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[SUBMITTED] The Violet Mile

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Nation of Quebec
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[SUBMITTED] The Violet Mile

Postby Nation of Quebec » Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:26 pm

It's been a while since I've posted an issue here, but like Candle I wanted to throw my hat into the writer's ring again for old time's sake.

This issue is one of the ones that the team requested, specifically looking at alternatives to lethal injection. This is different than #318, which is about getting rid of the death penalty and making it more humane. This is a six-option issue, but I think for an issue like this, that many options are justified. I was thinking of another option to declare war on a NPC nation that has large supplies of the drug in order to keep lethal injections going, but that might be too many options.

I tried to come up with as many different execution methods as possible while keeping it PG-13. Some of them were pretty damn brutal. I'm happy with the ones I went with, but I welcome suggestions.

I was going to go with a Gladiator option, but I think that's already been done. I went with an ultra-violent Japanese game show instead, similar to that Doctor Who episode that had ultra-violent versions of modern shows.

The issue has now been submitted due to a lack of final comments.

Title

The Violet Mile

Description

With an increasing number of inmates on death row, more commonly referred to as The Violet Mile, concerned experts from all walks of life have asked you about which method of capital punishment is the best to use on @@NAME@@'s felons.

Validity

Capital punishment not banned

Options

[option]"Lethal injection is by far the most efficient and humane method of execution," suggests a wild-eyed and grey-haired scientist who looks as if he hasn't slept in twenty years. "If you give my team some funding, we can produce a drug that will easily dispose of these worthless criminals. Granted, these drugs are still in the experimental phase and will require some tweaking to get right, but I'm sure you won't mind if we experiment on some of the scumbags, right?"
[effect]the government is denying reports that criminals injected with experimental drugs have turned into monstrous supervillains

[option]"BURN THEM! BURN THEM AT THE STAKE!" shrieks obnoxious religious television personality @@RANDOMMALENAME@@ as he cons some of your staffers out of their @@CURRENCY@@s. "We must burn these evildoers at the stake. Fire will help cleanse us of their sins and save us from eternal damnation! We must please the Creator and purge ourselves of this evil. Only then will @@NAME@@ be truly saved!"
[effect]criminals and citizens who believe the world revolves around the sun are burned at the stake

[option]"What's wrong with a good, old-fashioned hanging?" proposes @@RANDOMNAME@@, a historical reenactor seen dressed in period costume. "We can hang the criminals in the town square, right in front of the watchful eyes of the public in @@CAPITAL@@. We could even sell different fruits and vegetables for the people to throw at 'em before we hang 'em! Ah, it'll be a fine public spectacle, just like in the old days. That'll give the rest of 'em something to think about before breaking the law!"
[effect]criminals are hanged in @@CAPITAL@@ for all to see.

[option]"How about a method that's fun for both criminals and viewers alike?" exclaims sleazy reality show producer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The best thing to do is to place criminals in an ultra-violent game show, where the obstacles can literally kill them. If they survive, they win their freedom. If they don't, well, at least the ratings will by through the roof!"
[effect]the controversial 'How Do You Want To Die?' game show is a ratings success

[option]"Kill the death penalty!" ironically chants peace activist @@RANDOMNAME@@, after climbing through your window. "Cull government sanctioned murder! Destroy these needless acts of revenge violence! An eye for an eye makes the world go blind!" The protester is quickly tackled by your bodyguards and dragged out of the room, never to be seen again.
[effect]sales of violent movies and video games have skyrocketed after capital punishment was outlawed


Title

Another Way To Die

Description

With capital punishment is legal in @@NAME@@, experts from all walks of life have clamored in your office to determine which method to use on @@NAME@@'s criminal population.

Validity

Capital punishment not banned

Options

[option]"Lethal injection is by far the most efficient and humane method of execution," suggests a wild-eyed and grey haired scientist who looks as if he hasn't slept in twenty years. "If you give my team some funding, we can produce a drug that will easily dispose of these worthless scum. Granted, these drugs are still in the experimental phase and will require some tweaking to get right, but I'm sure you won't mind if we experiment on some of the scumbags, right?"
[effect]the government is denying reports that criminals injected with experimental drugs have turned into monstrous supervillains

[option]"How about the electric chair?" recommends an overweight and shirtless hooded executioner while flicking your light switches on and off. "Who doesn't love to see the subject twitch and scream before the brain gets fried? Yeah, they'll needlessly suffer, but that's the point. If that's not justice and being tough on crime, I don't know what is."
[effect]@@NAME@@ is experiencing rolling brownouts due to a high number of electrocutions

[option]"What's wrong with a good, old fashioned hanging?" proposes @@RANDOMNAME@@, a historical reenactor seen dressed in period costume. "We can hang the criminals and traitors in the public square right in front of the watchful eyes of the government in @@CAPITAL@@. We could even sell different fruits and vegetables for the people to throw at 'em before we hang 'em! Ah, it'll be a fine public spectacle, just like in the old days. That'll give the rest of 'em something to think about before breaking the law!"
[effect]criminals are hanged in @@CAPITAL@@ for all to see.

[option]"Why not a method that's both humane and inexpensive?" interjects the ambassador to Tasmania, a nation founded by Maxtopian convicts. "Why not deport all your criminals and send them off to a deserted island somewhere? The criminals can either fight among themselves until one is king of their own personal hell or work together to build a new society. You'll be praised for your humanity while also being tough on crime. You can't beat that."
[effect]@@NAME@@'s convicts have formed their own nation after being deported

[option]"How about a method that's fun for both criminals and viewers alike?" exclaims sleazy reality show producer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The best thing to do is to place criminals in an ultra-violent game show, where the obstacles can literally kill them. If they survive, they win their freedom. If they don't, well, at least the ratings will by through the roof!"
[effect]ratings for the controversial 'How Do You Want To Die?' game show is a ratings success

[option]"Kill the death penalty!" ironically chants peace activist @@RANDOMNAME@@, after climbing through your window. "Cull government sanctioned murder! Destroy these needless acts of revenge violence! An eye for an eye makes the world go blind!" The protester is quickly tackled by your bodyguards and dragged out of the room, never to be seen again.
[effect]sales of violent movies and video games have skyrocketed after capital punishment was outlawed



Title

Another Way To Die

Description

Now that capital punishment is legal, experts from all walks of life have clamored in your office to determine which method to use on @@NAME@@'s criminal population.

