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Swiss suicide capsule could be repurposed for executions
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Thread: Swiss suicide capsule could be repurposed for executions

  1. #1
    Moderator mostlyclassics's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Wilmette, IL

    Swiss suicide capsule could be repurposed for executions

    Couldn't states with nitrogen hypoxia laws use one of these?

    Switzerland Approves Assisted Suicide Capsule
    Yahoo! News Mon, December 6, 2021


    Switzerland has just legalized a new way to die by assisted suicide. The countrys medical review board has authorized the use of the Sarco Suicide Pod, which is a 3-D-printed portable coffin-like capsule with windows that can be transported to a tranquil place for a persons final moments of life.

    Conventional assisted-suicide methods have generally involved a chemical substance. Inventor Philip Nitschke of Exit International told the website SwissInfo.ch that his death pod offers a different approach. We want to remove any kind of psychiatric review from the process and allow the individual to control the method themselves, he said. Our aim is to develop an artificial-intelligence screening system to establish the persons mental capacity. Naturally, there is a lot of skepticism, especially on the part of psychiatrists.

    The pod can be activated from inside and can give the person intending to die various options for where they want to be for their final moments. The machine can be towed anywhere for the death, he said. It can be in an idyllic outdoor setting or in the premises of an assisted-suicide organization, for example.

    To qualify to use the pod, the person who wants to die must answer an online survey that is meant to prove whether they are making the decision of their own accord. If they pass, they will be told the location of the pod and given an access code.

    Once inside, the person intending to end their life will have to answer pre-recorded questions and press a button that will start the process of flooding the interior with nitrogen, which will quickly reduce the oxygen level inside from 21 percent to 1 percent. The person will get into the capsule and lie down, he said, adding, Its very comfortable.

    He said the person will likely feel disorientated or euphoric. The whole thing takes about 30 seconds, he said Death takes place through hypoxia and hypocapnia, oxygen and carbon dioxide deprivation, respectively. There is no panic, no choking.

    In 2020, around 1,300 people died by assisted suicide in Switzerland, almost all by ingesting liquid sodium pentobarbital, which puts a patient into a deep coma before killing them. Assisted suicide is also legal in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Canada.

    The Sarco Suicide Pod is expected to be operational in 2022. The company has made three prototypes, but one was not aesthetically pleasing so it will not be used, it says. The company has not yet announced how much it will cost to use the service.

    "Sorry for the delay, I got caught in traffic." Rodney Scott Berget, South Dakota, October 29, 2018 final words.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Member Steven AB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Nitrogen hypoxia would be a bad move in current times: it is impossible to be sure in advance that what works for assisted suicide also works for an execution, with a restrained, non-consenting convict.

    Recently, the enterprise that was hired to build the device for hypoxia executions terminated its contract with the state of Alabama because of pressures of death penalty opponents.


    Nitrogen has the inconveniences of lethal injection without its advantages: an inability to procure the means to enforce it, without being a long-established method.

    And even if it succeeded, it could backfire, because under the alternative method test it could provide legal arguments to those wanting to outlaw lethal injection as cruel and unusual. The current U.S. Supreme Court is not likely to agree with that of course, but that could be decided by some state supreme courts based on their state constitutions, without a recourse to the U.S. Supreme Court. States judges would rule that because of nitrogen success, lethal injection is no longer acceptable in comparison. And the need to change statutes to allow nitrogen would stall executions in many states.

    That’s why one of the very few states having allowed nitrogen hypoxia, Oklahoma, abandoned it last year. Others should follow and remove nitrogen (and indeed all forms of gas execution) retroactively from all statutes.

    Instead, governments should focus on other remedies:

    – Obtain the re-authorization of the purchase of foreign drugs, if necessary by appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.


    – Convince a majority of the court to adopt Justice Clarence Thomas position in Baze v. Rees (in short, that lethal injection is always constitutional, and any claim to the contrary not even a ground for stay). Bucklew v. Precythe was a first step toward that.

    – Exempt execution procedures from Administrative acts (a remedy not specific to lethal injection).

    – Statutes providing secrecy of the provenance of the drugs (as for the identity of executioners).

    – Remove specification in statutes of the drugs to be used (most states already don’t have such requirement).

    – Buy the drugs to other states.

    – Revive older methods such as electrocution or shooting only when the convict requests it or injection is unavailable.

    With respect to shooting, or more precisely firing squad, it would too much an honor, so it should not be used or, at most, only as an option for a convict who in turn forfeits his right to attack the method constitutionality in federal courts under Stewart v. LaGrand.

    Once one state will begin, the others will have a persuasive precedent in their favor. Certainly, the first shooting in more than 10 years, or the first non-voluntary electrocution in more than 20 years, will at first attract inordinate media attention; but as for Moon landings at the fourth the general public will have already lost any interest.
    Last edited by Steven AB; 04-19-2022 at 01:22 PM.
    "If ever there were a case for a referendum, this is one on which the people should be allowed to express their own views and not irresponsible votes in the House of Commons." Winston Churchill, on the death penalty

    The self-styled "Death Penalty Information Center" is financed by the oligarchic European Union. The Daily Signal

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