Controversy has broken out over last Monday's execution in Terre Haute, Indiana of Timothy McVeigh, with human rights groups worldwide condemning the action since, they claim, video replays clearly show that McVeigh was offside at the time.
Speaking from Soixant Rouge, Louisiana, Amnesty International spokeswoman Gail Lindsay protested the use of the death penalty in this instance, "especially as any clown could see that the guy was sitting in an offside position [see diagram below] when the lethal injection was administered. This just goes to show how arbitrary and unjust the death penalty is".
Defenders of the death penalty have pointed out that it's relatively difficult to tell at a moment's notice whether an executee is offside or not. US Attorney General John Ashcroft produced transcripts of the live commentary to the execution by analysts from the NBC television channel, which he claimed support his claim:
Ted Hulce (Anchor):
And Tim McVeigh surely must feel, Dan, that this is not going his way?
Can't be long now.
"These transcripts show," declared Ashcroft, "that post-mortem disputes of this sort don't take into account the difficulties of executing a prisoner who's been strapped down to a table. Believe me, when you're killing someone you're not going to worry about whether they're offside or not".
The Amnesty point of view was also rejected by execution attendee Rich Dudley, of Nouveau Bouef, North Dakota, who told the press afterwords, "They don't know shit 'cause they were'nt there. I'm telling you, there's no way McVeigh was offside. I was there, and man it was cool! I thought the Wilbur Henderson 'cution in '98 was a blast, but this knocked it on it's ass. Pity we can't kill the guy again".