Execution inquiry

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I was shocked and horrified by John C. Nicotra’s letter (“What He Deserves,” May 14), and question why the Post-Gazette would publish such an offensive rant. So what if Richard Poplawski wants to know what drugs are going to be used to end his life? After the recent calamity in Oklahoma, where a prisoner suffered inhumane agony for 40 minutes before dying, and the revelation that the state of Georgia illegally obtained and used expired drugs in two executions, I believe Poplawski has a right to be concerned. After all, it’s his life to lose.

I’m not going to address the “big picture” issues of the death penalty, or whether Poplawski “deserves” to die. Those are for each individual to ponder according to his or her own morals and beliefs. The fact is, Poplawski has been sentenced to death. The state is going to take his life, in our name.

For Mr. Nicotra to suggest that the state purposely prolong his suffering, or use other grotesque means to end his life, is appalling and shocks the conscience. If the state is determined to take Poplawski’s life, it should be done in the most civilized manner possible. After all, most of us are not barbarians.


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