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Trading with the (former) enemy

Nothing sends our friends on the left side of the aisle into ecstasy quite like warming up relations with former enemy nations that remain communist.  Those of us who are old enough remember the China-mania that followed ping-pong diplomacy and the Nixon trip.  Later, there were the media rhapsodies over the soon-to-collapse Soviet Union that Rush Limbaugh called "Gorbasms."

So this story from AFP suggests a fruitful new basis of expanded trade with Vietnam that should make our friends delirious.

Vietnam executed its first prisoner by lethal injection on Tuesday, state media said, after a two-year hiatus in carrying out capital punishments due to problems procuring the chemicals.

The communist country stopped using firing squads in July 2011 in favour of "more humane" lethal injections but was unable to import the necessary drugs due to a European Union export ban.

In May this year, Vietnam amended the law to allow locally-produced chemicals to be used, a move which was widely expected to bring about a resumption of executions.

On Tuesday the first death row prisoner, convicted murderer Nguyen Anh Tuan, was administered three injections "for anaesthesia, paralysing the nervous and muscle system, and stopping the heart", according to an online report in the Thanh Nien newspaper.

We will probably have some FDA issues to clear out first.  But then let's start placing orders.


Wicked, Kent, wicked.

I've always have off the wall ideas for problems like this (probably from all of my chapter 11 / 13 clients hare-brained business schemes) so:

1. How hard is it to manufacture these chemicals? Could we just buy a trailer in Kern or Bakersfield county and hire a local "chemist" to produce them and sell at a high markup to various correctional departments?
2. It seems like a lot of people commit suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning. It stands to reason a person committing suicide would choose a relatively painless way. Couldn't we just hook up a diesel exhaust port into a gas chamber and that would do the trick?

1. Apparently harder than one would think. I have floated the "let's make our own" idea only to be told by people more knowledgeable that this is a tough row to hoe.

2. From the beginning, I have said that we never should have gone to lethal injection but instead just changed gases for the gas chamber. Carbon monoxide is nearly painless. So, too, is hypoxia from displacement of oxygen with a neutral gas such as nitrogen or argon.

Politically, though, it's a nonstarter.

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