Oklahoma’s badly botched lethal injection has not chipped away at the American public’s support of the death penalty, although two-thirds of voters would back alternatives to the needle, says an NBC News survey. One in three people say that if lethal injections are no longer viable because of drug shortages or other problems executions should be stopped altogether, says a survey of 800 adults by Hart Research and Public Opinion Strategies.
Many others are open to more primitive methods of putting prisoners to death: 20 percent for the gas chamber, 18 percent for the electric chair, 12 percent for firing squad and 8 percent for hanging. “The lethal injection is someone's very gross interpretation of killing someone humanely,” said Kuni Beasley of Frisco, Tx., who called for a return to hanging. The most recent example of what can go wrong is the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma. He appeared to regain consciousness and writhe in pain midway through. The procedure was halted but Lockett, convicted of rape and murder, died anyway.