Gary Gilmore's last moments were spent here (courtesy publicbroadcasting.net)

“Prior to becoming a state, the Territory of Utah introduced beheading in 1851 as a third option of execution,” wikipedia.org informs. “No prisoner chose this method and it fell out of practice in 1888.” Which left hanging and death by firing squad as the condemned prisoner’s options. In January 1977, a Bee Hive State firing squad famously removed Gary Gilmore from the land of the living, ending a nine-year national moratorium on capital punishment. In 2004, after two more inmates met their maker via ballistic intervention, Utah eliminated the firing squad in favor of lethal injection. stgeorgeutah.com explains why Utah legislators want to go back to the firing squad, or at least pre-authorize it should it be needed . . .

The bill’s author, Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, said it would enable the state to use a firing squad as an alternative to lethal injection if the drug cocktail needed for an execution is not available 30 or more days prior to the date specified on a death warrant.

The drug cocktail needed for lethal injection has come into short supply as the European drug companies that previously sold the drugs to states now refuse to as an objection to capital punishment.

Ray said some other states have resorted to mixing their own drug cocktails that have resulted in botched executions. In one instance it took a prisoner over an hour to die after being injected with the state-mixed injection.

Under current state law, if lethal injection were eventually declared unconstitutional, the firing squad would be reinstated as the state’s primary means of execution.

foxnews.com reports that the Utah House of Representatives passed the bill along party lines by a margin of 39 to 34. Last Thursday, the Wyoming House of Representatives passed a similar bill, legalizing firing squads as a fallback method – after they added an amendment requiring prison staff to render death row inmates unconscious before being shot.

Question: would you participate in a firing squad if asked by the state?

141 Responses to Utah Moves Closer to Reinstating the Firing Squad

  1. I would, though not happily. However, if I believe in capital punishment (and I do), I should be and am willing to pull the trigger, metaphorically and literally speaking.

    • Not sure of the purpose capital punishment serves, but whatever. I wouldn’t shoot a man unless I had to either wartime or for self defense.

      • The thoughts from Dennis Prager clarifies why it’s correct to be for capital punishment.

        http://townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/2006/12/12/capital_punishment_–_another_argument_for_it/page/full

        Just a small sample….
        The great thinker Ernest van den Haag brilliantly made the case for execution as deterrence: Imagine if a state announced that murders committed Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays would be punishable by execution and murders committed the other days of the week would be punishable by imprisonment. Would murder rates remain the same as they are now on all the days of the week? I doubt it.

        • There is absolutely no evidence, despite thousands of years of human history, that capital punishment acts as a deterrent to anyone other than the person executed. If it did, then we would be living in a murder free utopia. The fact of the matter is that most people who commit murder are (a) committing acts of domestic violence or (b) criminals who do not think they are going to be caught. If criminals thought they were going to be caught, they wouldn’t commit the crime during which the murder occurred.

          I don’t disagree that there are people who deserve to be taken out of the human race permanently, only that we should not fool ourselves into believing that any future murderers will be deterred.

        • I’m betting you didn’t read the article before you responded.

          Prager again…..
          Everyone acknowledges that punishments can deter all other crimes — why wouldn’t capital punishment deter some murders? Is murder the only crime unaffected by punishment?

          Nobody would be foolish enough to say that capital punishment deters ALL murders and likewise nobody would be so foolish to say that capital hasn’t deterred some potential murderers. Sounds like a good enough reason to support capital punishment to me.

          Of coarse Prager gets into the primary reasons of why he supports capital punishment….if you take the time to read it.

        • Mark N…. that was an incredibly fallacious bit of nonsense you just wrote.

          If the death penalty had a deterrent effect, it would have to be 100% effective? What planet do you live on?

          In reality, real murder rates in the US correlate with execution. Note, not sentencing, actual execution rates. The following correlations meet the sandard for cointergration, and the augmented Dickey Fuller test

          For every 1% increase in the chance of a murder being executed, homicide rates fall by 0.029457%. This holds true for a length of time going back to at least the 1930’s. So capital punishment has a definitive and measurable deterrent effect, even if relatively small compared to other contributors, e.g. a 1% increase in the percentage of adult males in jail/prison, decreases murder rates by .250365%. And a 1% increase in economic fatherhood decreases homicide rates by .716678% (which makes sense, that positive social indicators, such as taking familial responsibility, would inversely correlate with negative social behavior)

        • Ooo, can I have a link to that data, please? I’m serious, I’m not trolling or anything. I really want to be able to back up those quotes with real data with dealing with…others…about this issue.