Validity

Capital punishment not banned

Options

[option]"Lethal injection is by far the most efficient method of execution," rebuffs a wild-eyed and grey haired scientist who looks as if he hasn't slept in twenty years. "If you give my team some funding, we can produce a drug that will easily dispose of these worthless scum. Granted, these drugs are still in the experimental phase and will require some tweaking to get right, but I'm sure you won't mind if we experiment on some of the scumbags, right?"
[effect]the government is denying reports that criminals injected with experimental drugs have turned into monstrous supervillains

[option]"How about the electric chair?" suggests an overweight and shirtless hooded executioner while flicking your light switches on and off. "Who doesn't love to see the subject twitch and scream before the brain gets fried? If that's not justice and being tough on crime, I don't know what is."
[effect]@@NAME@@ is experiencing rolling brownouts due to a high number of electrocutions

[option]"OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!" screeches @@RANDOMNAME@@, an actor who highlights as a knight at Medieval Land. "How about we bring back the guillotine? Yeah, it's probably one of the most brutal methods out there, but I think the risk of losing your head would be a good deterrent to any potential criminal who wants to create trouble in @@NAME@@."
[effect]@@NAME@@ proudly boasts that it has the world's largest guillotine

[option]"What's wrong with a good, old fashioned hanging?" proposes @@RANDOMNAME@@, a historical reenactor seen dressed in period costume. "We can hang the criminals and traitors in the public square right in front of the watchful eyes of the government in @@CAPITAL@@. We could even sell different fruits and vegetables for the people to throw at 'em before we hang 'em! Ah, it'll be a fine public spectacle, just like in the old days. That'll give the rest of 'em something to think about before breaking the law!"
[effect]traitors are hanged in @@CAPITAL@@ for all to see.

[option]"Why not a firing squad?" queries @@RANDOMNAME@@, a high ranking military official with an itchy trigger finger while brandishing a machine gun at your face. "Sure, it's much more violent than a hanging, but that's the point. We have to send a message that crime is not permitted in this great @@TYPE@@. Besides, it's probably the least expensive option here. Come on, @@LEADER@@, you know you want to." The official accidentally pulls the trigger. "Oops. Good thing the safety was still on."
[effect]criminals and political dissidents alike going outside to avoid @@NAME@@'s firing squads

[option]"Actually, I have a method that's inexpensive and by far the most humane," interjects the ambassador to Tasmania, a nation founded by Maxtopian convicts. "Why not deport all your criminals and send them off to a deserted island somewhere? The criminals can either fight among themselves until one is king of their own personal hell or work together to build a new society. You'll be praised for your humanity while also being tough on crime. You can't beat that."
[effect]@@NAME@@'s convicts have formed their own nation after being deported

[option]"How about a method that's fun for both criminals and viewers alike?" exclaims sleazy reality show producer @@RANDOMNAME@@. "The best thing to do is to place criminals in an ultra-violent game show, where the obstacles can literally kill them. If they survive, they win their freedom. If they don't, well, at least the ratings will by through the roof!"
[effect]ratings for the controversial 'How Do You Want To Die?' game show have hit an all time high

[option]"Kill the death penalty!" ironically chants peace activist @@RANDOMNAME@@, after climbing through your window. "Cull government sanctioned murder! Destroy these needless acts of revenge violence! An eye for an eye makes the world go blind!" The protester is quickly tackled by your bodyguards and dragged out of the room, never to be seen again.
[effect]sales of violent movies and video games have skyrocketed after capital punishment was outlawed


Title

Another Way To Die

Description

@@NAME@@ is quickly running out of Maxium Barrythol, a drug used in lethal injections. The shortage has halted executions as both law enforcement and activists alike have crammed into your office demanding that they be allowed to use alternative execution methods.

Validity

Capital punishment not banned

Options

[option]"How about the electric chair?" suggests an overweight and shirtless hooded executioner while flicking your light switches on and off. "Who doesn't love to see a bad guy twitch and scream before their brain gets fried? If that's not justice, I don't know what is."
[effect]@@NAME@@ is experiencing rolling brownouts due to a high number of electrocutions

[option]"OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!" screeches @@RANDOMNAME@@, CEO of a major iron production company who also highlights as a knight at Medieval Land. "How about we bring back the guillotine? My company can even provide the blades so long as you'll give a tasteful nod to your sponsors."
[effect]the private sector often sponsors state executions

[option]"What's wrong with a good, old fashioned hanging?" proposes @@RANDOMNAME@@, a historical reenactor seen dressed in period costume. "We can hang the criminals and traitors in the public square right in front of the watchful eyes of the government in @@CAPITAL@@. We could even sell different fruits and vegetables for the people to throw at 'em before we hang 'em! Ah, it'll be a fine public spectacle, just like in the old days. That'll give the rest of 'em something to think about before thinking about breaking the law!"
[effect]traitors are hanged in @@CAPITAL@@ for all to see.

