Robert Southwick Richmond

Lethal Injection



Humanely & expediently

the state of North Carolina shot up James Hutchins

(who was playing uproar and plugged three cops)

with medications found safe & effective by the FDA.


I think they dressed him out for sausage

and sent a slice to every biblethumping church in North Carolina

with a bottle of wine, the kind with the label

that has a sheep waiter carrying a lamb chop,

and a note to the effect that this is

(and you better believe it)

my body.

  • Author: Robert Southwick Richmond (Offline Offline)
  • Published: January 15th, 2021 20:16
  • Comment from author about the poem: I wrote this sordid poem some time in the 1980s when I was living in Asheville, North Carolina. I regard capital punishment as an establishment of religion, prohibited under the First Amendment, and this poem takes that strange idea to its logical conclusion.
  • Category: Unclassified
  • Views:


  • Trenz Pruca

    I share your disapproval and appreciate your heartfelt poem.

    • Robert Southwick Richmond

      I've got to find (and I guess buy) a bottle of wine with that motif on the label and then photograph it, possibly after soaking it off.

    • Doggerel Dave

      Took a couple of reads, but I think I'm getting there.
      Capital punishment is just that - punishment. Not only State sanctioned loss of life, but the methods used - hanging, shooting, electric chair, and even this last is, I understand not administered expertly and effectively. Not to mention the premeditated psychological torture or the innocents wrongly convicted. Loathe it all.
      An enquiry at Google relating to First Amendment Capital Punishment yielded some interesting information confirming that oftimes lethal injection methods were shrouded in secrecy. My education continues....
      Although I haven't quite put religion and church into the mix, I wouldn't put anything past them.
      BTW - Voluntary euthanasia is an entirely different matter for me.

    • orchidee

      This sounds like tones at the end of the book of Judges to me. The ghastly story of a murdered concubine cut up, and distributed to all the tribes.
      Yet we are curious. We want to snoop in on TV programmes such as Death Row, if not ghoulishly wishing we were there in person.

    • dusk arising

      There is something wrong with capital punishment. Something wrong with the collective term murderer. How can we class the one off killer who 'murdered' her husband for revenge at his cruelty along with the callous murderer who has killed many in a life of crime?
      Alternatives to capital punishment cost money. It seems a commercial decision to execute and cut costs. But not the way the USA does it.

    • Jerry Reynolds

      Religion is a tricky business.

    • Robert Southwick Richmond

      This poem got the most comments of any of the 25-odd poems I've published on MyPoeticSide in the last month.

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