        • doesky2 you are quoting someone who believes something but is avoiding any actual discussion of evidence. There has been plenty of time to study this, including during the moratorium of executions- it just doesn’t effect murder rates. The logic you’re quoting reminds me of the anti-gun logic that if we make more gun laws, suddenly the criminals will disarm. It makes no sense, because you’re putting them in a logic box they refuse to accept.

          It does not follow that someone who kills facing ‘only’ decades or life in prison would suddenly step back and carefully reconsider their cost-benefit analysis because suddenly eventual death is in the picture. A reasonable person would not risk either.

        • “I do not know of a proved case of mistaken execution in America in the last 50 years”

          I stopped reading him right there. There are plenty of names on the list of people who could very well be innocent (i.e. whose guilt was not established to a proper standard). That doesn’t constitute proof, but it does constitute a severe miscarriage of justice, in any case, and courts are not inclined to go digging for proof of innocence in such cases, so the lack of proof is due to process more so than anything else.

          What we do know is that 17 people have been released from the death row in the past 20 years because new evidence (in most cases, DNA testing) has conclusively shown their innocence. That’s 17 innocent people who would have been murdered by the state if all people here would get their wish of “swift justice”.

          He further makes ridiculous claims about how adopting a policy that will result in more people dying (for circumstantial reasons) is essentially the same as executing a person.

        • Deterrence or not, capital punishment is punishment still. Deterrence is for the wise, punishment for the fool.

  2. If I had to go via capital punishment, I’d *rather* go via firing squad.

    If I was asked to be a member of a firing squad, I probably would. Not out of any joy or enthusiasm, but out of a sense of duty.

  3. Or we could, you know, just not use the death penalty anymore. Even for heinous crimes, I’m not convinced it does society or victims any good. It’s massively expensive, drags the process out by years, and continuously rubs salt in an open wound for victims and families. I understand the human desire for vengeance, but that has to be balanced against whether it makes sense at the societal level. I don’t believe it serves anyone to continue the practice.

    • In reality, vengeance does nothing to relieve the suffering of victims and their families. We should instead seek justice, and a credible guarantee that the perp will be behind bars forever would do much to affect closure in the hearts of those affected by violent crime.

      Some people believe capital punishment deters crime, but the debate continues.

      • Horseshit!

        If some vicious perp unambiguously intentionally killed one of my family, I’d want him d.e.a.d. and gone.

        Save the false moral ambiguity for the utopian hand wringers.

        Closure.

        • Of course you want him dead. I probably would, too.
          Those who follow crime victims have noticed, and documented, that they don’t feel any better after the execution. Nothing false, ambiguous or utopian about it. It’s their reality. The hatred and bitterness continue to eat them alive. There is more than one way to achieve closure.

        • If the guy is later found innocent due to new evidence, should we execute you for a conspiracy to murder? After all, that’s what the guy’s relatives would probably want, and why should we deny your blood to them if we didn’t deny his blood to you?

      • “In reality, vengeance does nothing to relieve the suffering of victims and their families.”

        If I had your amazing ability to see into the hearts of all peoples I might try to do some good with it, rather than just post bullshit on the internet.

      • Well, general deterrence might be debatable, but specific deterrence certainly isn’t–unless you can show me where a capitally-punished offender ever re-offended.

        • Last I checked, imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole achieves complete deterrence.

        • You never heard of a “lifer” murdering another prisoner or a guard? Or “arranging” a murder on the outside? No, life-long incarceration does not guarantee no further offenses.

      • You may think so, but in reality, vengeance does make people feel a little better, whether they admit it or not.

    • I tend to agree. As an interim step, perhaps we could simply ask the state to adhere to the same requirements placed on us. We can’t use deadly force once the ‘threat’ no longer exists. Once the criminal is incarcerated they typically no longer pose a threat. Temporarily suspend carrying out the execution until such a time that they once again pose a threat. This would be violence against other inmates or guards, orchestrating hits outside of prison, etc. If there is a continuing threat, the suspension is lifted and the execution carried out.

      • So victims and their survivors take back seat to utopian moralists projecting good will.

        Once a perpetrator steps over the line into committing intentional murder they’ve forfeited their own ‘right to life’.

        Let the victims survivors decide the vicious bad actor’s fate once the guilty verdict is rendered. The perp created the tragedy. Be it payback or closure for the victims, or both, s/he must pay the bill.

        Moral tolerance my ass! The price must be the ultimate price!

        • And what happens when they get it wrong? You can’t pardon and expunge the record of someone who’s dead except as a formality. Our justice system is one of humans, with human errors and human motives. People don’t always have all the evidence or truthful testimonies. Perjury happens, and DAs have often withheld evidence in order to secure guilty verdicts for notches in their belt. If we had an all-knowing system, then perhaps capital punishment could make sense, but we don’t. And whenever an innocent person is executed, we all have blood on our hands.

