26 votes

United States Supreme Court rules that inmate with rare medical condition is not entitled to an alternative, less painful execution method

28 comments

  1. [13]
    pumasocks (edited ) Link
    They didn't legalise torture, they rejected the prisoner's request to die by a gas chamber, citing there is no proof it would be a less painful death. Supreme Court Closely Divides On 'Cruel And...

    They didn't legalise torture, they rejected the prisoner's request to die by a gas chamber, citing there is no proof it would be a less painful death.

    "Those interests have been frustrated in this case," Gorsuch said, declaring that there was not enough evidence that the method of execution Bucklew proposed — nitrogen gas — would be better.

    Supreme Court Closely Divides On 'Cruel And Unusual' Death Penalty Case https://n.pr/2TQ6HV7

    23 votes
    1. lol Link Parent
      The title is sensationalist and misleading yes, but there is a point there. The whole point of lethal injection is to make us look like a modern society that executes criminals humanely (itself an...

      The title is sensationalist and misleading yes, but there is a point there. The whole point of lethal injection is to make us look like a modern society that executes criminals humanely (itself an oxymoron). If the result of that is an agonizing death that doesn’t work every time, maybe we should take a second look at this system. Saying there’s no evidence to support the idea that gas is more humane is beyond willfully ignoring the facts. It’s clear to me and hopefully anyone else who’s done a miniscule amount of research that what they really have is an issue with perception. Nobody wants to be the guy that reintroduced gassing, and damn the person who literally feel the affects of their decision. Whatever happened to land of the free?

      28 votes
    2. [8]
      Gaywallet Link Parent
      I wonder if anyone has a better transcript of the proceedings. The article mentions the following: But nothing on who testified about nitrogen gas as a means of death. As someone who operates in...

      no proof it would be a less painful death.

      I wonder if anyone has a better transcript of the proceedings. The article mentions the following:

      A medical expert, Dr. Joel Zivot, has testified that if Missouri administers a lethal injection to Bucklew, he will die a slow, agonizing death.

      But nothing on who testified about nitrogen gas as a means of death.

      As someone who operates in the clinical realm, certain kinds of death by hypoxia are known to be fairly pain free. I know inert gas asphyxiation is used to kill off animals and has been used as a method of suicide for some time, but I am unaware of any animal studies in which pain or other observations are made.

      I could see how the supreme court might come to that decision if experts were unable to point to direct studies and were only able to use their clinical knowledge to back the idea that nitrogen gas asphyxiation was humane. However, they also had an expert testify that lethal injection would be particularly painful and a horrible death for this individual, so it sounds like there was a good deal of selective hearing going on here.

      15 votes
      1. [7]
        vektor Link Parent
        Isn't it that as a first-degree approximation, any hypoxia that allows the body to get rid of CO2 will be pain-free? Your body has no way of telling you that your cells are starving of oxygen or...

        Isn't it that as a first-degree approximation, any hypoxia that allows the body to get rid of CO2 will be pain-free? Your body has no way of telling you that your cells are starving of oxygen or that the air has too little of it, just a way of telling you that your blood is too acidic (due to CO2, usually). In nature that's perfectly fine, as you'll be hard-pressed to find unbreathable air without CO2. (Compare the lethal concentration of CO2 at very few percent vs the natural concentration of oxygen at 20%)

        In other words, can hypoxia even be painful so long as we allow CO2 to escape?

        10 votes
        1. [4]
          Gaywallet Link Parent
          Technically speaking when drowning you go through hypoxia and CO2 can escape. There are obviously other factors here, but I'm just trying to point out it's a bit more complicated than just...

          Technically speaking when drowning you go through hypoxia and CO2 can escape. There are obviously other factors here, but I'm just trying to point out it's a bit more complicated than just considering whether CO2 can escape - we have to examine the substance causing hypoxia and what that substance does to the body.

          It's a bit more nuanced than to just say "all hypoxia is safe", but by and large I think inert gas asphyxiation is a relatively painless way to die, mostly because one goes unconscious before they start to die.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            vektor Link Parent
            I'm not sure how I'd view drowning in this context. Yes, technically your blood CO2 should be able to transfer to the water, but that doesn't say anything about the amount. Now I'm curious though....

            I'm not sure how I'd view drowning in this context. Yes, technically your blood CO2 should be able to transfer to the water, but that doesn't say anything about the amount.

            Now I'm curious though. If I "breathe in" underwater, sure, the water will be unpleasent in an entirely different manner than CO2. But does CO2 actually escape? Say I were to get O2 into my blood through magic, could I survive breathing water?

