How to kill a human being

  anskyber 21:59 15 Jan 2008

In a new, more cutting edge Horizon, Michael Portillo investigated the most humane way the State could kill someone.

If you did not see it I can summarise by saying that the traditional methods had serious consequences for the person who is killed, if as Portillo assumed, the State wished to do so humanely.

He found a humane way, when put to the "leading expert" in the US the expert said, in effect, that pain was important to the killing and he objected to the Portillo solution.

Setting aside the objections to killing a potentially innocent person, should the State kill with malice?

  Al94 22:04 15 Jan 2008

I watched it and in my opinion the state should not "kill with malice". I was shocked by the US "expert" but not entirely surprised when I thought about it. The state would be lowering itself to the level of the killer.

  sunny staines 22:13 15 Jan 2008

I watched the program and was amazed that the death methods could be so painful. cannot understand why they do not put them down the same way the vet does a dog its quick and painless.

But part agree with the american chap at the end why should murders go out on a high. But agree some of the painful methods should not be used.

  Earthsea 22:18 15 Jan 2008

The state shouldn't execute people, let alone with malice. Like Al94, I was shocked but not surprised by the 'expert'. USA seems to have a different attitude towards human life than we do.

Nice to see a decent Horizon, though (been a while).

  GANDALF <|:-)> 23:11 15 Jan 2008

Did Portillo survive?


  GANDALF <|:-)> 23:46 15 Jan 2008

'That is still used in some countries and no immediate problems spring to mind'..the condemned man might have some tiny reservations as the day approaches.


  Phere 01:22 16 Jan 2008

Hate the man he's just doing this for attention...too corrupted for me....

  mrwoowoo 01:40 16 Jan 2008

"The state shouldn't execute people"
Very easy to hold on to that opinion until it's your wife or daughter that has been raped and killed.Different circumstances can change our view of things.
If a member of my family was a murderers victim i would want them killed and i wouldn't care how.

  Quickbeam 02:34 16 Jan 2008

A state that kills is not a humane state.

  tillybaby23 07:35 16 Jan 2008

What a revelation it was too, I must admit that I thougt that in this day and age the way the states in the U.S. executed a person was totally humane and pain free, nothing could be further from the truth,I also thought that the way we terminated a much loved pets life was pain free too but now I'm left wondering if this is so,

Some of the so called American experts shouldn't be in the job because it became quite clear that they got pleasure out of the pain some of the executed suffered, o.k. I know the victims suffered too but does two wrongs make it right? I think not.

  interzone55 09:38 16 Jan 2008

Whilst I abhor any form of capital punishment, the lethal injection, if properly administrated is probably the most humane way of despatching offenders.

It is basically the same system used by vets to put down animals, with the addition of a third drug.

The first one numbs the nervous system, intended to remove the pain.

The second drug paralyses the muscles, this is not used by vets. It is intended so that witnesses to the execution don't see the "patient" writhe in agony because the first drug didn't work.

The third drug causes cardiac arrest.

As Mr Portaloo found out, the drugs are administered by "idiots" who miss veins completely, push the needles through veins and into tissue, or put them in the wrong way so the drugs are carried away from the heart rather than into it.

I found this program most interesting, and it just confirmed articles I've read about the issues surrounding the various methods of execution used in the US. Several states have suspended all executions because of the issues raised.

Interestingly, China has just invested in a number of vans that will travel from town to town carrying out lethal injection executions, as they have quite a backlog of dissidents to despatch

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