I was just listening to the radio as I was getting ready for work. The news person mentioned that one of the DC snipers was put to death last night. John Allen Muhammad was executed by lethal injection last night in Virginia while relatives of the victims looked on. Here is the last line of the story…
“Prison officials say they’ll hold the body for a few days to make sure he is dead.”
I’m no doctor. In fact, I haven’t even stayed at a Holiday Inn Express since 1997. But with modern medical technology isn’t there a better way to tell if someone is actually dead or not than holding them for a few days to make sure? What is the guy going to do, stand up and say, “HAHA! GOTCHA!”
Then what do you do if he is not dead? Does the whole double-jeopardy thing apply to this situation? If he somehow wakes up do we get to execute him again or does someone say, “Darn. We need to be sure to up the dosage of potassium chloride next time we do this.”
Maybe I’m just an uneducated bumpkin, but it seems to me that prison personnel should be able to tell if someone is dead or not. As usual, I could be wrong. Some of you medical folks fill me in on this. Please.