[option]"THOU SHALT PAY FOR THY SINS!" proclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, the leader of a religion that isn't made clear. "You must put executions in the hands of our leadership, not yours. In fact, @@NAME@@ needs to be held under our religious law and any sinner who disobeys will be punished according to divine law! You best stay out of it, @@LEADER@@, least we reveal details of your sordid personal life to the masses."
[effect]the Police of Vice and Virtue brutally execute anyone who disobeys @@NAME@@'s strict religious law

[option]"The last thing I want is some religious nut telling me how to live my life!" exclaims sleazy reality show producer @@RANDOMMALENAME@@ as he offends the religious leader by committing at least two simultaneous, unspecific sins. "The best thing to do is to place criminals in an ultra-violent game show, where the obstacles can literally kill them. If they survive, they win their freedom. If they don't, well, at least the ratings will by through the roof!"
[effect]ratings for the controversial 'How Do You Want To Die?' game show have hit an all time high

[option]"Kill the death penalty!" ironically chants peace activist @@RANDOMNAME@@, after climbing through your window. "Cull government sanctioned murder! Destroy these needless acts of revenge violence! An eye for an eye makes the world go blind!" The protester is quickly tackled by your bodyguards and dragged out of the room, never to be seen again.
[effect]sales of violent movies and video games have skyrocketed after capital punishment was outlawed
Last edited by Nation of Quebec on Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:28 pm, edited 19 times in total.
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Almonaster Nuevo
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Postby Almonaster Nuevo » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:25 pm

I know there are a lot of options already, but I rather expected a mad scientist to to pop up...

"And just why are we short of Maxium Barrythol™ in the first place?" asks %RANDOMNAME%, who claims to be speaking for an obscure chemical manufacturer. "I'll tell you in one word: over-regulation! Strip away the restrictions, give us a little funding and we can re-supply you well before any other method could be introduced. We've also got some new experimental drugs in the pipeline. If you would allow us to test them on these worthless scum I'm sure they would be very effective, with an absolute minimum of pain and hallucinations."
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:33 pm

Nation of Quebec wrote:This issue is one of the ones that the team requested, specifically looking at alternatives to lethal injection. This is different than #318, which is about getting rid of the death penalty and making it more humane.
I did always like the effect line for option 3, though.

[effect]criminals are put to death while cuddling their favourite teddy bear

Nation of Quebec wrote:I tried to come up with as many different execution methods as possible while keeping it PG-13. Some of them were pretty damn brutal. I'm happy with the ones I went with, but I welcome suggestions.
Just for fun, before continuing to read, I made a list of my own that I could think of, to see how much overlap we'd have.

Turns out, the main one you missed is death by firing squad.

Nation of Quebec wrote:I was going to go with a Gladiator option, but I think that's already been done. I went with an ultra-violent Japanese game show instead, similar to that Doctor Who episode that had ultra-violent versions of modern shows.
Gladiatorial combat for criminals has been done in #239 option 3 and #533 option 3. Gladiatorial combat for other reasons happens in #239 option 1, #501 option 3, and #549 option 1.

Deadly game shows have been done (sorta) in #047 option 3.

There are more organized ways to use animals to help in executions without giving criminals even a symbolic chance to fight back, such as crushing by elephant. Though that would be applicable for very few national animals.

Nation of Quebec wrote:@@NAME@@ is quickly running out of Maxium Barrythol, a drug used in lethal injections.
Can't you just make some more? I mean, we're constantly synthesizing many drugs of all sorts, and many of those need to be taken continuously for weeks. At least with lethal injections, any patient only ever needs one dosage. And you're probably not trying to execute your entire population (though with NationStates nations, you never know).

Is execution by lethal injection really that much more expensive than other methods?

You're also assuming that all nations which use the death penalty prefer lethal injection by default, yet can't stick to it or go back to it after moving to something else with this issue. I don't see what makes lethal injection so special that it deserves to be treated as both more and less easy to get than other execution methods. In fact, your electric chair option still mentions a supply shortage in the effect line.

Also keep in mind that a premise like this would keep the issue from being reusable, since once you've answered it once you can't run out of the drug again, since you're not using it anymore. Even though players might want to change their opinion.

Lastly, you do relatively little to explain political advantages of one method versus another. You do justify this a little with the hanging option (specifically highlighting the public nature of the execution and encouraging public participation, so clearly not the compassionate option), and the beheading option has corporate sponsorship rather arbitrarily tacked on (you'd think electric chairs would be higher-tech and so be more likely to involve specialist companies), but still a lot of it comes down to different ways to do the same thing.

Nation of Quebec wrote:"Who doesn't love to see a bad guy twitch and scream before their brain gets fried?"
"His brain". (Or "the bad guys".)

Nation of Quebec wrote:[option]"THOU SHALT PAY FOR THY SINS!" proclaims @@RANDOMNAME@@, the leader of a religion that isn't made clear. "You must put executions in the hands of our leadership, not yours. In fact, @@NAME@@ needs to be held under our religious law any sinner who disobeys will be punished according to divine law! You best stay out of it, @@LEADER@@, least we reveal details of your sordid personal life to the masses."
[effect]the Police of Vice and Virtue brutally execute anyone who disobeys @@NAME@@'s strict religious law
Huh, this isn't actually specifying any particular execution method. It's just going off and doing something unrelated to the rest of the issue (who gets sentenced, rather than how the sentence gets carried out).

However, it does remind me of two execution methods that I missed from my list: stoning (favored by Jews and Muslims) and burning at the stake (favored by Christians).
Last edited by Trotterdam on Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A Humanist Science
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Postby A Humanist Science » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:42 pm

[option]"What's wrong with a good, old fashioned hanging?" proposes @@RANDOMNAME@@, a historical reenactor seen dressed in period costume. "We can hang the criminals and traitors in the public square right in front of the watchful eyes of the government in @@CAPITAL@@. We could even sell different fruits and vegetables for the people to throw at 'em before we hang 'em! Ah, it'll be a fine public spectacle, just like in the old days. That'll give the rest of 'em something to think about before thinking about breaking the law!"
[effect]traitors are hanged in @@CAPITAL@@ for all to see.


Trotterdam wrote:
Nation of Quebec wrote:"Who doesn't love to see a bad guy twitch and scream before their brain gets fried?"
"His brain". (Or "the bad guys".)


"subject" and "the brain"

Who doesn't love to see the subject twitch and scream before the brain gets fried?


