This op-ed was originally intended to be about how the legalization and taxation of recreational marijuana could ease America's budget woes. Alas, certain conservatives in Congress have declared that they will never decriminalize pot. In light of this, we'd like to offer a compromise, and suggest something we can all agree on: capital punishment!

The Supreme Court of the State of New York outlawed the death penalty five years ago, making the time ripe for a comeback. The public (by this we mean bitter people with worthless 401[k]s) are more than ready to take out a sadistic offender, one with a long list of indisputable violent crimes. Of course, the state's $51-billion budget deficit would necessitate that this not to be just any boring lethal injection. It needs to be a "Logan's Run"-esque pay-per-view TV event.

That's just the beginning. Each state should put their own spin on it, in an effort to revitalize a practice that's lucrative potentialities remain untapped. Check out how this plan could work in various states, after the jump.

How can you ensure viewership for the New York TV special? Besides the innate human trait of morbid curiosity, you reintroduce old methods of capital punishment. "New York State Celebrates the Return of the Guillotine!" That sells every History Channel buff. Call France and get them to send over the blade. They're bound to have some lying around, considering they were guillotining prisoners as late as 1977. Unfortunately, the last surviving French executioner, Fernand Meyssonnier (pictured, above) passed away last year, so he's out.

Utah used a firing squad to execute a prisoner in 1996 and still has a few prisoners on death row who can legally opt for that method. We propose setting up a state lottery and allow people to bet on which rifle has the blank. (Superiors secretly give one gunman a rifle with a blank so they can all believe they didn't kill the prisoner.) Instead of a blank, have one of those "Bang" flags. That adds an element of comedy and showmanship. Besides firing a blank feels different than a bullet anyway; no one is really getting fooled.

Speaking of showmanship, California could develop a hit reality series leading up to the execution. Follow the prisoner, the executions, the families of victims, etc. Who doesn't want to watch that drama unfold? That's way better than "Intervention."

Nevada could put the UFC out of business by televising death-row brawls. Give the fighters pipes, chains and boards with nails poking through. The loser dies. The winner doesn't win freedom. He gets Sonic. These guys haven't had drive-in food in years. Boom -- incentive.

Let's not forget Alaska, who could go "Gladiator" and throw their grizzly bears, wolves and killer whales into the mix. Put an inmate into a stadium with a bear or a tank with a hungry killer whale, and sell tickets. When PETA raises a fuss, emphasize that the murderer has no way to fight back, and the animals are having fun.
Once we get past the "humanity" issue, this plan could totally work. Before liberals start a letter-writing campaign, consider this: The conservatives are going to be so blinded by the money and violence, they won't pay attention to your pot smoke. Doesn't a blunt sound good right about now?

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Asylum or pretty much anyone of sound mind. Ryan McKee has absolutely no background in economics, law or justice. However, it is rumored he once killed a man with his bare hands.