He was also a former welder and believes that electrocution is a more humane way to die.
"Electricity, 2000-3000 volts of electricity right through a person's brain will render you dead within seconds," said Doty.
He's right. That's why they put one of the electrodes right on the top of the head. They start with a short burst of high voltage, and then usually switch to longer, lower jolts at lower voltages. The high voltage jolts pass right through the skull, right through the brain, causing instant unconsciousness and quick brain-death.
We know that it passes right through the brain because when they do an autopsy, mandatory in some states, they can see the damage to the brain. The only exception was during the first attempt to electrocute Willy Frances, who remained conscious during the execution. Apparently the voltage was too low to penetrate his skull, due to the equipment not being wired correctly or tested.
Florida's current electrocution protocol calls for 2,300 volts at 9.5amps for 8 seconds, followed by 1000 volts, 4 amps for 22 seconds, followed by another 2,300 volts at 9.5 amps for another 8 seconds. Whole thing is over in 38 seconds, and I've never heard of them having to throw the switch a second time in Florida, probably because of the high amperage. The voltage and amperage are more than enough to cause instant unconsciousness and certain death.
Even when the heart starts up again as it does on rare occasions, it would eventually stop on its own because the damage already done is unsurvivable. That's the real reason they wait 5 minutes in some states to check for a pulse. Personally I don't have a problem if they throw the switch again; the inert corpse in the chair feels nothing.
The exact path of the electricity through the brain doesn't matter; people receiving much, much lower, non-lethal amperages through the skull in electroshock therapy are rendered unconscious regardless of where the electrodes are placed, and they remember nothing. As it happens tho the path tends to pass right through the brain stem on its way out.
The electric chair was originally designed to try to get the electricity to continue down the spinal chord, destroying it too. That's why during the first electrocution, the second electrode was placed at the base of the condemned criminal's back instead of on the calf of the leg. They moved it to avoid burning the thin skin over the spine, and to avoid the awkwardness of cutting a man's trousers right above his butt. I suggest they try different spots (as long as one is over the head, it's a guaranteed quick kill so I have no problem with experimenting). A larger contact area would result in less burning.
In any case, cosmetic problems do not constitute cruelty. Electrocution is the most humane method of execution on the books; it should be explicitly ruled humane and not in any way unconstitutional. On the contrary, because of problems that have come up with lethal injection, it should be explicitly recommended as a primary method of execution, as it used to be. Not that I have anything against hanging or shooting either.
Furthermore, condemned criminals should not have an option to choose their method of execution. It's not an option; it's being imposed on them as punishment for their crime(s).
The electric chair was used to rid the country of something over a thousand criminals, overwhelmingly without incident, and even the incidents that happened were pretty minor in the greater scheme of things, like alternative methods of execution, or for that matter, compared to the crime itself.
Is Doty seeking the electric chair as a delay tactic?
I doubt it, but his motives aren't relevant anyway. He's not holding up his execution; the state is.
No matter what method they use, someone's going to complain. Everyone should stop over-thinking this. Reinstate the electric chair and use it without hesitation to make the world a better place by permanently removing dangerous criminals from it.