          Without the death penalty, the victims/families can take solace in the criminal never walking free again if they are truly guilty. The bastard can make license plates and shitty shaving cream until he dies. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

        • Yes, that did happen in the past with poorly developed and prosecuted Capital Murder cases before the advent of DNA forensics to put the final nail in the lid of the box full of evidence pointing to a single murderer at the exclusion of all others.

        • Righttttt DNA. ___years from now the big news story will be the massive fraud in DNA lab testing. Is as much science as global warming. These tests are not run by some infallible robot or Albert Einstein. Operators are not real “scientists” college dropouts that wanted a high paid government job majored in womens studies, the history of rock and roll, or basket weaving. Performing an endless assembly line parade of identical “tests”. How is the overall result going to be different that any other gov’t task or factory production?

          As much infallible science as any number of other law enforcement fads. Cloak it in the veil of settled science and the rubes accept it. See also global warming/climate change/____.

        • DNA is hardly the only advance in evidentiary forensics not available for earlier cases where circumstantial and inherently unreliable witness evidence led to an apparently guilty, but factually not guilty suspect’s conviction for Capital Murder.

          It is one, particularly well targeted, method. Forensic tools available and regularly employed today make 50 years ago look like the stone ages. In addition there is all the implicative…and exculpatory…electronic sources of evidence from video to telecommunications to computer which aid in determining the likely guilt or innocence of a suspect.

          Get real.

        • Here’s an example of a post-2000 wrongful death sentence where DNA evidence was involved:
          http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=3488

          If you think that stuff never happens because our forensics are perfect, you’re wrong. Because, first of all, they aren’t, but more importantly, because in the end it’s humans (who are prone to error, and sometimes have malicious intent) interpreting those facts.

          No matter how perfect your process is, innocent people will be sentenced to death and murdered. If you believe in death penalty as a measure of social protection and deterrence for the criminal, then that alone should disqualify it, as life sentence achieves the same goals without being irreversible. If what you want is revenge, then you have to admit to yourself that you’re very literally buying that with innocent lives, at the rate of X per year, and you’re okay with that equation.

        • The Christian churches have always taught that when you kill someone you forfeit your life. Justice will never be perfect, but that is because man is fallen. It is alright to punish killers. God will see true justice done, however for those worried about the slim innocent condemned by our society. Trust in Him.

        • Please keep your god out of the courtroom. Not all of us are Christians. I’m not going to trust into something I don’t believe in.

        • I also have to note, though, that according to the Christian faith, killing an innocent men would be murder. Even if I believed in your God, I could trust in his final judgment for the condemned in the afterlife, but what about the guy pulling the trigger?

          Note that Jews have discontinued the death penalty in practice (despite having numerous crimes punishable by it according to direct word of God in theory) precisely on these grounds: their wisest have realized that they cannot ever truly be certain about the guilt beyond any doubt, and to condemn an innocent man to death would be a grave sin in the eyes of God. With that, they concluded the reverse of what you did – they put their trust in God to ultimately punish those people as they truly deserve in the afterlife, and restrain themselves here and now.

      • So you want to give him another chance to kill someone before carrying out the original sentence? Like two bites at the apple?

      • Wow you’re the stereotypical aggressive atheist. Considering 78% of Americans believe in God and are Christian (latest pew survey) I will continue to reference God whether you like it or not.

        • You can reference God all you like. Just don’t try to use it as a justification for judicial procedures.

    • I’m with Kyle in CT on this,

      I don’t believe that capital punishment acts as a deterrent, it’s extremely expensive, and there are many documented cases of it being carried out on innocent people. It does give prosecutors a bargaining chip to extract guilty pleas from the accused, but judicial convenience is hardly rationale for giving the state the power to take a life in cold blood.

      The prospect of a volunteer firing squad makes it worse — it amounts to a golden opportunity for anti-gunners to paint us as bloodthirsty.

      As lawful gun owners, we often note the tendency of the anti-gun industry and its adherents to engage in irrational, childish, emotion-driven thinking. As someone who prefers reason and data, I can’t take any position other than opposed to capital punishment.

    • Yeah let’s all be like feminen libturd Europe. No. We should execute monsters who have no place in society. What we need to do is put in a toll free express lane to the electric chair for the Adam Lanzas of the world. It’s called evolution.

      • So the first time there was an accidental killing of a civilian by the US military during WW2 we should have stopped?

        Are you going to be the person that takes responsibility for all the deaths that occur in prisons committed by prisoners who should have been put to death in the first place? All those deaths are on your hands if you dis-allow capital punishment.

        Justice is not perfect despite what your leftist professors told you in grad school.

        • War isn’t about justice.

          War can be about many things.

