Friday, April 03, 2009

Who Are They?

What if they gave an execution and nobody showed up to throw the switch? It's a problem Washington state is facing, as their volunteer death squad has all quit, for fear of having their identities revealed (via SL&P):

The four resigned Tuesday, which was the deadline Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham had set for the team's records -- detailing the members' credentials, qualifications and experience in administering lethal drugs -- to be submitted for his review.

The state is now without a lethal-injection team, and it's unclear what effect the resignations will have on the court proceedings.

* * *

Team members, who must all meet minimum qualifications, were approached and asked to serve based on their respective backgrounds, Sytman said. Three are current Department of Corrections (DOC) employees and the fourth is a retired employee, he said.

'Walla Walla is a small town, so it's not hard to figure out (someone's identity) based on their qualifications,' Sytman said. 'They don't want picketers showing up on their front lawns, and they don't want offenders knowing who they are.'
At one time, executions were public and the identity of executioners wasn't particularly secret. As society has struggled to produce a more "humane" version of the death penalty, the actual act has been taken behind closed doors and shrouded in a certain amount of mystery.

That folks involved in the killing process don't want their identities revealed says something about what they feel about it deep down. I'm not quite sure what, tho'.

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