Letter: What difference does drug make?

I’ve said it before, and I say it again. Let’s abolish the death penalty in Louisiana. I’m in favor of the death penalty, but since it isn’t enforced in a timely manner, it isn’t a deterrent and it certainly isn’t cost-effective. I’m sure the millions paid to lawyers and experts by the state — i.e., you and me — to salvage the precious life of a convicted murderer far exceed the cost of keeping him in prison for life.

This letter is prompted by an article in The Advocate on Feb. 8 about a judge blocking the execution of a man convicted of beating and scalding to death his 6-year-old stepson 23 years ago and sentenced to death in 1993!

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear this murderer’s appeal several years ago. According to the article, the execution was blocked because the murderer and his attorneys weren’t informed that officials had decided to execute him with a single dose of pentobarbital rather than a three-drug concoction used in the state’s last execution in 2010.

His lawyer says he needs the age of the drugs and the identity of the place where they were manufactured. He also wants to confirm that the supply was FDA approved. As Hillary Clinton so famously exclaimed recently at a congressional hearing, “What difference does it make?” Whatever drug they use to kill him will kill him.

Have we reached the point where a murderer who is to be executed has the right to order from a menu of lethal drugs? Did this man’s lawyer give any thought to the choice his client gave his stepson on how he would die before he beat and scalded him to death?

William Bonin

lawyer

New Iberia