Tim Johnston is scheduled to be executed by the state of Missouri next Wednesday, but his lawyers are trying to delay his death by saying that the way he’ll be killed is cruel and painful.
On my show, attorney Chris McGraugh explained that the three-drug process doesn’t keep the inmate from feeling pain in the final step, and is therefore unconstitutional. Listen to the conversation here. There’s a hearing on their attempt to obtain a temporary restraining order scheduled for tomorrow in US district court.
Johnston brutally dragged and beat his wife to death in 1989, and deserves to die. I’m a death penalty advocate, but disagree with those who say “kill him the way he killed his wife.” If we as a society want to be able to point at someone and say that what they did was so horrible they must be punished, then society can’t stoop to those same levels. Bad people do what he did, and we’re the good guys.
That said, when Tim Johnston’s life is snuffed out on a prison gurney, we’ll all move forward and get along just fine without him. As long as he’s not tortured, beaten, or hazed, I have no problem with the last thought that goes through his mind before death being, “argh, I’m having a heart attack!” or “oooh, my chest!” or “too bad The Shawshank Redemption wasn’t about me!”
Personally, if I had to be executed, I think I’d like them to bring back the guillotine — but I’d insist they put me in it face up, so I can see the blade coming down. After all, this is my last moment of life, why not have it end with some excitement and a loud scream?