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The Death Penalty: Let’s Get Lethaler

Apr 202014
 By , April 20, 2014

The term “death penalty” seems to criminally understate the case

You’d think Americans have enough stuff to worry about. Severe drought desiccating a third of the country. A political system whose major talent is demonstrating stasis in action. The rich using the poor as fleshy paving stones for the road to mansions on the hill. Ben Affleck as Batman.

But, guess what? Apparently we don’t have enough stuff to worry about, because now we’re running out of ways to kill people. Legally, that is. Accidentally and illegally we’re doing just fine. One might even say it’s become a robust and vigorous pursuit.

I’m talking about carrying out the death penalty, although the word “penalty” always seems to criminally understate the case.

Over the years, civilizations have evolved in how to rid themselves of their various nefarious. They cycled through stoning, strangulation, beheading, death by 1000 cuts, hanging, firing squad, guillotine, electric chair, before finally settling on poison, deemed the most humane. First the gas chamber and now, even humaner — lethal injection. So humane, we swab the injection point with alcohol, which is like repainting the shutters before burning down a house.

Problem is, the producer of the go-to lethal injection drug, Thiopental, stopped making it. States have turned to a different drug called Pentobarbital, but the Danish manufacturer didn’t enjoy being associated with executions, and pulled the plug. Now, the states’ Departments of Killing People on Purpose are resorting to unreliable and possibly illegal sources, and refusing to reveal those methods; meaning for all we know, they could be shooting inmates up with Drano flavored Jell-O.

These death penalty punishments are being carried out on behalf of We the People: so We the People should have a say in the process. It’s the 21st Century, for crum’s sake. Why not kill the condemned creatively?

Film it for pay-per-view. Strike a deal with Amazon Prime and make some coin on the back end. There’s tons of ways to end a miscreant’s life that would be a barrel of fun to watch and still insure justice gets done.

For instance, imagine the merriment to be shared if a convicted man were forced to spend an entire evening in the company of Joan Rivers. Death would not only be instantaneous, it would be hilarious.

Or what if one of the soon-to-be-deceased were dispatched to act as Chris Christie’s pedicab driver when visiting Atlantic City?

Perhaps a position could be arranged as Vladimir Putin’s Ukrainian food taster.

Becoming Barack Obama’s personal pollster would certainly drive any sane man mad.

Sentencing denizens of death row to carry Michael Bloomberg’s ego might be an amusing spectacle. Or would that be considered cruel and unusual?

Assign a death penalty subject as sole salesmen at the only New York City based Foot Locker to distribute the next release of Air Jordan classics.

Forced to endure an entire season on “Dancing With the Stars” as Chelsea Handler’s partner. An excruciating proposition.

Spend the Christmas season in Times Square dressed in the Disney character costume of Iago from “Aladdin.”

I’ve got 3 words for you, people: CSI: Miami binge-a-thon.

And finally, the state could force the reprobate to wear Google Glass into dive bars all over the Mission District of San Francisco. And the beauty of it is: they function as their own cameraman.

Will Durst is a nationally acclaimed, award-winning political stand-up comedian and writer. His column has been published in the Humor Times magazine for over 20 years. Go to to find about more about his CDs, including “Elect to Laugh,” and check his calendar of personal appearances, including his hit one-man show, “Boomeraging: From LSD to OMG.”

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The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” The Humor Times says "Durst is the Sage of Satire, the Learned Lampooner, the King of Political Satire!" Check his website,, for upcoming stand-up performance dates. Will's books, including Elect to Laugh! A Hilarious, Common Sense Guide to American Politics are available at Amazon and better bookstores all over this great land of ours. From Ulysses Press.

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