          I ‘d wager that there was a bunch of people joining up after Pearl Harbor and 911 hoping to mete out some justice.

    • All those against the death penalty for cost… What about those murderers that escape max security prisons and do it again? Don’t think it happens? That’s what the liberal pacifist media would have you think. Go to wesleylowe.com if you don’t believe me. There’s a worse cost than $$. One of the reasons guns are needed.

    • IMO, it would be cheaper, and better punishment, to put heinous criminals in solitary confinement for life, with no privileges and nothing but a straw mat and one meal of plain white rice per day.

      But we are too pussified to actually do that.

  4. Here is the thing about the firing squad: With the prevalence of AIDS and Hepatitis among the inmate population, I’d participate in the firing squad only in a hazmat suit. Because splatter happens, and all it takes is one drop in the wrong place, like your eyes. Also, a really good reason not to ventilate an intruder in your home unless absolutely necessary.

    I find this whole debate about “humane” ways to die obnoxious. There are no “humane” ways to die, only ways that make the living feel better. Rendering someone unconscious does not do anything a well placed bullet won’t do.

    • There’s no way a modern firing squad would have ‘participants’. they’d have a rig with several rifle chassis installed, and some sort of timer that activates the triggers in unison.

    • You know that US executions aren’t like China where they put the rifle barrel against someone’s head and look away to try and avoid some of the splatter in the eye, right?

      • I read many years ago that China also sends the bill for the ammo to the perp’s family. Wonder if that is still true.

  5. They made a wise choice because given the numerous incidents of botched executions the could very well claim that lethal injection due to the inconsistent preparations of the drugs and the resulting botched executions constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

    • …the resulting botched executions constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

      Why? Did the condemned end up not-dead?

      “Cruel and unusual” does not mean “anything other than pain-free and immediate”. I guarantee that both hanging and the electric chair are more cruel/painful to the condemned person, and both are fully constitutional.

      • A properly done hanging is pretty much instantaneous, actually, as it breaks the spinal cord (and in extreme cases, tears off the head entirely).

        As for electric chair, I don’t think it’s actually constitutional. It’s essentially torture killing, as evidenced by numerous executions where the condemned was basically quick-fried to death. The only reason it was reviewed on whether it meets the “cruel and unusual” standard on the federal level was early on, shortly after its introduction, and the judge’s decision was based on expert statements and an ideal case of everything working fine (while later practice has shown that electric chair is very prone to malfunctioning).

        Note that at least one state has found it to be “cruel and unusual punishment” lately, and I suspect that if it was raised to SCOTUS level, they’d rule the same. There really isn’t any other conclusion that can be derived from reviewing some of the executions.

        In any case, given a choice for myself, I would prefer a bullet to the head. Why Utah insists on reviving the old protocol with a firing squad aiming for the heart, I have no idea.

  6. If they were already unconscious what difference does it make? Is drowning any different than shooting or being run over with a truck at that point?

    • They aren’t necessarily unconscious. Paralytic agents are used that can make someone not move (so as to look more peaceful for the spectators) but not actually render someone unconscious.

  7. A simple bullet is more humane than a drug cocktail of dubious quality. Besides, we can use American rifles and American made ammunition instead of relying on imported goods. Chalk that up as a win.

    Would I do it? I can’t really know unless someone makes the offer. I won’t pretend to wring my hands over it or frame it as some “grim duty with a heavy heart” BS. A simple yea or nea sans moralizing would suffice.

  8. Would I serve on a firing squad? Why should anyone? Simply build a firing squad machine, triggered by pushbutton. Whoever, carries out the execution now could be reassigned the task of pushing one of the buttons.

    From the standpoint of potential deterrent which seems more likely to deter, the prospect of being put to sleep in relative peace or the sudden violence of bullets ripping your heart to shreds?

  9. I believe that if the state warrants an execution, it should happen. Would I pull the trigger? Probably. Like others have said, not out of happiness or pride, but duty. And don’t knock them out, in my opinion they deserve to see. Also this would be much more cost effective, $20 for a box of .223 or $500 for drugs?

  10. IMO, there’s a fine line between being a jury member voting “guilty” in a capital case, and being the one to actually pull a trigger.

    But I can see and understand why some would like to make that thin line a fortified wall.

  11. Good for Utah. Death by firing squad is quick, cheap, and efficient – while being neither cruel nor unusual.

    If Euroweenies don’t want to export their lethal injection cocktails, screw ’em. Perhaps a more important question, though, is: why is it of any concern that it takes someone “over an hour to die”, when that person has been condemned to execution as punishment for his crimes? When did “cruel and unusual” become “must be pain-free and instantaneous”?

