The State of Utah did away with the firing squad option in 2004. Lawmakers back then said giving the inmates the option to choose death by firing squad gave them too much media attention. Even so, inmates sentenced before 2004 could opt to be shot and the last shooting was in 2010. Yeah, he died. Five officers blasted the guy with .30-cal Winchester rifles.
So why did legislatures introduce a bill to revive death by firing squad? Well, that’s not an easy answer, but here’s the way I understand it (and the way I prefer it).
Authorities can now authorize death by firing squad instead of death by lethal injection in any number of cases. The former is far more economical.
The company who makes the ultra potent lethal concoction for “death by lethal injection” has taken serious heat in recent years from the anti-death penalty folks and now the cost of the drug is really high. Foreseeing a time when getting the drug may be too costly or even too controversial, the topic of firearm executions was brought back up in the pro-gun Utah legislature. And, kudos to the Utah governor who saw the wisdom in signing the bill.
Look, if someone’s going to get killed, does it really matter if it’s by lethal injection or by a firing squad? Really, does it matter?
While there’s no amount of justice that can be done to bring back victims of the most horrific and heinous crimes that actually make it to a capital sentencing case, the evil murderers who find themselves this far down the trail of appeals need to leave society. I’m not talking an eye for an eye-type philosophy. I’m talking about good, old fashioned common sense. They are a danger to others–let them leave this earth.
I believe that those who think death by a firing squad or death by lethal injection is not humane should go ask the victim about the terror and pain they felt while they were being murdered. Since they can’t do that…because they’re dead, maybe they should ask the family members of those mutilated, raped, tortured and dismembered by these evil persons on death row. Their crimes are the only violations I see in this equation.
Anti-death penalty folks like to say that killing a person is a violation of the Eighth Amendment, which is the cruel and unusual punishment amendment. It’s not. What’s cruel or unusual about shooting someone? It happens in war. It’s horrible. It’s violent, but the guilty party on death row shouldn’t have committed the crime. Certainly, if he’s on death row, he did something both cruel and unusual!
Unfortunately, some media folks like to play on the supposed “pains” of murderous inmates who struggled because the guy injecting the inmate with a lethal drug didn’t hit the vein the first time. Boo-hoo. Any 12-year-old kid could handle not getting stuck by a needle right the first time. Why don’t the news media who oppose capital punishment tell the real story on why such murderers ended up there in the first place, and why their appeals were all denied.
Anyone who’s anti-violence towards murderers who’ve been sentenced under a fair judicial system—so fair, in fact, that the criminal justice system bends over backwards to give hardened criminals big time breaks—are doing a huge disservice to society and to the family of the victims.
I’m glad Utah adopted this new legislation allowing inmates on death row to be shot by a firing squad in case the state has a hard time getting the lethal dose of chemicals to put down truly evil men. Besides, in the end using a firing squad is the way to go. It’s humane, it’s quick and it’s morally and legally justified.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.
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