1,000 Executions

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, right, speaks during a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Friday June 22, 2007. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, pressing European Union leaders to agree to the outline of a new treaty for the bloc, tried on Friday to overcome Polish President Lech Kaczynski's adamant opposition to new voting rules that he fears will diminish his country's influence.
AP Photo/Thierry Charlier
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
A man named Robin Lovitt is scheduled to be executed next week. Lovitt was convicted of fatally stabbing a man with a scissors in the robbery back in 1998. Lovitt could become the 1,000th person executed in America, since a ten-year moratorium was lifted with Gary Gilmore in 1977.

Executions have become pretty routine. I saw one in Texas twenty years ago. The inmate is rolled into the execution room on a gurney, shunts for the poison already in his arm. He's asked if he has any final words. He speaks them. The injection is administered, his eyes close, his chest heaves up, then collapses. He's declared dead minutes later.

There is no drama. The convicted person's death lacks the violence and trauma that brought them to death row in the first place.

I couldn't sleep for a week after I saw that execution. It seemed more like euthanizing an animal than killing a human being. It's something everyone should see — once.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith