The 8 March 2015, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie prompt was the term “ktenology.” Yves wrote that the word “has quite a sinister meaning . . . .[ i]t is the science of putting people to death.”
I pondered this prompt for a long time. Capital punishment is a controversial subject. Should it be “an eye for an eye” or life in prison with no hope of parole? With advances in DNA testing, and the investigation of the methods used to extract confessions, the chances of killing an innocent person decrease. Yet, the chance still exists. There is an incredible backlog of evidence to be tested, and juries expect that forensics a la the CSI and NCSI franchises. That’s television, but people mistake it for reality.
There is also the issue of how the executions are carried out. Recent botched lethal injections have led to calls to reinstate the electric chair and gas chamber. There is a current shortage of the two drugs used. Utah just passed a law that if the drugs are not available, the execution will go ahead as planned – by firing squad! Hanging is cheaper and once was a spectator sport.
So, I offer the letter below as a serious and satirical/ironic view of capital punishment. Not trying to raise controversy. Just get folks to consider ktenology and what means.
March 24, 2015
Dear Mrs. B.
It is with great pleasure that I can report the successful fulfillment of the death sentence of L.C. It is unfortunate that you and your family were unable to attend. In case you preferred not to watch the end of L.C’s life via the various media available, I am also pleased to provide you with a detailed description leading up to the actual execution.
You will be happy to know that the event was well attended. Ticket sales alone topped $900,000. My p.r. department reports there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. Thus concession, projectiles, and souvenir stands did an incredible business. Pay-per-view, a trial project, exceeded all expectations, and was viewed in over 200 countries.
The weather was perfect. A beautiful spring day with temperatures in the mid-50s. Death sentences are best carried out in temperatures between 55 and 65. As you know, this will slow decay.
The crowd roared when the prisoner appeared, shackled hand and foot. The bright sun, after the darkness of the dungeon, burned the condemned’s eyes. Within seconds, plastic water bottles, Big Macs, kale, and older Apple smart-phones were hurled. While most missed, there were some direct hits. One gentlemen, interviewed by Fox, said he had been practicing his throw since learning that all appeals were forbidden by the Supreme Court. He proudly showed off his sons ages 5, 9, and 13. All 3 stated that this had been better than last year’s trip to Disney Land.
I will save you the actual details of the death. It might bring back too many memories. However, I am enclosing a blood-stained piece of the prison uniform, signed by myself and the executioners, and tastefully framed to suit any wall or mantle.
I should add the Blu-ray and streaming video will be available, generating additional monies. With this large infusion of cash, we can keep the prison functioning until August. The next execution is scheduled for early July.
Thank you again for your patience. I realize that five months is a long time to wait. We do apologize. Now that new laws are in place, no family need suffer like yours.
If there is any thing I can do to be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to call me. We now have a 1-800 number: 1-800-555-5555.
Warden and Event Planner
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