http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/16/us/16death.html?_r=1&oref=slogin I think too many people have lost sight of two things - the victim and that the death penalty is supposed to be a PUNISHMENT. Execution isn't euthanasia - it isn't being used to "put down" an injured animal or to relieve a terminally ill person of a painful, lengthy death. It's about administering the ultimate punishment for the ultimate crime and if the offender happens to suffer during the process - tough. Whatever pain that person suffers would never come close to equaling the pain felt by those who have lost a loved one to criminal violence. I find the whole process of the death penalty an insult to victims of crime and their families. Victims are not given a "last meal", "last rites" or last visits from their family. Civilised humans are compelled to not lower themselves to the levels of those uncivilised but this doesn't mean that we need to do more than the bare minimum. Perfect justice would be to subject the offender to the same type of death to which his/her victim was subjected but I would be satisfied with a bullet/rope. However, I'm not satisified with the expensive lengths to which the system currently goes to "ensure the [offender] doesn't suffer", particularly when one considers that the money could be more appropriately spent ensuring that indigent defendants in capital cases are afforded a competent defense. It's far more important to ensure that innocent people are not wrongly executed than to ensure that guilty people do not suffer during execution.