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Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and beautiful — like something any one of us might experience in our final moments.

But executions are, in fact, brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality. Nor should we. If we as a society want to carry out executions, we should be willing to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf.

U.S. 9th Circuit Court Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, in a dissent filed Monday in the Arizona death penalty case of Joseph Rudolph Wood III. Wood’s attorneys described his execution, which took place Wednesday, as botched; it began at 1:52 p.m. and he wasn’t declared dead until 3:49. (via latimes)
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