Last night, Stephen Colbert talked about some ways to reform the death penalty, as only Stephen can.
You know that I support the death penalty. The ancient Babylonians had it right — an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Which means you owe me two molars, Dr. Brillstein.Video below the fold.
But suddenly, killing prisoners is not as easy as you'd hope.DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN (11/14/2013): The drugs used in the 32 death penalty states are now running out.Those damn Danish! They won't send us their death drug, but who knows how many lives they've cut short with their delectable pastries? (audience laughter and applause)
JOE JOHNS, CNN (8/2/2013): It's something called pentobarbitol.
HALA GORANI, CNN (8/12/2013): The supply of the sedative ... began to dry up two years ago after European human rights groups spoke up against the drug's use in executions. ... A Danish drugmaker responded by cutting off its distribution for use in capital punishment.
I don't know about you, folks, but I have Copen-had it up to here (audience laughter) with these damn Danes! Don't they understand that if we don't get our hands on these death drugs soon, someone might not die?!
Luckily, there's a way to keep the executions rolling, and it brings us to tonight's Wørd: Thrift Justice. Ladies and gentlemen, I have always believed that states are the laboratories of democracy. And when it comes to the death penalty, it's an actual laboratory, and the rat is a human being. (Happy Now, PETA?)
Now, in Texas, prison officials are so desperate to get their hands on pentobarbitol, that they have falsified prescriptions and lied to pharmacies. Why go to all that trouble, Texas? You can get powerful drugs online, as long as the official cause of death is a 19-hour boner. (Dead Man Throbbing) (audience laughter)
And Texas is not the only state that's thinking outside the box for new ways to put people in a box. So is Ohio.CNN (1/17/2014): Dennis McGuire was executed by lethal injection with a combination of drugs never before used in the United States.(audience laughter)
KCRA3 (1/17/2014): It's a sedative painkiller combination being used because Ohio's former execution drug dried up.
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN (1/16/2014): This is a combination that had never before been used in lethal injections. They are typically used for colonoscopies.
Sounds like a win-win. While they're executing him, they can screen him for polyps. ("Rectum? Actually Killed 'Em!") (audience laughter and applause)
Of course, all the people out there, anyone not strapped to a table were all up in arms about killing a man with an untested cocktail. (Bud Light Cran-Brrr-Rita?) But folks, federal judge Gregory Frost found that "Ohio is free to innovate and to evolve its procedures for administering capital punishment."
Yes, Ohio is free to innovate. After all, they're the home of the Wright brothers, who remember, invented the flying electric chair.
There's just a little hitch. The deadly drug mix had one fatal flaw. (Besides Being Fatal?) The convict's 15-minute death struggle was described by one witness as "horrific".
And that's a problem, because Americans want the government to kill people for us, but we don't want to feel ooky. (Reaper's Creepers) (audience laughter)
That's why we're always trying to find that death sweet spot. (Hour 3 Of "The Today Show"?) (audience laughter and applause)
Luckily, some states out there who understand this problem, like Wyoming, know that all morally complex issues have the same answer — more guns. Jim?FOX NEWS (1/14/2014): A Wyoming lawmaker pushing to use firing squads as an alternative form of execution for those on death row.Yes, bring back firing squads! With so much gun violence in America, shouldn't we shoot at least one person who deserves it? (The Aflac Duck?) (audience laughter and applause) And firing squads, I believe, this might just be me, but firing squads are a great way to throw an execution on a budget.
FOX NEWS (1/14/2014): Wyoming allows the use of a gas chamber if lethal injection is not available. Now according to state senator Bruce Burns (R), building an operating gas chamber is impractical, and a firing squad is the cheapest option.OK, so if we're just trying to save some scratch, I got all kinds of ideas. Pentobarbitol may be in short supply in prisons, but not in veterinarians' offices, where it's the preferred method for the euthanasia of pets. So, just put your death row inmate in a dog costume, and then, tell the vet he bit the neighbor. (audience laughter) You can bury him in the yard next to the cat.
And hey folks, you know what else is free? (Willy) Gravity. OK? We got plenty of gravity here, and last time I checked, America still has tall buildings. I say, just shove the condemned off the Sears Tower. If he survives the drop, remember, he'll land in Chicago, and someone will shoot him. (Or The Pizza Will Kill Him) (audience cheering and applause)
Remember, the point is, as long as we're talking about new ways to perpetrate the death penalty, then there are no bad ideas. Nothing is off the table. Ooh! Ooh! We could beat him to death with a table! (IKEAcide) (audience laughter and applause)
But you know, come to think of it, why are we doing all the work here? We should make capital punishment BYOE — Bring Your Own Execution. Whatever you like. Chainsaw, curling iron in a bathtub, choke-able Monopoly piece, you know, your choice. (Pick Your Poison)
And don't worry that it's cruel and unusual punishment. Because if we're cruel often enough, it won't seem unusual. (Thrift Justice) And that's the Wørd. We'll be right back.