How sad and cruel is the story of the prisoner in Alabama who made world headlines for being the first inmate to be executed with nitrogen gas. That a bible-thumping American state should be so proudly announcing it has discovered a new execution method to kill its own citizens is beyond belief. Even worse, the opportune holder-to-be of the title was a 58-year-old who had survived a botched lethal injection in 2022 when officials-cum-executioners tried unsuccessfully for hours to put an intravenous line into his body.
The thought that someone who had already been through the horrendous ordeal of being executed only to go through another one is nauseating. Yes, justice had to prevail for he was a convicted murderer, but capital punishment has long been acknowledged as providing no solution, at least to civilised societies around the world. Alabama and some other sanctimonious American states are still stuck in the cowboy age where revenge and lynching/execution are the only motive.
The problem with this new nitrogen method of killing other human beings is that it has turned out to be in no way humane. While conservative, Jesus-loving Alabama politicians licked their lips and toasted each other in satisfaction, claiming the nitrogen experiment had succeeded, details of how the inmate, Kenneth Smith died show it was yet another botched up job by the killer state.
Witnesses revealed Smith’s execution took about 22 minutes during which he appeared to remain conscious. He also appeared to shake and writhe, sometimes pulling against the restraints, followed by several minutes of heavy breathing until it stopped. State authorities had predicted unconsciousness within seconds and death within minutes. Yeah, they were as accurate as their income tax returns.
Still highly controversial, the use of nitrogen has been condemned by critics who say it is cruel and experimental. It involves clamping a mask tightly to the face, covering the mouth and nose, and then filling it with nitrogen gas. The person continues to breathe normally, but with no oxygen present, his or her body shuts down until death occurs. In just one word: suffocation.
Americans are divided over the issue of capital punishment, something Europeans have long been convinced of its uselessness as a way of advocating justice and preventing murder. In Norway, for example, the right-wing monster who killed more than 30 young men and women, simply because they belonged to a socialist youth organisation, is still thankfully serving life imprisonment, with several parole and requests to move to less secure prisons turned down. The Norwegian State has rightly not chosen to do to him what he did to his innocent teenage victims.
It is all a question of intellectual quality. When, during the invasive war in Iraq (later to be found it was all based on lies) American TV viewers were asked to show on a map where Iraq was, many pointed out Vienna. These are the same Americans who’ve been to the moon and Mars and who, in their continued wisdom, now seem more likely ready to vote Donald Trump back to power.
And then Americans get irritated when there are calls for a new world order, and when BRICS – an intergovernmental organisation that has evolved into a cohesive geopolitical bloc coordinating multilateral policies on the basis of non-interference, equality, and mutual benefit – continues to attract countries which agree to the idea of ditching the dollar and, in bilateral commercial exchanges, opt to deal in the two countries’ own currencies.
Alabama’s nickname is the Yellowhammer State. What is the colour of nitrogen?
The vindictive West
More than 150 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) employees have been killed since the war in Gaza started in October last year. Then, suddenly, angry at the International Court of Justice’s ruling that Israel is committing genocide, the US, the UK, and various EU vassal states vindictively cut off funding to the UNRWA – the very day after the ICJ verdict, on the pretext that some of its members had participated in attacks on Israel.
One has to ask why these supposedly democratic ex-colonisers did not choose to reveal such accusations before. It all smells of a Blackadder-style cunning plan in readiness for a decision everyone, including themselves, knew could not be avoided, given the terrible horror that Israel has lashed against innocent civilians, destroying more than 80 per cent of their homes and bombarding schools, hospitals, and universities. What do von der Leyen and Metsola, the two EU dames seen holding hands with the racist-tongued Isaac Herzog, President of Israel, think of the ICJ decision… that it must be complied with?
If they do not, then it means they are, like the rest of the West, completely undermining the legitimacy of the ICJ which the West itself had formed. Or was it simply set up to target anti-West individuals and nations and it can now be dismantled?
Truths and trends
Lawyers are, by profession, crafty people. They are taught ways and means how to prolong cases, and circumnavigate cases and issues that concern their clients. They also insert new trends through judicial avenues that seem to get wider by the day. The most recent ones are false pity and mental health.
Many people are sick of reading and hearing about drug pushers and dealers, thieves, and pickpockets who claim they do it because they have no other source of income, boo-hoo, but they do have money to pay their legal representatives.
Then there is the community of criminals, among them murderers, who claim mental illness, more boo-hoo – an insult to all those who genuinely and truly suffer from the illness.
Main photo: Tomasz Mikolajczyk / Pixabay