Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Secret Poison

South Dakota's Attorney General announced today that he wants the state legislature to protect the names of the manufacturers of the poisons used to kill criminals sentenced to death.

To which I reply--in appeal to the Christians of South Dakota, at least--the scriptures condemn those who make poisons to kill other people for profit.  Why then should we offer them a special protection here in our state?

The answer appears to be that if the producers' names become public, they may be shamed into no longer selling human-killing drugs. What they do may be legal, but let them at least face the scrutiny of the marketplace. 

If you're ashamed of what you sell, maybe you shouldn't sell it any more. 


Unless you're Mossynoecians, that is.  The Mossynoecians are mentioned in several ancient texts, notably Xenophon's Anabasis and Apollonius Rhodius' Argonautica. They surprised Greek visitors because they regarded love and procreation to be public goods that could be practiced outdoors, while they regarded commerce to be dirty and shameful, something to be practiced indoors.  But I take it South Dakota is more like the Greeks than the Mossynoecians.

1 comment:

  1. One would hope that we are big enough grownups to handle a discussion in the daylight about how we implement capital punishment. But it seems that so much that is done in the public's name is shielded from scrutiny and/or willingly ignored. Not sure what to do about that, but it certainly presents a challenge to democratic practice. Sigh.