In the wake of pharmaceutical manufacturer embargoes and a botched execution attempt in Ohio, several state legislatures are considering bringing back the firing squad. Which way would you rather go? Or alternately (and let’s not get too gruesome here) how would you send murderers back to hell, the drip or the bullet? . . .

Several major pharmaceutical manufacturers have stopped selling the drugs which comprise an executioner’s deadly chemical cocktail to prisons. This has led state penal institutions to experiment with previously untested drug combinations to administer their lethal injections, and the results have been, in some cases, horrifying.

Dennis McGuire, shown above, gasped and convulsed for 25 minutes in an Ohio death chamber after receiving an experimental two-drug cocktail recently. His family has sued the state for ‘cruel and unusual punishment’, and other states are trying to avoid making Ohio’s mistake.

Wyoming and Missouri are considering legislation to revive the use of the firing squad. They would join Utah as the only states to use the firing squad to enforce the death penalty, and even Utah has not executed a prisoner by firing squad since 2010.

At the risk of being ghoulish, Utah firing squads traditionally employ Winchester .30-30 rifles and (in recent decades) 150-grain Silvertip cartridges. The reported time of death for Utah firing-squad executions since Gary Gilmore has ranged from two to four minutes after being shot. Is the ballistic solution an improvement?

293 Responses to Question Of The Day: Executions – Is The Bullet Better Than The Needle?

    • Ditto. What is the problem with $5 of rope, a $2 horse and a tree in the town square for the murderer, rapist, pederast , progressive, etc?

      Treason gets you a firing squad.

        • If they dont fall enough they choke to death, if they fall too much they get decapitated. Also many people survived hanging because the rope snapped.

          So yes, I vote for shooting them and getting it over with.

        • I dont think thatll be a problem with steel cable or 550 cord, drop them 4 feet, if it tears the head off, fine

        • Errant, it’s fairly common knowledge for history buffs out those interested in the old west. Hanging mishaps were not unheard of.

          The history channel had a site called Wild West Tech for a few years and each episode highlighted one aspect of the tech level of the day. One in particular went into some detail regarding the story of an outlaw who sat in jail for almost a year (maybe longer) before his hanging finally happened. During this time he managed to get quite fat but the hangman never updated his calculations. The result was a gruesome decapitation.

          No morbid obsession is necessary to have this knowledge, just basic cable.

          That show went into some detail on the guns of the day too if I recall correctly.

        • What Marcus said. Also from the history of the Nuremberg Trials. As I remember it, there was a hangman from Briton who was a master of the craft… Right up until he hung some of the worst war criminals. Suddenly his skills left him and his calculations were all off. Those Nazis took a particularly long time to die. It was apparently very embarrassing, professionally. These are some of the things you pickup when you study history.

        • Whether some of the Nuremberg executions were botched or not is still controversial. The official stance of US Army (which supplied the executioner) was and remains that everything went well. We’ll probably never know.

          I don’t think it would make sense as a deliberate miscalculation, though. If rumor is true, the people who died slowly were Ribbentrop, Sauckel and Keitel. I’ll grant you that Ribbentrop was certainly one of the worst of the bunch, but the other two hardly were (heck, how many people even remember who they are?).

          The more likely explanation is that the method chosen was “standard drop”, as opposed to “long drop” that was by then normally used in most countries and US states. So while the executioner may have had experience in general, he probably didn’t have any with this particular method.

      • There used to be artisans of the hanging art. They were well paid and good at what they did. There is a formula for the body weight and attention paid to the rope in which was utilized for the hanging.

        • That’s why I favor bringing back the guillotine. It’s very fast and painless. It is a little messy, but the other factors outweigh this issue.

        • Actually, Sauckel was the slave labor boss in the Third Reich, responsible for the deportation and deaths of millions of people from the occupied lands. Keitel, as chief of the OKW, was responsible for passing on and endorsing Hitler’s most heinous orders including the Commando order and the Night and Fog decree. They were worthy of death, but you are 100% correct about Ribbentrop.

    • I would rather a bullet, but only to the back of the head, otherwise I would take the PROPER execution drugs, none of that experimental shit. If they use the correct drugs it is like going under for surgery and just not waking back up.

      • Humane Societies nationwide euthanize cats and dogs every day:

        “The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) recommends the injection of sodium pentobarbital, prepared specifically for use as a euthanasia product, as the preferred agent for the euthanasia of companion animals. This method, when properly performed, has been found to be the most humane, safest, least stressful, and most professional choice by The HSUS, The American Humane Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association.”

