The Commentator                                                                  April 2012 Edition
       Ideas and Suggestions [9]
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An alternative to hanging?

Michael A. Dingwall (

Recently, there was some talk by some countries, particularly in Europe, about the need for a global ban on hanging. Many of these countries see hanging as barbaric and inhumane. However, many other countries see hanging as a good way to deter crime. I too must admit that I was once one of those persons who supported hanging. However, I have had my journey on that famous Damascus road. To me, hanging achieves nothing and is a waste of time.

I now believe that there is a better way to make use of condemned prisoners - make use of their organs and other body parts. Once these people have been convicted and condemned to death, I think their bodies should be made into reliable organ and other body parts banks.

Take, for example, the constant need for blood. Many times, we hear people dying because of a lack of blood. Now, while it is known that once in prison, many of these prisoners take on unhealthy lifestyles - many do not. Blood can be extracted, on demand, from healthy prisoners and given to people in need. These condemned prisoners can be made to greatly alleviate our common blood shortage crisis.


        This idea will prevent mistaken executions

In concert with this, the internal organs of these prisoners can be donated to people in need. Many times we hear of people in desperate need of a lung, a kidney or some other organ. Many times, many of these people die because no donor is available. Many of these prisoners are healthy enough to be able to live on one kidney or one lung or a few less other body parts. On demand and without the need for their consent, these condemned prisoners can be made into reliable organ suppliers. No life would be lost, but many would be saved.

A few years ago, I hear details about a remarkable surgery that was done in Great Britain. A man who lost both arms in a factory accident was given the arms of a recently deceased man. After some initial problems and with medication, the former factory workerís body began to accept the arms of the dead man. Not very long after, the man was able to have some use of his new arms.

Now, see that this is possible, the arms, fingers, legs and other exteriors of condemned prisoners can be used to give amputees and others a new lease on life. Imagine a man who lost his right hand being able to get one back from one of these condemned prisoners or a woman getting her two legs back? The exteriors of these condemned prisoners can be made readily available to people out there in need.

Now, some may think that I am too extreme. But which is worse - killing some one because they have been convicted of murder or some other serious crime or letting that person live while at the same time saving the lives of others?

Unfortunately, sometimes people are condemned to death mistakenly. When that person is put to death - thatís the end of it. That innocent person cannot be restored to life. With this proposal, if the condemned person was really innocent and his innocence is later proven, he can be set free. He may be short of a few organs and limbs, but at least he would be still alive. In several ways - he can be compensated.

Also, these condemned prisoners would not be in jail wasting time and being a burden to taxpayers. They would truly be making a priceless contribution to society. In many ways, they would be making amends for their heinous crimes.

This proposal, I think, would be a very good compromise between those who want to see these people strung up and those who donít believe in the death penalty.

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* An alternative to hanging?

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