The Marshall Project, a non-profit journalistic organization specializing in the criminal justice system, had a 7-question quiz comparing how we execute condemned prisoners and how we euthanize pet.
The first is: Is a doctor always involved? The answer: Yes for pets, no for prisoners. 2) Does the procedure involve paralytics?
Yes for prisoners, no for pets—It’s thought it would make them suffer. 3) Does a medical association issue strict guidelines about the procedure? Again yes for pets, no for condemned prisoners partly because the AMA discourages doctors from taking part in executions. 4) Are the drugs difficult to find? Yes. 5) Do doctors and staff receive consistent training state-by-state? Yes for veterinarians, no for prisoners—prison staff usually gets some training, not uniformly. 6) Must the doctor or executioner be in the room during the injection? A veterinarian must be present, for prisoners, sometimes a machine dispenses the drugs.7) Do they stop if something goes wrong? No for prisoners, there are rarely problems with veterinarians.
We do love our pets and have no regard for condemned prisoners. But does that entitle us to forget they are living creatures?