        I have seen a video and the animal quite literally appears to just “go to sleep” and then stop breathing. How is this not appropriate for the execution of convicted criminals? The only issue I can see is that the drug is injected directly into the cardiac muscle and in our modern executions we like to downplay the single executioner role by providing multiple “button pushers”, one of which is pressing by random selection an inoperative button. Even firing squads issue one of the weapons at random loaded with blanks.

        Even so, sodium pentobarbital administered IV with a direct link to the heart should have an almost immediate effect.

        • This is how it had been previously done, but the Dutch company that makes the drug stopped selling it to States that support capital punishment so they had to come up with an alternative

        • As an owner of many Golden Retrievers over the years and most lived to early teens. Injection is in a front leg vein. Very quick and painless, with that combination.

          For Ted Bundy, Florida still used Electric Chair. For the worst of the worst, still the most effective if done propertly. His was very effective!

        • Indeed. If it’s good enough for my dog, it’s more than good enough for a murdering POS.

      • The problem is that the pharmaceutical companies quit selling the proper drugs to states for the purpose of using them in executions.

    • Hanging is better than the needle, but it still sucks. It’s pretty easy to fake, not to mention screw up. (See- Black Jack Ketchum, or that one one armed guy who also was decapitated.)

      I am personally fond of the captive bolt, but if I had the choice I would choose the firing squad. Much richer territory for badass last words.
      (See- Breaker Morant- “Shoot straight, you bastards! Don’t make a mess of it!”

    • So much hypocrisy…
      We are killing them because THEY DESERVE IT. No mercy…
      Take them to the graveyard, have them dig their own grave, and let the victim’s family beat them in the head with a tire iron.
      This is NOT complicated.
      Realistically, ropes have worked for thousands of years. String ’em up. Implying that someone on death row deserves some type of mercy is ridiculous. They have usually already had an extra 12 years of merciful life in a cage while their victims have died horribly a long long time ago.

  1. Pardon me if I am not concerned about the potential suffering of any scumbag who did something worthy of getting executed. I would go back to my Romanian roots and give him the Vlad Tepes special.

    • There is a reason the founders put in the bill of rights a prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Cherry picking which rights you do an do not like is what gun grabbers do, it shouldn’t be something that we do no matter how heinous the crime or how you feel about it personally.

        • Again with “and” thing…

          Maybe I don’t understand the concept of “and”, but if I said,” I’m having bacon and eggs for breakfast.” That implies both items are present and together, bacon and eggs make up the breakfast (much like cruel and unusual make up the no-no punishment), “or” would be used if either can be applied separate of one another, “I’m having bacon or eggs for breakfast” has an entirely different meaning.

          Can a lawyer or English major help me out on this?

        • Impalement or really any kind of torture in AMERICA is absolutely unusual and certainly is cruel. But arguing that it must be both cruel and unusual is like arguing that you only have the right to bear arms in a militia. It is a twisting of the intent of the founders.

        • RockOnHellChild,

          From a logic point of view (as a computer programmer I’m used to telling the computer to do this AND that, or checking something against this OR that): “cruel punishment” is OK, and “unusual punishment” is OK, but “cruel and unusual punishment” is not OK.

          My family is used to me answering most “this OR that” questions with a simple YES or NO.

          Legally, well…IANAL. 🙂

    • The standard method of administering the dealth penalty in Russia today is to shoot the prisoner in his cell at a date and time unannounced to the prisoner. One day, out of the blue, the shooter appears and shoots the convict.

      • There is no standard method in Russia today, because it has a moratorium on executions (due to some requirements for membership in various European organizations), and so it doesn’t execute anyone.

        Back when it was still practiced, it was done by taking the prisoner out of the sell and telling him that he is being moved somewhere, or any other pretense that would sound plausible. He’d be escorted by guards following him, and at some point one of the guards would just aim and shoot – the point being that the sentenced should not be aware of what’s going on right up until the moment he is dead.

  2. One thing the French got right was the use of the guillotine. I’d vote for that, or drop-hanging with a rope of appropriate length.

    • And the nice thing about the guillotine is that it is SOOOO European and French – all sophisticated and nuancey.

      Failing that, the Vlad Tepes treatment would be appropriate for a rapist/murderer.

    • Yup, if I was to be executed and had a choice of the means, I would go for the guillotine. It is quick, hopefully painless and I get to leave one hell of a mess!

      • The head survives for a few seconds. One guy that got the guillotine during the French revolution told a friend to watch when they held up the head and he would try to blink his eyes, the eyes blinked twice.

