Following the furore regarding the botched Clayton Lockett execution, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has announced they intend to eshew the use of lethal injections, and have set up a new Department of Investigative Immolation to identify alternative methods of state-sanctioned termination.
The DII will examine a number of alternate methods, but the most intriguing area of investigation is the possibility of validating common everyday phrases associated with death.
"There are a number of idioms in this area that we can now examine" enthused newly-appointed Research Executionist Tod Helfer, "For example : Is it actually possible to kill someone with kindness ? Can you really die of shame ? Is excessive embarrassment truly a life threatening condition ? Once and for all, we will be able to empirically test these statements under laboratory conditions on live subjects"
The worryingly-effervescent Mr Helfer continued in a similar vein, speculating whether Death By Chocolate could ever be proved : does eating 17 cabbages really cause you to die from toxic overload, and would this constitute the most boring Last Meal menu choice ever ?
"Just think" continued Mr Helfer "A simple phrase such as 'Dying by Degrees' - we have never known whether it refers to Fahrenheit, Celsius, rotational measurement or something underhand involving a well-known Philadelphia female vocal group. Now we will get a chance to find out "
"And if all else fails, as a last resort we can always shoot the bastards"