            2 votes
            1. Gaywallet Link Parent
              Good questions, absolutely no idea. I'm not a physicist by trade so it would take quite a bit of research for me to start to begin to understand the mechanics of what would happen between the...

              Good questions, absolutely no idea. I'm not a physicist by trade so it would take quite a bit of research for me to start to begin to understand the mechanics of what would happen between the various gasses when exposed to an environment of this nature.

              2 votes
        2. [2]
          PepperJackson Link Parent
          I would like to point out that the body does notice a lack of oxygen as well as the buildup of CO2. Oftentimes, the reason why people can suffocate and do not "see it coming" is usually because...

          I would like to point out that the body does notice a lack of oxygen as well as the buildup of CO2. Oftentimes, the reason why people can suffocate and do not "see it coming" is usually because their pulmonary stretch receptors were satisfied with their respiratory rate.

          The body has an aortic body receptor and carotid receptors that sense the lack of O2.

          The brain is really the place to go to sense changes in CO2.

          The thing is that to actually have the partial pressure of oxygen in your blood to drop that much, you really need to hold your breath for many minutes. In a healthy person, you have enough O2 in your blood to last in the neighborhood of 15-20 minutes without breathing. The pulmonary stretch receptors really make you want to breathe long before it is physiologically necessary. These O2 receptors are often triggered in patients with COPD and other chronic lung disease though.

          I just wanted to point this out because I often hear that "the body can't sense low O2 levels" which isn't true!

          Also sorry for the edits, this was originally a comment I posted on Reddit a while ago.

          3 votes
          1. vektor Link Parent
            15-20 minutes? How is it then that nitrogen gas is considered a viable execution method? Does the partial pressure of O2 in blood escape through the lungs then? Sorry for the long wait/necro,...

            15-20 minutes? How is it then that nitrogen gas is considered a viable execution method? Does the partial pressure of O2 in blood escape through the lungs then?

            Sorry for the long wait/necro, something something weekend.

            (Also, Cunningham's law worked.)

            Upon second reading, does that mean that so long as my blood is oxygenated, and not acidic or full of CO2, my body just... won't prompt me to breathe? And that changes when low O2 is involved, but if I breathe with low O2 in blood, the body is content as long as I breathe? I.e. it's not as painful as CO2 overdose? That'd be really interesting.

            2 votes
    3. [3]
      Revan Link Parent
      Yes, the supreme court claims these is no proof while medical experts say otherwise. The court has decided to ignore experts citing "the Constitution does not require the avoidance of all risk of...

      Yes, the supreme court claims these is no proof while medical experts say otherwise. The court has decided to ignore experts citing "the Constitution does not require the avoidance of all risk of pain."

      This is a sadist's ruling.

      14 votes
      1. [2]
        pumasocks Link Parent
        Capital punishment is more nuanced than sadism and this article deserves a better title. Take a look at how NPR titles the article; sensationalism doesn't help the fight against capital...

        Capital punishment is more nuanced than sadism and this article deserves a better title. Take a look at how NPR titles the article; sensationalism doesn't help the fight against capital punishment. If you are against it, state your reasons.

        10 votes
        1. Revan Link Parent
          If it was more nuanced that sadism, then the court would have ruled in the prisoners favor for death via hypoxia. In the end the prisoner still dies, but isn't subject to:

          If it was more nuanced that sadism, then the court would have ruled in the prisoners favor for death via hypoxia. In the end the prisoner still dies, but isn't subject to:

          tumors will rupture and fill his mouth with blood, and he will suffocate to death in unbearable pain, choking and convulsing on the gurney as he dies

          15 votes
  2. no_exit Link
    I agree that the title was sensationalist; torture is already legal (solitary confinement).

    I agree that the title was sensationalist; torture is already legal (solitary confinement).

    4 votes
  3. [13]
    asoftbird Link
    @Deimos are there any plans of adding topic tags/report buttons? Title's pretty sensationalist on this one. I suppose a ping is fine for now though.

    @Deimos are there any plans of adding topic tags/report buttons? Title's pretty sensationalist on this one. I suppose a ping is fine for now though.

    3 votes
    1. Deimos Link Parent
      Yes, I'm hoping to add a reporting function for topics fairly soon. Thanks for the ping, I edited it to something I think is more representative.

      Yes, I'm hoping to add a reporting function for topics fairly soon. Thanks for the ping, I edited it to something I think is more representative.

      9 votes
    2. [12]
      Comment deleted by author
      Link Parent
      1. [11]
        Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
        It's already extremely common for titles to be written by someone other than the article author. A lot of them are written by someone else that works at the site and intended specifically to draw...

