(June 15) — Zhang Shiqiang, known as the Nine-Fingered Devil, first tasted justice at 13. His father caught him stealing and cut off one of Zhang’s fingers. Twenty-five years later, in 2004, Zhang met retribution once more, after his conviction for double murder and rape. He was one of the first people put to death in China’s new fleet of mobile execution chambers.
You have to admire a regime that understands the importance of efficiency, eh? Yes, the country that brought you billing the family of the executed for the bullet used to do the deed now brings us….wait for it…mobile execution vans. Actually, I’m surprised Texas didn’t come up with this idea first. And why not? Why drag someone all the way to Huntsville to turn them into worm food when you can do it on their home turf in West Bumfuck, TX? China seems to have grasped this reality. Why NOT take their show on the road? Since these vans are designed for lethal injections, there’s no longer any need to carry along a dirty, messy, and very expensive firing squad. All you need is a nurse with a needle, a vial of rat poison, and voila!…it’s time to meet your Maker!. The only question is whether the Chinese government will bill the family of the unlucky loser for the chemical cocktail and the needle used to shuffle off their loved one’s mortal coil?
The sad thing is that, in China, dealing out legally-sanctioned death is an actual, honest-to-God industry. Can you imagine actually working for the company that makes these mobile execution vans? Imagine being a sales rep; man those sales calls must be something to behold, eh? And just how would you go about demonstrating your product? Grab a random inmate and dispatch them to the Other Side?
The country that executed more than four times as many convicts as the rest of the world combined last year is slowly phasing out public executions by firing squad in favor of lethal injections. Unlike the United States and Singapore, the only two other countries where death is administered by injection, China metes out capital punishment from specially equipped “death vans” that shuttle from town to town.
Makers of the death vans say the vehicles and injections are a civilized alternative to the firing squad, ending the life of the condemned more quickly, clinically and safely. The switch from gunshots to injections is a sign that China “promotes human rights now,” says Kang Zhongwen, who designed the Jinguan Automobile death van in which “Devil” Zhang took his final ride.
Yes, only in China could they equate moblie death vans with promoting “human rights now” (it’s a dessert topping AND a floor wax!!) Of course, given China’s reputation for meting out arbitrary executions and it’s lack of due process (never mind an appeals process) when it comes to death penalty cases, I suppose the mobile death vans do represent progress. (Yes, it’s all about customer service. You see, now we’re taking justice to the people instead of making the people come to justice. Rather brilliantly covenient and humane, don’tcha think??)
Of course, an added benefit to the mobile execution vans is that they increase the usability of the organs of the executed…which means that they can be sold for profit. Man, these Chinese think of everything, don’t they??
Injections leave the whole body intact and require participation of doctors. Organs can “be extracted in a speedier and more effective way than if the prisoner is shot,” says Mark Allison, East Asia researcher at Amnesty International in Hong Kong. “We have gathered strong evidence suggesting the involvement of (Chinese) police, courts and hospitals in the organ trade.”….
China’s refusal to give outsiders access to the bodies of executed prisoners has added to suspicions about what happens afterward: Corpses are typically driven to a crematorium and burned before relatives or independent witnesses can view them.
Chinese authorities are sensitive to allegations that they are complicit in the organ trade. In March, the Ministry of Health issued regulations explicitly banning the sale of organs and tightening approval standards for transplants.
Even so, Amnesty International said in a report in April that huge profits from the sale of prisoners’ organs might be part of why China refuses to consider doing away with the death penalty.
Well, if you’re just going to kill them anyway, the Chinese are not about to let anything go to waste. Besides, if you have moral qualms about using an organ culled from an executed prisoner, you can bet that there are plenty of others willing to put the organ to use without any nasty moral dilemmas clouding their judgement.
If the dealing of death really is an industry, and in China, it really cannot be considered anything else, you want to maximize the return on your investment in raw materials. In this sense, an executed prisoner is just another commodity to be utilized and the value maximized.
Yes, China may be the world’s largest market, and those doing business with China stand to make a lot of money if they do things right. At some point, though, it has to be about more than money. What about the humanity, or in this case, the inhumanity? When do we stand up and demand that China stop treating the execution of prisoners as merely another business transaction? When do we use our ecomomic muscle as leverage to demand that the Chinese government respect the human rights of prisoners? When do we demand that China conduct itself as a full-fledged member of the international community and recognize that prisoners are people, not products to be portioned out and sold on the open market?
I’ll tell you when- never. This Administration will never run the risk of turning off the spigot that is the world’s largest market. With billions upon billions to be made, Our Glorious and Benevolent Leader and his evil minions are not about to let an issue like human rights get in the way of business. Thus are we made complicit in China’s egregious human rights abuses.
WE DESERVE BETTER…and so do the unfortunate Chinese citizens being fed to their insatiable criminal “justice” system.