So if Mme. la Guillotine is introduced, who (apart from LIVE/guage) would be prepared to pull the blade release and clean-up the gore?
Lethal Injection Doctor Defends Method
By Robert Nisbet
Updated: 10:19, Monday October 29, 2007
The American doctor who developed the lethal injection has told Sky News the guillotine is the best way to ensure a swift execution.
Dr A Jay Chapman
The chemical formula developed 30 years ago by Dr A Jay Chapman, when he was Oklahoma's chief medical examiner, is now under intense scrutiny.
The Supreme Court has decided to hear an appeal brought by two inmates on death row in Kentucky.
The legal process has effectively postponed the death penalty in America, with 17 states delaying executions as a direct result of the decision.
Convicted murderers Ralph Baze and Thomas C Bowling claim the injection is a "cruel and unusual punishment", which is outlawed by the US Constitution's eighth amendment.
Prison officials currently administer the drugs cocktail which includes an anaesthetic, a drug to cause paralysis and another to stop the heart.
"In an operating room that is performed by a trained doctor who watches the level of anaesthetic," said Richard Dieter, who runs the Death Penalty Information Centre.
"No one disputes the fact that the next two drugs can be very painful if you're not under an anaesthetic."
But in a rare interview with Sky News at his home in Santa Rosa, California, Dr Chapman defended his invention, saying its opponents were using every legal device possible to force an end to the death penalty.
17 US states are delaying executions
"If there is any pain, it's a stinging type of sensation. It is not the horrific and excruciating pain that has been alleged," he said.
"The best way to ensure a swift execution and the most sure-fire? There is nothing wrong with the guillotine. That is absolutely effective, and if people have a problem with drugs, then bring back the guillotine."
The Supreme Court is unlikely to recommend beheading, although opponents of the death penalty, such as Amnesty International, believe the current court does have a conservative bias.
Of the nine justices, seven were nominated by Republican presidents - the political party which has traditionally supported capital punishment.
It could take as long as six months for the Supreme Court to reach a decision. Until then, most of America's execution chambers will stay locked up.