Questions for TN Governor Haslam RE: Executions

Did you happen to read the accounts of Ohio’s latest execution? Are you aware that Dennis McGuire, who was killed by lethal injection, took 15 minutes to die? Did you know the drugs were untested? Did you hear that he struggled and gasped for air? Am I wrong to call this a chemical strangulation? What would you call it?

Was that humane? Was it more or less humane than electric chair, firing squad, guillotine, gas chamber? Have you considered the possibility that killing is cruel and unusual, full stop? Is it possible we are now searching for a humane implementation of a morally monstrous deed?

Who gave us the right? Don’t we Christians speak of a God who gives and takes away? Is that our job now? Will we take what cannot be given back? Who pronounced us Angels of Death?

Haven’t we exonerated innocents? Doesn’t it follow that if our conviction process is flawed than so to is our appeals process? Doesn’t that mean we’ve executed innocents? Will you claim to be okay with that?

Couldn’t a wrongful conviction happen to anyone? Are we all not subject to the same law? Is it acceptable for the state to wrongfully execute you or your friends or your family? Isn’t that a possibility? Is this just the price we pay and if yes then are you willing to pay it yourself? Are you willing to die for the states presumed right to kill?

Isn’t the knowledge required of those who administer death a complete, infallible, even divine knowledge? Isn’t this entire endeavor, strictly speaking, blasphemy? Isn’t the knowledge of life and death a knowledge that only only God possesses? How can anyone presume to act in this way? Were you there when God laid the foundations of the earth? Have the gates of death been revealed to you?

Are you beholden to popular will? Do you suppose you can easily wash your hands of this? Will you feel that you need to? Or will you write about it in your memoirs and tell your children and their children? Is this part of your legacy?

Do you remember the warning that in fighting monsters you might become one yourself?


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