    Maybe people hyperventilating about how long it takes a condemned man to die should be forced to view photographs of the crime scene, and re-live the victim’s life and demise, for the duration of the execution. Maybe that would shut them up.

  12. As a former Republican, I strongly agree with the firing squad as an excellent form of capital punishment. I would absolutely participate in one (provided there was a convincing case against the accused).

    Further, I think the family of the murder victims should have the opportunity to participate. Either way, the chance of recidivism is 0%. That sounds like an appropriate punishment for one James E Holmes, for example. Or Nidal Hassan. I would have the death row inmate fully conscious for the execution – that’s how they executed their victims.

    I might also add that it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that Democrats would oppose the firing squad. They don’t seem to be much into long-term solutions these days. Or any solutions for that matter.

    • I am with you on the point of allowing victims or the families of the victims to take part in the execution if they so choose. You would curb vigilantism and have some faith restored in the legal system, at least by the family members and those they know.

      Otherwise this duty should fall on the shoulders of LEOs, IMO.

  13. A .223 hollowpoint to the back of the head is about the most humane method of execution. Instantaneous, and unlike lethal injection, virtually impossible to get wrong. That said, I have far less confidence in the reliability of convictions for capital crimes. Too many convicts have been exonerated years later for me to believe that no innocent person has ever been executed. I have more confidence in the judgment of a terrified homeowner, with a phone to 911 in one hand and a pistol in the other, than I do in any judicial system.

    • “A .223 hollowpoint to the back of the head is about the most humane method of execution.”

      Agreed.

      Aimed at the brain stem, about as instantaneous as it gets, save tallbrass 00 Buckshot.

    • The method in Utah has been to shoot the heart, however. Not instant, but I would say that’s probably going to be quick enough, assuming they stick with 4 rounds of 30-30 (5 shooters; one, chosen at random, has a blank).

    • A rifle round to the back of the head will blow half of the skull off; it’s extremely messy. Here is what it looks like after a 7.62×39 round fired point blank, from a Chinese execution (NSFW, obviously):

      http://s33.photobucket.com/user/zeron4/media/tibet_execution_4.jpg.html

      .223 close up will do the same thing.

      If you want instant and neat, a pistol round to the back of the head will be just as efficient, and nowhere near as messy. Pretty much any caliber will do, even something measly like .32 ACP.

  14. While I am not opposed to the idea that some crimes should be justly punishable by death, I don’t believe that it is wise to trust the government with more than we absolutely have to. For that reason I oppose capital punishment as it is currently constructed. I do not trust our government, or really any government, when it comes to matters of life and death.

    • I could trust a system under our government which had completely independent crime labs, and which did not incentivize criminals to lie about other criminals to build a prosecutor’s case.

      If we made those reforms, I would support the death penalty in the US.

  15. No, I don’t think I could pull the trigger on someone strapped to a chair or a post. And I am for the death penalty, but pushing a button in another room and drugging someone to death is a lot easier than staring at someone in my sights who is totally defenseless and unable would haunt me. I certainly would not volunteer for it, but if chosen for the duty in a similar way that a juror is selected, I suppose I’d try and make my case to not participate. Shooting someone that is an immediate threat to me, my family or others is very different from shooting someone tied to a chair, at least for me it is.

  16. Some time ago, my father-in-law took his old dog to the veterinarian when it was time to euthanize the dog. The veterinarian had no trouble finding the right “cocktail” to euthanize the dog immediately. Why does that not work for the human subjects of the death penalty? What is the basis for all of this hand wringing and supposed uncertainty?

    • Good point. It’s typically a massive overdose of both an extremely fast-acting and a long-duration barbiturate. I’ve been through it with many beloved pets over the years, and it has always been humane and instant.

    • I had a similar experience after spending several thousand dollars on vet bills for a rescue dog. It was a black lab / Austrian shepherd mix puppy infected with the parvovirus. There was nothing we could do to save her. It broke my heart to put that dog down, but the lethal injection worked in seconds.

    • Vets are probably more capable and have access to better stuff. Some of the companies have stopped selling their chemicals not only to the government, but to the US market entirely!

    • probably because death panalty drugs have to be FDA approved and meet human medical standards!

      I agree that the difficulty is mystifying. Ancient civilizations had poisonous potions that killed nearly instantly, made from stuff laying around the environment (tree frogs, puffer fish, plants, depending on region).

    • The problem is that as soon as you start using some substance for execution purposes, you immediately fall under the EU-wide embargo that prohibits any member country from supplying that substance to US on the grounds that it might be used to execute someone. And EU has a lot of drug manufacturers in it. So you execute one guy, and now you have no drugs to euthanize animals anymore. Or worse yet, it’s actually a sedative or anesthetic, and is only used in execution by overdosing it, and now patients don’t have access to it when they need it.