Depersonalization provides for a more sinister sounding option. Also resolves the his/her/their thing.

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Postby Trotterdam » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:01 pm

Another execution method I thought of: nothing. Just dump people somewhere and wait for them to die of thirst (or hunger, if you feel like putting in just enough effort to supply them with water to prolong their suffering).

It's delightfully cruel and it's completely free! What's not to love?

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Nation of Quebec
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Postby Nation of Quebec » Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:06 pm

Almonaster Nuevo wrote:I know there are a lot of options already, but I rather expected a mad scientist to to pop up...

"And just why are we short of Maxium Barrythol™ in the first place?" asks %RANDOMNAME%, who claims to be speaking for an obscure chemical manufacturer. "I'll tell you in one word: over-regulation! Strip away the restrictions, give us a little funding and we can re-supply you well before any other method could be introduced. We've also got some new experimental drugs in the pipeline. If you would allow us to test them on these worthless scum I'm sure they would be very effective, with an absolute minimum of pain and hallucinations."


That's actually a very good suggestion, I've added that one in with some minor tweaks. The idea reminded me of the plot for the last season of Gotham, which is what the new effect line references.

A Humanist Science wrote:
[option]"What's wrong with a good, old fashioned hanging?" proposes @@RANDOMNAME@@, a historical reenactor seen dressed in period costume. "We can hang the criminals and traitors in the public square right in front of the watchful eyes of the government in @@CAPITAL@@. We could even sell different fruits and vegetables for the people to throw at 'em before we hang 'em! Ah, it'll be a fine public spectacle, just like in the old days. That'll give the rest of 'em something to think about before thinking about breaking the law!"
[effect]traitors are hanged in @@CAPITAL@@ for all to see.

Who doesn't love to see the subject twitch and scream before the brain gets fried?


Good call. I went with that.

Trotterdam wrote:*snip*.


Regarding the drug, I've added a new option about producing more and removing government regulations, thanks to Almonaster Nuevo's excellent suggestion.

As for the premise, I always thought that lethal injections were the most common method of execution, especially in the United States. It would be interesting to see some stats on that. Chances are this will need to be an issue that you can only get once.

Some of the options reference a political advantage, others don't. I've tweaked some of the options slightly to reflect the political aspect, namely more brutal choices send a message that you're tough on crime.

I avoided using @@ANIMALS@@ for that very reason, though I have to admit it would be funny to an effect line that read "criminals are executed by

After some thought, I've nixed the religious option and replaced it with the firing squad. This issue now has a total of eight option. Chances are it'll lose a couple once this makes it to the editing process, but it's a fun and semi-silly issue about a serious topic, and those issues where you have to choose from a long list of choices tend to call for more options than fewer.

How does the revised version look?

Trotterdam wrote:Another execution method I thought of: nothing. Just dump people somewhere and wait for them to die of thirst (or hunger, if you feel like putting in just enough effort to supply them with water to prolong their suffering).

It's delightfully cruel and it's completely free! What's not to love?


I took out the religious option and went with that one instead. I used Wezeltonia as a quasi-Australia parody (a nation founded by convicts) since that NPC nation is so rarely used.
Last edited by Nation of Quebec on Fri Jul 15, 2016 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Australian rePublic » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:54 pm

8 options? Isn't that a bit much?
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Postby Trotterdam » Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:40 pm

Nation of Quebec wrote:As for the premise, I always thought that lethal injections were the most common method of execution, especially in the United States. It would be interesting to see some stats on that. Chances are this will need to be an issue that you can only get once.
I've done some research.

Lethal injection is the primary method of execution in the US, but is fairly rare elsewhere, being used in only four other nations (China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Guatemala - plus one, the Philippines, that formerly used lethal injection but has since abolished the death penalty).

Hanging is still common in many countries, such as most of the Middle East, and Japan (the only first-world country besides the US to retain capital punishment - exclusively by hanging, but not publicly), and seems to be the standard globally, with the US and China being the notable exceptions. 2-3 US states still allow hanging as a backup method or voluntary alternative, but prefer lethal injection.

Beheading by sword is used as the primary method in Saudi Arabia, which is also one of the few countries to still carry out public executions.

Lethal injection was originally introduced as a more humane and painless alternative to earlier and more traditional methods of execution, so this issue's approach, treating it as the old method that's no longer practiceable so we're looking for a new one, is historically backwards. Most nations simply never made the transition to lethal injection.

An interesting tidbit suggests that the shortage of certain drugs used in capital punishment is primarily due to drug companies refusing to sell them.
Wikipedia wrote:Hospira, the only U.S. manufacturer of sodium thiopental, stopped making the drug in 2011. Since then, some states have used other anesthetics, such as pentobarbital or midazolam. In 2015 imports of sodium thiopental for Texas and Arkansas from an Indian supplier not approved for the U.S. were seized by federal officials at airports. In 2016 it was reported that more than 20 U.S. and European drug manufacturers including Pfizer (the owner of Hospira) had taken steps to prevent their drugs from being used for lethal injections.
Wikipedia wrote:After sodium thiopental began being used in executions, Hospira, the only American company that made the drug, stopped manufacturing it due to its use in executions. The subsequent nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental led states to seek for other drugs. Pentobarbital, a drug often used for animal euthanasia, was used as part of a three drug cocktail for the first time on December 16, 2010, when John David Duty was executed in Oklahoma. It was then used as the drug in a single drug execution for the first time on March 10, 2011, when Johnnie Baston was executed in Ohio.
This is very interesting and casts the shortage in a rather different light from your issue, which presents it as an actual lack of resources and has the usual "evil capitalists" offering solutions if only you'd relax some regulations / etc.

Nation of Quebec wrote:After some thought, I've nixed the religious option and replaced it with the firing squad.
You kept the "The last thing I want is some religious nut telling me how to live my life!" line despite removing the option it's responding to.

