News

Pain is OK

The eighth amendment to the US Constitution forbids “cruel and unusual” methods of capital punishment – but that does not guarantee a prisoner a pain-free death.

So says US Supreme Court judge Neil Gorsuch, who joined the 5 to 4 majority ruling against the request of Russell Bucklew, who asked to be gassed to death rather than face a lethal injection.

Gorsuch added that “the eighth amendment tolerated methods of execution, like hanging, that involved a significant risk of pain, while forbidding as cruel only those methods that intensified the death sentence by ‘superadding’ terror, pain or disgrace.”

Bucklew was sentenced to death in 1997 for rape and murder.