  17. For those not familiar with military firing squad routine, you get shot by multiple rifleman then Sgt. in charge walks up and dumps a pistol round into the head of the intended target individual.

    Personal preference is for the squad to use good old M1 carbines. Finally resolve the endless debate of effectiveness of .30 Carbine round.

    • There is no debate. .30 Carbine is more powerful, joule for joule, than .357 Magnum fired from a carbine. No-one has ever complained about the efficiency of .357 Magnum.

      And BTW, they did use firing squads with M1 Carbines to execute some Nazi war criminals after the war. Worked just fine.

  18. I support the death penalty in especially heinous cases of first degree murder when there is incontrovertible evidence that the accused carried out the murder. Is the death penalty a deterrent? I don’t know. Does the death penalty guarantee a 0% recidivism rate? Yes. Yes it does.

    As for the expense of carrying out a death penalty case, I cannot imagine how a death penalty case can cost more than incarcerating someone for 40 to 70 years. Depending on your source, taxpayers pay between $25,000 and upwards of $50,000 per year per inmate. If we use the middle number of something like $37,000 per year, a 40 year prison sentence would cost the taxpayers $1.48 million and a 70 year prison sentence would cost $2.59 million. And those numbers do not reflect the total cost to our economy. (If we kept that money rather than paying it in tax dollars, we could invest that money and earn interest for personal savings or spend it and spur the economy of the nation.)

    • There is a concerted effort by Leftists to make it as expensive as possible to implement a death penalty conviction. Endless state and federal legal challenges along with suing and harassing all the chemical companies whose products are used in the cocktails. With all that said, I as a taxpayer am willing to spend whatever it takes to implement the convictions.

    • You bring up a very good point. incarceration is extraordinarily expensive. we can and should cheapen it significantly.

  19. I’ve been wanting states to push this for years. If you’re convicted of murder we shouldn’t be pissing away tax dollar money housing these goons for years, they should be having $5 worth of lead pumped into them and dumped in a pile.

    The only reason people want to abolish the death penalty is because having prisons is a cash system. What better way to make money than milk tax payers to fund worthless individuals being supervised in a brick building.

    • What about when we get it wrong?

      The only time violence is warranted is to stop active violence. No preemption allowed. No follow-ups.

      • “What about when we get it wrong?”

        You just trot out the left’s favorite disclaimer:

        “But we meant well!”

        • Great response.

          “Being on the left means never having to say that you were wrong”….Dennis Prager

      • You take a life in vain you pay with yours. If you take a life in self defense, military, or in defense of someone else. You did what you had to.

        • It would seem to me that execution does not fall under the categories of self-defense or defense or someone else (or military, which is really kinda a category of collective self-defense), since the condemned does not pose any immediate threat at the point of the execution that would necessitate the use of lethal force.

    • So I guess you are the person who will be held responsible when the killers kill again in prison?
      We know for a fact that they have before and will do again.
      How do you figure it is morally acceptable to have more people being killed as a result of your anti-capital punishment position?

      Thomas Sowell calls your thought process “First stage thinking” where you never inquire as to what happens after you make your first “feel good” decision.

  20. My only concern would be the quality of the case. If the case was solid and the trial fair, then I would be willing to participate.

    • I agree especially since prosecutors and police are known to suppress evidence and/or fabricate evidence and/or intimidate witnesses and/or coerce false testimony and/or suborn perjury etc. etc. etc.

      One way to reduce falsely convicted people would be to allow the appeals process to run it’s course and another way would be to have police and/or prosecutors involved in a case to risk imprisonment or the death sentence if they are proven to have taken actions to falsely convict the wrong person such as coercing witnesses to testify falsely.

    • that’s my concern, too. There are too many cases of corrupt crime labs, and jailhouse snitches lying about other cons just to get their own situation improved.

  21. If I was “summoned” to do it, I would. If I was “asked” to do it, I dunno, have to wait til it happens to see. I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t “volunteer” to do it on my own. Maybe for a particular, specific case (the Channon Christian murder comes to mind).

  22. Not only would I participate, I would volunteer to do it free of charge.

    It could be argued that an expedient death is far more humane, and certainly more cost effective than a lifetime of confinement.

    The reason capital punishment has failed as a deterrent is because of the legal system not because “under penalty of death” has lost it’s bite.

    • You contradict yourself. If death is more humane, then surely life sentence has more “bite”?

      In any case, which one is more humane is subjective and something that only the person sentenced to it could truly decide. I’m against death penalty on the grounds that it makes miscarriage of justice irreversible, but I would support the right of anyone sentenced to life in prison (or any extreme duration, really – say more than 30 years?) to request to be euthanized instead. That way, if a person is guilty and they know it, they can save themselves the trouble and us the expense; but if they’re actually innocent, they can choose to persevere in hopes that some new evidence or re-examination of their case in the future will prove that.

