It was at the 92nd Annual International Science Conference, held in Washington, D.C., where Dr. Jonathan Krendler and Senator Emily Simmonds first met. They were the key speakers in the debate of the use of an experimental drug on convicted felons condemned to die by lethal injection.
Dr. Krendler, a renowned dimensionalogist, had discovered, and supposedly perfected, a way to isolate criminals from our timeline, essentially removing them from our reality without actually killing them. His solution to the death penalty involved the use of a two-part chemical solution, called the timeline dissolution cocktail, that once injected into the individual, rearranged their chronal DNA and slowly shifted them from our reality into another dimension of existence.
“This is a far more humane way of removing unredeemable elements from our society,” Dr. Krendler said. “Leaving no blood on our hands.”
“No blood? How can you be certain of that?” Simmonds asked. “Have you seen this other dimension these criminals are being sent to? Do you know for sure this process of yours even works? That your test subjects aren’t just being atomized instead of relocated? And for the sake of argument, let’s say there actually is some other dimension, do we know that humans can safely exist there, and if they can, do we have the right to dump our problems on some poor unsuspecting society? How is that not a form of cruel and unusual punishment?”
Dr. Krendler shook his head at the audience comprised of scientists and researchers, sighed, and said, “Senator Simmonds, are you attempting to derail these talks with groundless hypotheticals?”
“Yes, and here’s another one for you: What if the condemned wants to die in our reality, so their families can mourn and move on, and the victims and their families can see justice done and finally get some closure in their lives?”
“It never ceases to amaze me how you liberals are never satisfied with any progressive scientific achievements,” Dr. Krendler responded. “You think the lethal injection barbiturate, paralytic, and potassium chloride cocktail is Ineffective, don’t you? Because it doesn’t get the job done fast enough for your liking.”
“Fast enough for our liking?” Simmonds rolled her eyes in disbelief. “It takes 20 minutes to kill the average inmate!”
“Only in rare cases. The majority of the executions were conducted without a hitch,” Dr. Krendler said proudly. “However, I am willing to concede that subjecting anyone to twenty minutes of chemical torture, even in a low percentage rate, is totally unacceptable, which is why I built a better mousetrap.”
“A better mousetrap?”
“Yes. You can nitpick at my solution all you like but in the end, I’m sure you will come to see that my timeline dissolution cocktail is the perfect way to carry out a painless, and less dramatic, execution.”
“And you feel not one ounce of remorse for being the man responsible for dissolving a human being’s entire existence as if they were never even here?”
“Remorse for what? No one’s dying because of my procedure. They’re being relocated, perhaps even to a better life. Isn’t that better than murdering a fellow human? As a liberal, aren’t you opposed to the death sentence? Doesn’t this take care of that?”
“I’m opposed to inhumane killing. If you came up with a completely painless way to implement a death sentence for a monster that couldn’t be rehabilitated, then I might be willing to accept it as a viable solution. But what you’re doing goes beyond the realms of nature and reality. You’re eradicating their very soul from our universe, and I can’t explain why, but I find that thought sickening.”
“Then what’s your solution, Senator? No lethal injection, no electric chair, no gas chamber, no hanging, no firing squad, or drowning or stoning. How do we deal with the monsters that can’t be rehabilitated?”
“I don’t have an answer,” Simmonds admitted. “But until we find one, I intend to block the use of your cocktail.”
“Good luck trying to stop me. This country has elected and nominated conservative Republicans to all three branches of government for the past 50 years, and they all support my agenda.”
Simmonds remained silent for a moment before slamming her fist on the table and leaving the conference abruptly.