        It's already extremely common for titles to be written by someone other than the article author. A lot of them are written by someone else that works at the site and intended specifically to draw attention on social media, because most people don't read past the title before deciding to like/upvote/retweet/share/whatever.

        There's nothing magical about titles, they're just a description of the content. If the original title does a good job of that, then great, we can use it. But if it misrepresents the article, we shouldn't be afraid to write a better one.

        10 votes
        1. [11]
          Comment deleted by author
          Link Parent
          1. [10]
            cfabbro Link Parent
            The title is still is as it always was on the site itself... so nothing has really changed regarding your ability to judge the publisher by it. However allowing sensationalist titles to remain...

            The title is still is as it always was on the site itself... so nothing has really changed regarding your ability to judge the publisher by it. However allowing sensationalist titles to remain sensationalized on Tildes has negative consequences for this site and the community here, which is something worth trying to minimize, IMO.

            5 votes
            1. [10]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. [9]
                cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
                The topic log on the right lists all the changes made to titles, and virtually every time a title has been changed the person doing the changing has also made a comment explaining why. And most of...

                The topic log on the right lists all the changes made to titles, and virtually every time a title has been changed the person doing the changing has also made a comment explaining why. And most of the time these changes are predicated on comments complaining about the title anyways, so nothing is being hidden here.

                edit: And while I agree that ideally people should not be submitting articles with clickbait titles, just because the title is clickbaity does not mean the article is valueless, lacking quality/journalistic integrity or inaccurate in any way. The unfortunate reality is that with newspapers getting increasingly desperate for clicks and ad views to sustain themselves, a great many of them, even the Pulitzer prize winning outfits among them, are relying on clickbait headlines these days.

                2 votes
                1. [3]
                  Comment deleted by author
                  Link Parent
                  1. [2]
                    cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
                    See my edit... I was in the process of writing it when you replied, I suspect. Says who? Hacker News is a rather large, old and popular link aggregator and the mods there have been editing...

                    We should strive to provide quality content first

                    See my edit... I was in the process of writing it when you replied, I suspect.

                    and is not the place of a link-aggregator.

                    Says who? Hacker News is a rather large, old and popular link aggregator and the mods there have been editing submission titles practically since its inception. They can take it a bit too far IMO, as they often remove vital context from titles that need them, but I don't think the principle itself is flawed since removing clickbait and overly editorialized headlines often improves the quality of the discussion, which is just as important as the quality of submission, IMO.

                    p.s. We also sometimes edit submitted links here too. So if the actual substance of an article is not up to par, it can and often will be replaced with one that covers the same subject but isn't.

                    2 votes
                    1. [2]
                      Comment deleted by author
                      Link Parent
                      1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
                        You're right that Tildes is not HN but it's also NOT reddit nor is it aiming to be. It's aiming to learn from their mistakes and also what they do right. And IMO one of the things reddit does...

                        You're right that Tildes is not HN but it's also NOT reddit nor is it aiming to be. It's aiming to learn from their mistakes and also what they do right. And IMO one of the things reddit does wrong is allow clickbait and editorialized headlines to stand, since the quality of discussion is often greatly reduced by doing so... so in that way it is helping Tildes fulfill that goal of fostering quality discussion. Just as removing ownership of topics was felt to improve quality of discussion as well... which is why only ~music and ~creative show the username of the submitter outside the comments section.

                        If yours is the prevailing attitude, then I'm not sure what I'm even bothering with Tildes for.

                        I don't know if mine is the prevailing attitude or not, I am simply explaining the way TIldes currently works and AFAIK, why. If you have a problem with it, you're welcome to start a discussion in ~tildes about it to see what everyone thinks and perhaps see if anyone can come up with suggestions for improving the system to help address the issues you bring up with it.

                        Deimos is a reasonable fellow and is open to having his mind changed, as am I. However, while I can't speak for him or anyone else, at least for me your current line of reasoning is not sufficient to convince me it should be changed, since IMO the benefits of removing editorialized/clickbait titles far outweighs the negatives, especially with the topic log in place and the fact that the titles still remain the same on the sites themselves so people can still judge the publishers for having used them.

                        3 votes
                2. [6]
                  Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
                  umm... I've been avoiding making “noise”-type comments like this when I edit a title.

                  virtually every time a title has been changed the person doing the changing has also made a comment explaining why

                  umm...

                  I've been avoiding making “noise”-type comments like this when I edit a title.