Nation of Quebec wrote:I took out the religious option and went with that one instead.
...You took out the religious option twice? ;)

Leaving prisoners free to forage for their own food isn't what I was envisioning with that suggestion.

Nation of Quebec wrote:I used Wezeltonia as a quasi-Australia parody (a nation founded by convicts) since that NPC nation is so rarely used.
I guess NationStates doesn't have much use for nations that are competently evil, rather than mired in corruption and terrorism. Even Blackacre is stuck harassing you in a cold war.

I think that Wezeltonia doesn't get used much because the one thing it did do (conquer a part of your nation!) is impressive enough that it seems disrespectful to use it for lesser purposes.

As for quasi-Australia parodies, it's interesting to note that Tasmania is canon in NationStates, although its political situation is rather different than the real Tasmania.

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Nation of Quebec
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Postby Nation of Quebec » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:19 am

Regarding the number of options in this issue, chances are that a few of them will be cut during the editing process. We have a couple issues with multiple options like the one about your favorite color, but since there are so many different execution methods out there, it made more sense for this issue to have more options than not.

Trotterdam wrote:
Nation of Quebec wrote:As for the premise, I always thought that lethal injections were the most common method of execution, especially in the United States. It would be interesting to see some stats on that. Chances are this will need to be an issue that you can only get once.
I've done some research.

Lethal injection is the primary method of execution in the US, but is fairly rare elsewhere, being used in only four other nations (China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Guatemala - plus one, the Philippines, that formerly used lethal injection but has since abolished the death penalty).

Hanging is still common in many countries, such as most of the Middle East, and Japan (the only first-world country besides the US to retain capital punishment - exclusively by hanging, but not publicly), and seems to be the standard globally, with the US and China being the notable exceptions. 2-3 US states still allow hanging as a backup method or voluntary alternative, but prefer lethal injection.

Beheading by sword is used as the primary method in Saudi Arabia, which is also one of the few countries to still carry out public executions.

Lethal injection was originally introduced as a more humane and painless alternative to earlier and more traditional methods of execution, so this issue's approach, treating it as the old method that's no longer practiceable so we're looking for a new one, is historically backwards. Most nations simply never made the transition to lethal injection.

An interesting tidbit suggests that the shortage of certain drugs used in capital punishment is primarily due to drug companies refusing to sell them.
Wikipedia wrote:Hospira, the only U.S. manufacturer of sodium thiopental, stopped making the drug in 2011. Since then, some states have used other anesthetics, such as pentobarbital or midazolam. In 2015 imports of sodium thiopental for Texas and Arkansas from an Indian supplier not approved for the U.S. were seized by federal officials at airports. In 2016 it was reported that more than 20 U.S. and European drug manufacturers including Pfizer (the owner of Hospira) had taken steps to prevent their drugs from being used for lethal injections.
Wikipedia wrote:After sodium thiopental began being used in executions, Hospira, the only American company that made the drug, stopped manufacturing it due to its use in executions. The subsequent nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental led states to seek for other drugs. Pentobarbital, a drug often used for animal euthanasia, was used as part of a three drug cocktail for the first time on December 16, 2010, when John David Duty was executed in Oklahoma. It was then used as the drug in a single drug execution for the first time on March 10, 2011, when Johnnie Baston was executed in Ohio.
This is very interesting and casts the shortage in a rather different light from your issue, which presents it as an actual lack of resources and has the usual "evil capitalists" offering solutions if only you'd relax some regulations / etc.

Nation of Quebec wrote:After some thought, I've nixed the religious option and replaced it with the firing squad.
You kept the "The last thing I want is some religious nut telling me how to live my life!" line despite removing the option it's responding to.

Nation of Quebec wrote:I took out the religious option and went with that one instead.
...You took out the religious option twice? ;)

Leaving prisoners free to forage for their own food isn't what I was envisioning with that suggestion.

Nation of Quebec wrote:I used Wezeltonia as a quasi-Australia parody (a nation founded by convicts) since that NPC nation is so rarely used.
I guess NationStates doesn't have much use for nations that are competently evil, rather than mired in corruption and terrorism. Even Blackacre is stuck harassing you in a cold war.

I think that Wezeltonia doesn't get used much because the one thing it did do (conquer a part of your nation!) is impressive enough that it seems disrespectful to use it for lesser purposes.

As for quasi-Australia parodies, it's interesting to note that Tasmania is canon in NationStates, although its political situation is rather different than the real Tasmania.


Regarding the death penalty stats, I went with lethal injection as it is the most common method used in the US. I suppose I could change the premise of the issue so that it doesn't say what method you use, only that you have the death penalty and are trying to figure out what method you want to go with. Then the shortage of lethal injection drugs can be a follow up issue to this one. Actually, I think I just might go with that so that it doesn't make an assumption about your nation.

The "evil capitalist" option has now been replaced with a mad scientist option advocating for lethal injection, now that the premise of the issue has changed. Also changed around the behading option so the character isn't a CEO, but rather an actor who works for a Medieval Times-esque type of place.

I changed Wezeltonia to Tasmania. It's founded by Maxtopian criminals
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Postby Outer Sparta » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:22 am

For the effect line on the guillotine option, change boats to boasts.
I don't stand with Ukraine. I don't stand with Russia. I don't stand with the US, NATO, or EU. I stand with the innocent civilians being caught in the crossfire while the politicians, the media, and weapons manufacturers continue to stoke division and conflict in their geopolitical chess games and treat the people of Ukraine as mere pawns. Zelensky is a corrupt, opportunist oligarchic politician who is not fit to lead Ukraine through anything and wants to inflate his own ego and offshore accounts.

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Postby Nation of Quebec » Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:23 am

Outer Sparta wrote:For the effect line on the guillotine option, change boats to boasts.


*facepalm* Good catch. Sometimes you forget about the little things.
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Postby Trotterdam » Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:56 pm

Please don't spoiler-tag the most recent form of a draft.

