Friday, April 17

Common Sense In Utah (But Not So Much D.C.)

I read recently that Utah is trying to pass a law to once again make it legal to execute prisoners on death row by firing squad. Lawmakers in both the state's House and Senate passed the measure, and the only question is whether the Governor will sign it. 

Apparently the move was prompted by recent shortages of lethal injection drugs; lawmakers wanted to have a backup option in case they become completely unavailable. The more informed among them pointed out that it also has the potential to be much more humane, considering how nasty things can get when a lethal injection is botched.

Personally, I think the idea is an excellent one. Far from making them look "backwards and backwoods" as one opponent put it, it makes them look like a dying breed... people who understand both math and guns!

Even relatively expensive ammunition is pretty darn cheap.  Between the military and the police, there should be no shortage of individuals with the training to lethally shoot someone. (Given the nature of the people to be executed, I'd lay money you could get any number of those qualified individuals to volunteer for the job!)  If the person doesn't die instantly, you can instantly put another round into their brain and it's over. No drawn out suffering, no mess.

Lethal injection drugs are anything but cheap. They have to be ordered/shipped from Europe, handled and stored under strict guidelines, and administered by specialized staff. There is plenty of room for messy failure, complications, and suffering.

According to the original reporter (article linked above) "The Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment, says a firing squad is not a foolproof execution method because the inmate could move or shooters could miss the heart, causing a slower, more painful death." (Personally, I'd like to ask if they actually understand how firing squads work, or if they've ever heard of "execution style".... the way firing squads will end up with anything other than fast death is if stupid and excessive regulations prevent second shots/head shot when they're called for.)

As a voter, I can tell you which one I'm behind - the one that's more efficient, more cost effective, and faster/cleaner for the person being executed. Whether or not there should be a death penalty is its own question. But for as long as it is legal in some states, let's demonstrate some common sense in carrying it out, shall we? 

Kudos to you Utah. I hope your Governor gets on board!

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