                  1. [5]
                    cfabbro Link Parent
                    That's not noise IMO... it's meta/offtopic since it is still valuable in informing people of the changes and offering them a place to express any criticism or suggestions on word choices they...

                    That's not noise IMO... it's meta/offtopic since it is still valuable in informing people of the changes and offering them a place to express any criticism or suggestions on word choices they have. I have made a comment announcing my title changes and reasoning pretty much every time I have edited titles.

                    If you did it for every tag change, I could see that as being noise though... since they are largely inconsequential.

                    1. [4]
                      Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
                      But, then, aren't you just inviting an off-topic discussion about the title? If one of the goals of editing titles is to reduce off-topic discussions about the title instead of the article, then...

                      But, then, aren't you just inviting an off-topic discussion about the title? If one of the goals of editing titles is to reduce off-topic discussions about the title instead of the article, then announcing that I've edited a title seems counter-productive.

                      1 vote
                      1. [3]
                        cfabbro Link Parent
                        Where was it stated one of the goals of title editing is reducing offtopic discussions? And out of curiosity, why are you seemingly so opposed to meta and offtopic discussions in general? The...

                        Where was it stated one of the goals of title editing is reducing offtopic discussions? And out of curiosity, why are you seemingly so opposed to meta and offtopic discussions in general? The whole point of the offtopic comment label is to facilitate those types of conversations and prevent them from taking priority in the sort over on-topic ones.

                        1. [2]
                          Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
                          It's not. But it's implied by the fact that Deimos edits titles when the discussion in a thread is more about the title of an article than the content of that article. Because they are off topic -...

                          Where was it stated one of the goals of title editing is reducing offtopic discussions?

                          It's not. But it's implied by the fact that Deimos edits titles when the discussion in a thread is more about the title of an article than the content of that article.

                          And out of curiosity, why are you seemingly so opposed to meta and offtopic discussions in general?

                          Because they are off topic - or, in other words, not relevant to the topic at hand. They're just irrelevant clutter. They fill up a thread and make it hard to find the real discussion. And, as someone pointed out a while ago, it's worse here on Tildes because every new comment bumps a thread to the top of the activity page, making people think there's more discussion about the subject when it's just two meta-loving people rabbiting on about editing titles.

                          The whole point of the offtopic comment label is to facilitate those types of conversations

                          The "off-topic" label (and the "joke" label and the "noise" label) aren't supposed to be invitations for people to make off-topic, jokey, or noisy comments. They're for other people to identify those comments as irrelevant clutter and to hide them. And why are we hiding them? Because they're not good. If they were good, we wouldn't bother de-emphasising them and hiding them.

                          Sure, sure, sure... "whisper comments" are supposed to fix this. But: a) they don't exist yet; b) that's still only covering up the problem.

                          I even feel bad continuing this conversation, and considered not replying at all - except it would have looked worse if I stopped suddenly. So here's my warning: I'm not commenting here after this.

                          1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
                            I can't speak for Deimos but I see editing titles as not so much about preventing meta-discussion on them, but helping ensure users don't fall for the bait that most clickbait and editorialized...

                            I can't speak for Deimos but I see editing titles as not so much about preventing meta-discussion on them, but helping ensure users don't fall for the bait that most clickbait and editorialized titles lay out, which taints people's perception of the article before even reading it and often does similar with their comments about it.

                            Because they are off topic - or, in other words, not relevant to the topic at hand. They're just irrelevant clutter.

                            In your opinion. But I can point to at least a dozen conversations in the latest ~tildes topic that are completely offtopic and yet NOT irrelevant clutter... many of which Deimos himself, and even you, participated in, e.g. the talk about whisper/aside comments and gitlab.

                            They're for other people to identify those comments as irrelevant clutter and to hide them. And why are we hiding them? Because they're not good. If they were good, we wouldn't bother de-emphasising them and hiding them.

                            No they are not, and no matter how many times you insist that is the case it still won't be true. Noise is the only comment label designed to do that... the rest merely shift comments around to help bring the most relevant and on-topic comments to the top, but that does not mean jokes or offtopic comments are "irrelevant clutter" and "not good"... Read the documentation on them if you don't believe me.

                            https://docs.tildes.net/mechanics#comment-labels

                            Overall, voting on a comment should mean something like "this is a good comment and I think other people should read it", while labeling a comment adds more information. With the combination of both, you can express things like "this is a good comment, even though it's off-topic", and "this is a joke, but it's a good one".

                            [emphasis mine]

  4. synergy Link
    sensationalist and misleading title

    sensationalist and misleading title

    2 votes