So, I'm still concerned about what these options mean, politically. You've added lines to many of the options mentioning that they're tough on crime, but that's overused to the point of sounding like a broken record. Which methods aren't tough on crime?

In real life, many execution methods, such as lethal injection, electrocution, and beheading, were all introduced and advertised as "more humane" than previous methods. (The guillotine is seen as brutal now due to its tyrannical overuse in the French Revolution, but it was originally presented as a way to remove the head faster and easier than the older form of beheading by sword or axe, making the execution more painless.) Whether these methods actually are as humane as they claim to be is a matter of debate, but that is the intent.

Death by firing squad (or single shooter) is strongly associated with the military. It probably started as a matter of convenience - the military, by its very nature, has lots of guns anyway, so even if it wants to kill someone as punishment rather than in combat, using them is just the expedient approach. This makes it a simple no-nonsense form of execution, not trying to be cruel but also not trying to sugarcoat the act of killing someone. As such, it is to be expected of military dictatorships, and nations that want to evoke a sense of "military discipline". However, it has also come to be seen as a more respectful form of execution - it's sort of treating you as an enemy combatant and letting you "die like a soldier". (For example, when Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death in Iraq, he demanded to be executed by firing squad rather than hanged like a common thug. He didn't get his wish.)

Of course, many other (mainly earlier) execution methods were designed to be painful and/or humiliating, to serve as additional punishment.

Stoning is quite a slow and painful way to die, but I think the real point is that it emphasizes crowd participation: the victim is being condemned by the entire community, rather than just by a government executioner. At least in theory (though probably not so much in practice), the people could simply refuse to cooperate if they disagree with the government's ruling.

Hanging I'm not so sure of. It doesn't go too obviously one way or another. It doesn't help that the meaning of "hanging" has evolved over time, as short drop and long drop hanging look similar but actually function quite differently. Hanging may simply be the "neutral" form of execution, used because it's simple, familiar, and works well enough. It's been in use long enough to have symbolic value. It may be seen as a "cleaner" death because a correctly-performed hanging leaves the body fairly intact, while being lower-tech than lethal injection.

Of course, "humane" is relative:
Let's not go into what the original sentence was. wrote:In the 1637 case, where the Jew had murdered a Christian jeweller, the appeal to the empress was successful, and out of mercy, the Jew was condemned to be merely pinched with glowing pincers, have hot lead dripped into his wounds, and then be broken alive on the wheel.


It may help to decide on political differences first, then devise execution methods to match. I would suggest trying to have approximately the following options:
  • One method that's intended to be humane, killing the convict with a minimum of pain.
  • One method that's as cruel as reasonably possible under a PG-13 rating.
  • One method that emphasizes public viewing (this could be combined with the cruelty option, but need not be), or even public participation.
  • One method that tries to get some use out of the condemned's remaining life (mad science experimentation, deadly game shows, military suicide missions, whatever).
  • One option for abolishing the death penalty.
And that leaves room for maybe one wildcard option.

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Postby Nation of Quebec » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:20 pm

Trotterdam wrote:Please don't spoiler-tag the most recent form of a draft.

So, I'm still concerned about what these options mean, politically. You've added lines to many of the options mentioning that they're tough on crime, but that's overused to the point of sounding like a broken record. Which methods aren't tough on crime?

In real life, many execution methods, such as lethal injection, electrocution, and beheading, were all introduced and advertised as "more humane" than previous methods. (The guillotine is seen as brutal now due to its tyrannical overuse in the French Revolution, but it was originally presented as a way to remove the head faster and easier than the older form of beheading by sword or axe, making the execution more painless.) Whether these methods actually are as humane as they claim to be is a matter of debate, but that is the intent.

Death by firing squad (or single shooter) is strongly associated with the military. It probably started as a matter of convenience - the military, by its very nature, has lots of guns anyway, so even if it wants to kill someone as punishment rather than in combat, using them is just the expedient approach. This makes it a simple no-nonsense form of execution, not trying to be cruel but also not trying to sugarcoat the act of killing someone. As such, it is to be expected of military dictatorships, and nations that want to evoke a sense of "military discipline". However, it has also come to be seen as a more respectful form of execution - it's sort of treating you as an enemy combatant and letting you "die like a soldier". (For example, when Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death in Iraq, he demanded to be executed by firing squad rather than hanged like a common thug. He didn't get his wish.)

Of course, many other (mainly earlier) execution methods were designed to be painful and/or humiliating, to serve as additional punishment.

Stoning is quite a slow and painful way to die, but I think the real point is that it emphasizes crowd participation: the victim is being condemned by the entire community, rather than just by a government executioner. At least in theory (though probably not so much in practice), the people could simply refuse to cooperate if they disagree with the government's ruling.

Hanging I'm not so sure of. It doesn't go too obviously one way or another. It doesn't help that the meaning of "hanging" has evolved over time, as short drop and long drop hanging look similar but actually function quite differently. Hanging may simply be the "neutral" form of execution, used because it's simple, familiar, and works well enough. It's been in use long enough to have symbolic value. It may be seen as a "cleaner" death because a correctly-performed hanging leaves the body fairly intact, while being lower-tech than lethal injection.

Of course, "humane" is relative:
Let's not go into what the original sentence was. wrote:In the 1637 case, where the Jew had murdered a Christian jeweller, the appeal to the empress was successful, and out of mercy, the Jew was condemned to be merely pinched with glowing pincers, have hot lead dripped into his wounds, and then be broken alive on the wheel.


It may help to decide on political differences first, then devise execution methods to match. I would suggest trying to have approximately the following options:
  • One method that's intended to be humane, killing the convict with a minimum of pain.
  • One method that's as cruel as reasonably possible under a PG-13 rating.
  • One method that emphasizes public viewing (this could be combined with the cruelty option, but need not be), or even public participation.
  • One method that tries to get some use out of the condemned's remaining life (mad science experimentation, deadly game shows, military suicide missions, whatever).
  • One option for abolishing the death penalty.
And that leaves room for maybe one wildcard option.


