After running out of the usual drugs used in lethal injections, Ohio officials were forced this week to improvise the latest execution using nothing more than common kitchen ingredients and a large turkey baster.
Pharmaceutical companies have started to realise that their reputations can actually sink even lower, and have stopped supplying drugs used in executions. This has had the unfortunate effect of inconveniencing US states in a hurry to off criminals before they can appeal, with the result that officials are having to find ever more elaborate and inventive ways of killing their fellow citizens.
“I’m humbled to work with a team this dedicated to getting the job done,” gushed Governor John Kasich this morning. “We were completely out of pentobarbital, and we’re not allowed to shoot them – we were stumped. We tried making the cell windows smaller and smaller until he suffocated, but it was taking forever. Eventually they cooked up a mixture of baking soda, grapefruit juice and marmite, and guess what, it only did the trick! Well, we did have to finish him off by stamping on him, but whatever.”
In court proceedings last week, an Ohio state prosecutor insisted: “You’re not entitled to a pain-free execution, and if that means a marmite and grapefruit overdose, so be it. Put a frog in a pan of hot water and it will instinctively jump out. But put a frog in a pan of cold water and hit it with a hammer, and it’ll stay pretty still.”
Leading physicians in the US have expressed disgust that untested drugs are being used to put people to death in cruel and unethical ways. The execution yesterday took an unusually long half-hour, and witnesses were shocked to see the prisoner expressing his strong dislike for marmite after some 15 minutes.
Fears that grapefruit shortages would foil future uses of the new method have forced authorities to find even more inventive methods for executions. Officials are said to be experimenting with a complex new invention involving complicated systems of pendulums, Swiss Army knives and stuffed birds, and are confident they will have a working prototype before the next prisoner’s appeal is turned down.
“The new machine looks great,” Governor Kasich insisted. “I like the stuffed bird especially – hell, I’d be proud to be killed with that thing!”
Asked what he would do if the new system failed, Kasich clarified: “In that case, I’ll just have to jump in there and bite their heads off myself. You can’t stop justice.”