19 April 2003

Thoughts on the 19th

Actually, I worked diligently at not having any thoughts on the 19th, but thunderstorms this morning immediately prompted "Geez, I wonder if this is going to affect the memorial service downtown?" and that was the end of that.

And yes, the ceremony to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was affected — it had to be moved indoors because of the weather — but there was no way it was going to be stopped.

The tradition of 168 seconds of silence at 9:02 am was observed. General Rita Aragon of the state's Air National Guard received two flags from the memorial, one of which will be delivered to General Tommy Franks at Central Command. (General Franks, you'll remember, got his commission in 1967 at Fort Sill, just down the road.)

Venomous Kate weighed in today with the thought that Timothy McVeigh, convicted of the bombing and subsequently executed, got off easy:

Say what you will about capital punishment (but don't say it to me because my views won't be swayed on this), but dying by injection is humane. It is easy. Sterile. There is no way that the dread he felt waiting on death row, walking down that corridor for the last time, or having his arm swabbed before the needle plunged in could ever measure up to the heart-beat of terror his victims felt as the sound of the blast ripped through their ears and the weight of the building fell on them.

I'm not so sure I want capital punishment to be particularly gruesome — there have been moments when I wasn't entirely sure I wanted capital punishment at all — but were it possible to bring him back to life and execute him again, again, and yet again, once for each of his 168, that's not enough either.

Posted at 4:19 PM to City Scene

There truly are times when I think Dante and his seven circles of hell aren't such a bad idea.

Posted by: Venomous Kate at 6:17 PM on 19 April 2003

I'm not trying to be a smartass but Venomous Kate's piece reminded me of a question:

Why do they swab the arm of the person about to be executed before the needle is stuck into their arm?

I always thought it was done to clean the area to help prevent infection (obviously not a great concern when it comes to executing someone).

Posted by: Goof Beyou at 11:19 AM on 20 April 2003

I vaguely remember a story from somewhere (Texas? Somewhere down South? Our own Big Mac?) where an execution was postponed a couple of days because the condemned had a touch of flu.

In which case, the explanation would be the same: the state wishes to insure that nothing beyond the legally-prescribed regimen (such as an unexpected drug reaction) happens to the perp, lest there be complaints after the fact. At least, that's how it seems to me.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:46 PM on 20 April 2003