That's a good suggestion for the narrative, and it also helps to shorten the option. Eight options are probably too many.

After some thinking, I've decided to go with:

[*]Lethal injection - the most "humane" option
[*]Electric chair for the cruel option (I didn't want to go with something too extreme or graphic)
[*]Hanging for the public viewing option
[*]Deadly game show for the whacky option. I was tempted to go with the mulitary suicide mission, but that in itself could almost be its own issue
[*]Deporting convicts for the wild card and "economy" option
[*]The abolishing the death penalty option

That shortens it down to six options. Let me know if this flows better now.
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Postby Trotterdam » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:34 pm

Nation of Quebec wrote:[*]Electric chair for the cruel option (I didn't want to go with something too extreme or graphic)
I'm not so sure about that, since, like I said, it was originally introduced as a humane execution method, even though its credibility at such is dubious.

Not sure what would be the best alternative to be convincingly cruel without being over-the-top, though.

Nation of Quebec wrote:[*]Deporting convicts for the wild card and "economy" option
[*]The abolishing the death penalty option
My biggest problem is that these last two are both abolishing the death penalty (one for exile and one for prison time), which is more than this issue needs. I think the remaining options should at least be things that will usually result in death. Wacky non-lethal punishments could be an entirely separate issue.

When I suggested execution by "nothing", I was originally thinking of putting people in a dungeon and letting them waste away. Which is extremely cruel but without any explicit violence.

Being put on an island isn't that bad. In theory you could even build a boat and come back.

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Postby Nation of Quebec » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:46 pm

Trotterdam wrote:
Nation of Quebec wrote:[*]Electric chair for the cruel option (I didn't want to go with something too extreme or graphic)
I'm not so sure about that, since, like I said, it was originally introduced as a humane execution method, even though its credibility at such is dubious.

Not sure what would be the best alternative to be convincingly cruel without being over-the-top, though.

Nation of Quebec wrote:[*]Deporting convicts for the wild card and "economy" option
[*]The abolishing the death penalty option
My biggest problem is that these last two are both abolishing the death penalty (one for exile and one for prison time), which is more than this issue needs. I think the remaining options should at least be things that will usually result in death. Wacky non-lethal punishments could be an entirely separate issue.

When I suggested execution by "nothing", I was originally thinking of putting people in a dungeon and letting them waste away. Which is extremely cruel but without any explicit violence.

Being put on an island isn't that bad. In theory you could even build a boat and come back.


By today's standards I think the electric chair is far crueler than a lethal injection. Correct me if I'm wrong, isn't a lethal injection quick and painless, while the person undoubtedly suffers in an electric chair?

I'm open to suggestions for a cruel option that doesn't go too over the top.

Non-lethal punishments is a good issue idea for nations without capital punishment, but still want to be tough on crime. I think locking them in the dungeon and throwing away the key would be a better idea for that issue, rather than this one. I could mention to send them to an island known for particularly harsh conditions like one that has freezing temperatures or a desert island that's right in the middle of the ocean with no civilization around for miles. The military suicide idea I think has the potential to stand out as its own issue, rather than just as one option here.

I could take out that option and leave this one at five options. Would that be better?
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Postby Trotterdam » Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:39 pm

Nation of Quebec wrote:By today's standards I think the electric chair is far crueler than a lethal injection. Correct me if I'm wrong, isn't a lethal injection quick and painless, while the person undoubtedly suffers in an electric chair?
Hmm. Wikipedia mentions that it [oops, by which I mean electric chair, not lethal injection - wasn't clear about that] was introduced as a humane alternative to hanging and later fell into disfavor for now being considered inhumane, but doesn't say much concrete about how it actually works out in practice.

However it works when done well, executioners seem rather prone to botching the job. But that's different from intending to be cruel.

Another consideration is that both lethal injection and electric chair are rather US-centric (the electric chair caught on even less internationally than lethal injection did), so it might be preferable to have a more cosmopolitan sample of execution methods.

Nation of Quebec wrote:I'm open to suggestions for a cruel option that doesn't go too over the top.
Sorry :(

I mean, there's lots of methods, but what counts as "over the top" is subjective and it's hard to say which methods are the most notable/common.

I've seen the electric chair described as "burning at the stake with all the modern conveniences", so maybe take away the modern conveniences. Burning at the stake is seen as pretty barbaric today, but it's also prone to being used in comedies (ha, look at those medieval morons, killing people over stupid reasons!), and the most horrific stuff is what happens after you light the fire and walk away, so you can just not mention that. It has some symbolic significance, since fire is seen as having a cleansing effect: "purge the evil". This symbolism also relates to its association with religious punishment of heretics and witches, which may be an unfortunate implication if you don't want to specifically connect cruelty to religion.

Here's a list if you want to browse.

Nation of Quebec wrote:The military suicide idea I think has the potential to stand out as its own issue, rather than just as one option here.
Indeed, but that's talk for another thread.

Nation of Quebec wrote:I could take out that option and leave this one at five options. Would that be better?
I guess. Six options is pushing the limit, anyway.

Firing squad is the other option that I think is sort of notable enough to include but don't see a really clear way to distinguish from other options.
Last edited by Trotterdam on Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Nation of Quebec » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:44 pm

Trotterdam wrote:
Nation of Quebec wrote:By today's standards I think the electric chair is far crueler than a lethal injection. Correct me if I'm wrong, isn't a lethal injection quick and painless, while the person undoubtedly suffers in an electric chair?
Hmm. Wikipedia mentions that it was introduced as a humane alternative to hanging and later fell into disfavor for now being considered inhumane, but doesn't say much concrete about how it actually works out in practice.

However it works when done well, executioners seem rather prone to botching the job. But that's different from intending to be cruel.

Another consideration is that both lethal injection and electric chair are rather US-centric (the electric chair caught on even less internationally than lethal injection did), so it might be preferable to have a more cosmopolitan sample of execution methods.