  23. Would I? Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: Yes, and if the state can’t afford to pay for ammo I will provide my own. Scum who end up on death row deserve to die, and I have no moral qualms about sending scum to hell.

  24. Provided someone was convicted of a rather heinous crime, and the conviction was based on a certainty of guilt resulting from indisputable evidence, then yes.

    Not in any of these cases you read about where a guy is on death row because a couple shady witnesses were like “Ohh yeah we saw that black guy do it”

  25. Lethal injection is the way we put down our sick pets. Shooting is the way to put down predators. Would I be part of a firing squad? No. I would have no problem shooting someone who was a threat, but using a man for target practice is not something I would do, even if the b@stard had it coming.

    FYI, in some cultures, the firing squad is considered a more “honorable” form of execution. Beheading, electricity, hanging and poison are considered humiliating ways to go.

  26. I have moved here and there on the capital punishment continuum and have settled on being very much for it as – and get this – IT IS ONE OF THE MOST HUMANE FORMS OF PUNISHMENT OUT THERE.

  27. That would be cool and all, but I still really like the idea of sending all these condemned men into an arena… I mean lets face it, we’re Rome reincarnate. It’s time to start acting like it. It would be a pretty useful learning tool above the obvious entertainment value as well.

  28. Putting someone in a cage for decades is cruel. All men are going to die anyway, w/ capital punishment you are just accelerating the inevitable for the safety of the community.

    Make no mistake about it. Killers are dangerous until they die. They can kill guards and other inmates. They can escape or order hits from prison. A retarded governor or president can pardon or commune a sentence.

    Yeah the state may get it wrong sometimes but they do that in war and manhunts. Besides, is a man rotting to death in a cell over the course of decades just to die in prison, and later found out to be innocent, somehow better than killing the guy and finding out the state was wrong? Cuz both have happened.

    I would rather ban life in prison before banning the death penalty and I literally mean that for mercy’s sake. Heck, how many prisoners try to commit suicide? Lots.

    So to answer the question: Yes.

    • >> Yeah the state may get it wrong sometimes but they do that in war and manhunts.

      So let’s work on decreasing the odds of that. Why add another thing that can go wrong?

      >> Besides, is a man rotting to death in a cell over the course of decades just to die in prison, and later found out to be innocent, somehow better than killing the guy and finding out the state was wrong?

      It’s not, but the chances of the guy dying of age in his cell before his innocence is proven are lower than the chances of him being executed. Especially if, as many people advocating for death penalty here, we “speed up” the process significantly and dismiss most of the safeguards – reviews, automatic appeals etc.

      >> I would rather ban life in prison before banning the death penalty and I literally mean that for mercy’s sake. Heck, how many prisoners try to commit suicide? Lots.

      To solve that, you can just give them the option of euthanasia. If they would rather die than spend the rest of their life in a cage, it’s their choice. But if they are innocent, the cage gives a glimmer of hope, while death is permanent and irrevocable.

  29. Shooting is better than most of the things we do, but still nowhere near the best method. Why not go back to what works?

    The good old fashioned (but still so efficient) guillotine. Pretty hard to botch and if there’s pain, it’s only for a few seconds.

    Don’t like the spectacle? Blood make you woozy? Okay then… how about a gas chamber but instead of cyanide you pump in inert gas? Doesn’t have the nasty (and rather painful) effects of a poison and the body doesn’t recognize the effects of suffocation on the cellular level the same way it does if you have a CO2 buildup. You just lose consciousness after a short bit and it’s lights out.

    • many people’s qualms with the death penalty are due to flaws in the system, not to the method of execution.

      In my case, if we knew with certaintly that someone committed a heinous crime, and was sane, I would be OK with ANY method of execution. Feet first into a chipper shredder, staked to an anthill, etc.

      but since so many convictions are based on testimony from other cons who have a conflict of interest, and so many crime labs also have conflicts of interest, some innocent dudes have been zapped.

  30. this will never happen. the only real way to drop them without feeling pain is a headshot which would rule out open casket funerals for relatives. unless they dont do those for prisoners.

  31. Every 1% increase in the percentage of murders executed correlates, by a standard of strict cointergration, with a 0.029457% decrease in the homicide rate. Therefore some deterrent effect is proven (as much as statistics can prove anything) to exist, therefore there is no debate. Actually executing murders reduces the homicide rate. But its effect is less than many other factors (percentage of adult males imprisoned, economic fatherhood, abortion rates- which actually have a direct, not inverse, correlation contrary to Freakanomics and eugenicist predictions)

    • Therefore some deterrent effect is proven (as much as statistics can prove anything) to exist, therefore there is no debate.

      Actually: no. Data Analysis 101: correlation does not prove causaation.

      I agree that punishment, including capital punishment, deters crime. But Showing a correlation proves nothing other than that two things are correlated.

  32. No. Not because I have a particular moral objection to the death penalty in the abstract, but because I do have pragmatic concerns over how it has been implemented in this country in the past. I’m thinking of people on death row who have been exonerated in the past in, for example, Illinois. Plus, I take no joy in violence are killing.

    That said, I don’t see why firing squad is any more or less objectionable than lethal injection, hanging, beheading, electric chair, or gas chamber. It still leads to the same destination.

    • I agree with your sentiments 100%. I believe we should maintain the death penalty, but the standard of evidence needed to implement it should be as fool-proof as humanly possible. Few things could be as tragic as an innocent man being executed while the guilty man walks free.
      I actually think shooting may be more ‘humane’ than lethal injection, as a properly placed shot would result in near instant death. Even with the ideal drugs, no one (among the living anyway) really knows if LI is painful or not.

    • I agree with you, too. my concerns with the death penalty aren’t about the morality of killing a heinous criminal, but about the flaws in the systme. This is because we incentivize criminals, who are already inveterate liars, to lie to build cases for prosecutors.

  33. Yes Illinois is a good example. I support the death penalty. But putting a human being to death on the word of a jailhouse snitch or from circumstantial evidence is just plain wrong. Then again some real evil scum had their sentences commuted by the felon Governor George Ryan-the demon who cut the baby out of the woman and murdered her 9year old son comes to mind. Yep I could easily pull the trigger and send it to hell…just like a bunch of beheading monsters in the mideast.

  34. I would only do it if we could use .22’s and had lots of ammo. It could take a while!

    Do you know how hard it is to get someone a death penalty sentence nowadays? The rat bastard had to have done something wrong to get there. Besides, it’s not about the condemned, it’s about the message it sends. And save me your sanctimonious liberal whining…blah, blah, blah

  35. How about a Chair and a pneumatic ram like they use on cattle. If that is their judgement by not one but two juries, best be done quickly and precisely.

  36. I fully support the nationwide implementation of the firing squad, or inert gas chamber as the two primary means of execution. Would I participate? Not voluntarily or willingly. If it was like jury selection or something and I had no choice, yeah, but I’d take no pleasure in killing a defenseless person, regardless of past transgressions.

    To me, a firearm is a recreational object for putting holes in inanimate objects, and a tool for defense. I don’t ever want to offensively take a human life. That’s just not me.

  37. Well another twist to it maybe the the State of Utah should lotto or have an auction to generate revenue! And that would be for the person to pull the trigger.

  38. I would prefer that the most heinous criminals get life in solitary with no privileges and nothing but a straw mat and a diet of one meal of plain white rice per day.

    If we as a society will continue to execute prisoners, I would prefer that we use the least expensive method. Firing squad is certainly cheaper than lethal injection.

  39. Given how corrupt and lazy the justice system can be, Im totally against capital punishment because one never knows when some new info may come out showing the person is not guilty.

  40. Not to hijack here but, would not a better deterrent be to remove the “justice” system from the equation? Certainly any crime worthy of the death penalty should be dealt with during the crime, by the victim. Don’t think of it as vigilante, instead, think of it as saving the economy…

  41. Do people here realize that a number of people convicted for murder are exonerated 20 + years later? How can anyone support killing someone when their is an incredible chance that the person was innocent?

    Look at all the convictions that are overturned in NYC. In every single one of these cases, its shown the prosecutor/detective was dishonest. One police officer, Louis Scarcella, has put several innocent people in prison and he doesn’t even care at all.

    Derrick Hamilton served 20 years… http://www.cleveland.com/forcing-change/index.ssf/2015/01/video_shows_cleveland_police_o_2.html

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Retired-NYPD-Detective-Lou-Scarcella-Confronted-Prisoners-Freed-Convictions-Brooklyn-276984061.html

    Do you guys understand that if you had your way, several innocent people would die?

  42. A firing squad is so paleo. What’s needed is a contraption that attaches to the convicts head and that fires several bullets from several directions. Surgeons and physiologist must of course be consulted during construction to determine the most lethal trajectories.

    The device can be set to trigger at random some time after rigging, and it can be coupled with an activation button given to the prisoner so that he or she can end it all at their own volition before the computer does it.

    Or even better; install a countdown-timer, say 10 minutes, and run a state betting pool! “Will he or will he not push the button, and if when?” Could pay for the whole thing. Just my 2 cents.

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