Nation of Quebec wrote:I'm open to suggestions for a cruel option that doesn't go too over the top.
Sorry :(

I mean, there's lots of methods, but what counts as "over the top" is subjective and it's hard to say which methods are the most notable/common.

I've seen the electric chair described as "burning at the stake with all the modern conveniences", so maybe take away the modern conveniences. Burning at the stake is seen as pretty barbaric today, but it's also prone to being used in comedies (ha, look at those medieval morons, killing people over stupid reasons!), and the most horrific stuff is what happens after you light the fire and walk away, so you can just not mention that. It has some symbolic significance, since fire is seen as having a cleansing effect: "purge the evil". This symbolism also relates to its association with religious punishment of heretics and witches, which may be an unfortunate implication if you don't want to specifically connect cruelty to religion.

Here's a list if you want to browse.

Nation of Quebec wrote:The military suicide idea I think has the potential to stand out as its own issue, rather than just as one option here.
Indeed, but that's talk for another thread.

Nation of Quebec wrote:I could take out that option and leave this one at five options. Would that be better?
I guess. Six options is pushing the limit, anyway.

Firing squad is the other option that I think is sort of notable enough to include but don't see a really clear way to distinguish from other options.


I did mention that the lethal injection isn't exactly perfect, hence the Gotham-esque line in the effect line.

Perhaps instead of the electric chair, I could change it to burning at the stake? That is probably more barbaric and it also ties into religion and primitiveness. It's a more historical method of execution as well. I'm fine with either that one or electric chair.

The deport them option could be used for a non-lethal issue and I could take it out here so this is a nice five option issue.
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Postby Dalvius » Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:51 pm

I can't believe nobody thought of that yet. Nice job Quebec, I can't wait to see this in my issues.
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Postby Trotterdam » Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:21 pm

Nation of Quebec wrote:I did mention that the lethal injection isn't exactly perfect, hence the Gotham-esque line in the effect line.
I just noticed that I may not have been clear which method I was talking about in the last post. Edited.

Though honestly, any attempt at "humane killing" is going to be an exercise in compromise. The best you can do is find a method that's humane enough that most of the people who oppose it are the ones who oppose the death penalty in general. Meanwhile there'll always be people who claim to have come up with an even more humane method.

Nation of Quebec wrote:Perhaps instead of the electric chair, I could change it to burning at the stake? That is probably more barbaric and it also ties into religion and primitiveness. It's a more historical method of execution as well. I'm fine with either that one or electric chair.

The deport them option could be used for a non-lethal issue and I could take it out here so this is a nice five option issue.
If you're fine with those then I am too.

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Postby Nation of Quebec » Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:25 pm

Alright, I've posted what I hope is a final edit for this issue. I took out the deportation option and I replaced the electric chair option with the burning at the stake option.

I'd appreciate any feedback on this version of the draft before I submit it.

I also hope that someone takes on the issue for non-lethal methods of criminal punishment.
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Postby A Humanist Science » Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:32 am

Nation of Quebec wrote:[option]"What's wrong with a good, old fashioned hanging?" proposes @@RANDOMNAME@@, a historical reenactor seen dressed in period costume. "We can hang the criminals and traitors in the public square right in front of the watchful eyes of the government in @@CAPITAL@@. We could even sell different fruits and vegetables for the people to throw at 'em before we hang 'em! Ah, it'll be a fine public spectacle, just like in the old days. That'll give the rest of 'em something to think about before breaking the law!"
[effect]criminals are hanged in @@CAPITAL@@ for all to see.


Why would the government be concerned with ensuring that executions are observed by the government? Surely the purpose of hanging traitors is that their twitching corpses will serve as a warning to the masses. The current wording makes it sound like the government is trying to frighten/warn/dissuade itself.

Perhaps something more like:

"We can hang the criminals and traitors in the town square, right in front of the watchful eyes of the public in @@CAPITAL@@.

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Postby Nation of Quebec » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:20 am

A Humanist Science wrote:
Nation of Quebec wrote:[option]"What's wrong with a good, old fashioned hanging?" proposes @@RANDOMNAME@@, a historical reenactor seen dressed in period costume. "We can hang the criminals and traitors in the public square right in front of the watchful eyes of the government in @@CAPITAL@@. We could even sell different fruits and vegetables for the people to throw at 'em before we hang 'em! Ah, it'll be a fine public spectacle, just like in the old days. That'll give the rest of 'em something to think about before breaking the law!"
[effect]criminals are hanged in @@CAPITAL@@ for all to see.


Why would the government be concerned with ensuring that executions are observed by the government? Surely the purpose of hanging traitors is that their twitching corpses will serve as a warning to the masses. The current wording makes it sound like the government is trying to frighten/warn/dissuade itself.

Perhaps something more like:

"We can hang the criminals and traitors in the town square, right in front of the watchful eyes of the public in @@CAPITAL@@.


That sounds better. I've changed the text there.

Is there anything else that's in need of fixing?
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Postby Almonaster Nuevo » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:05 am

A few suggested tweaks...

Title and/or option 4: Die another way (007 reference)

have clamored in your office -> have gathered in / are clamoring in

reenactor -> re-enactor
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Postby Nation of Quebec » Sun Jul 17, 2016 11:54 am

Almonaster Nuevo wrote:A few suggested tweaks...

Title and/or option 4: Die another way (007 reference)

have clamored in your office -> have gathered in / are clamoring in

reenactor -> re-enactor


The current title is already a Bond reference. Another Way To Die was the song for Quantum of Solace (though it's probably one of my least favorite Bond songs, Die Another Day, the song and the movie, isn't much better).

I think that what I already have works fine.

I've seen reenactor spelled both ways.
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Postby A Humanist Science » Sun Jul 17, 2016 3:46 pm

Nation of Quebec wrote:That sounds better. I've changed the text there.

Is there anything else that's in need of fixing?


Looks good to go.

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