      • There was a case in France once, where three tourists on a binge killed a local townsman. All three were sentenced to execution by the guillotine. The first two were let go after they were sweating so much, after the blade got hung up when the executioner tried to release it from the top.
        When they put the third guy on the table, (He was a mechanical engineer) He looked up and shouted out “Wait a minute, I see the problem”.

  3. What’s wrong with strapping a mask on their face and feeding them carbon monoxide? Isn’t that how Kevorkian did it? Reasonably quick, and totally painless.

  4. I would just like to point out the execution wasn’t botched, it just took 27 minutes for his heart to stop. Given his crime, I’m ok with it taking as long as necessary as long as he meets the qualifications of being dead.

    • I’m with you,I have a hard time caring considering the nature of is crime. He can rot in hell as far as I’m concerned.

      • “Rotting in hell” is not your call to make. Hopefully, someone with greater wisdom and less reliance on petty feelings of revenge.

        Justice is not supposed to be about revenge, for who will avenge your need for revenge?

        These very issues are why so many places have done away with the death penalty. A decision like death needs to be done dispassionately. Unfortunately, humans are creatures of passion. As such, they have no business deciding on who shall live, or who shall die.

        • You sympathize with that animal rather than the pregnant woman that he raped and murdered. There’s no limit to you liberals’ inane foolishness, is there?

        • You know, Larry, I don’t always agree with William, and more than just occasionally I think he’s more than just a little wackadoo, but calling him a liberal is about the stupidest fucking thing I’ve read on this blog in the 2+ years I’ve been around here (and I’m including the few times that some poor, ignorant dumbass has called me one). I’m honestly not sure you could have come up with a more comprehensive demonstration of your ignorance than that.

        • You know Burke I imagine, being the arrogant little prick that you are, that you have a small number of friends. I simply said I don’t care if he suffered and that he could rot in hell as far as I was concerned. I did not consign him to hell or say that it was my call. I gather from your comments you oppose the death penalty. Get over it. I say all of this with the utmost respect. Or not.

    • There is a reason the founders put in the bill of rights a prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Cherry picking which rights you do an do not like is what gun grabbers do, it shouldn’t be something that we do no matter how heinous the crime or how you feel about it personally.

  5. From an enviromental stand point I would vote the rope and hang. The rope could be easily recycled and re-used as needed. I believe in save the tax payer some money.

  6. Saw the combination of drugs given. He never suffered for a second, he was enjoying it. Trust me, any junkie would love those drugs. Took his body a while to get the message, but he felt wonderful the whole time! If anything, it was too good for him.

  7. Firing squads obviously work, but what about the mental health of the shooters? I realize that one guy gets a blank round so nobody knows if they really did kill someone, but I would hate for guysndoing their jobs to have issues down the road.

    • We could automate the firing squad, weight in the chair triggers the timer that then fires several firearms pre-aimed at the heart and head of the inmate. Or hook the timer to the light switch in the room, or to the door itself, so no one even has to be in the room for the deed to be done.

    • All executions have an executioner. I presume the job is voluntary and not a draftee slot. At least with a firing squad you get to spread the potential guilt around a little.

    • Some members of the firing squad probably gets blanks. My state uses the electric chair (Sparky, we named it, I love Florida). We have three switches and three people pull at the same time. Only one is actually live, and another party sets up which one without telling anyone who will throw the switch. This sort of thing is pretty standard for modern executions.

    • The right of first refusal for pulling the trigger should go to a family member of the victim.

      If they miss and shoot him in the nuts first… oh well.

    • I don’t understand the blank thing. it would be immediately obvious that you had just fired a blank, since blanks don’t fire a projectile, so no recoil. unless they load some sort of frangible bullet that disintegrates when it exits the barrel.

      On another note, midazolam, also known as versed, is a very powerful sedative. It’s the stuff they give you before you are wheeled into the operating room. It tends to make you mellow, loopy and less scared. Up the dose high enough, and it will put you out cold, and can kill on it’s own. Many people commit suicide by taking a bottle of valium, a close relative of versed. He was unconscious and unaware by the time he started gasping.

      Unusual, yes. Cruel, no. And frankly, I wouldn’t give a damn if he did suffer. Eye for an eye.

    • If you want firing squad make the jury the firing party. If executing someone it SHOULD be personal. Dang sure personal for the convicted. NO weaseling/progressiving out.

  8. Why are people worried about the pain caused to someone being executed? If they have earned the death penalty it wasn’t for killing their victims with kindness. The POS pictured above viciously raped a 7 months pregnant woman and then slit her throat before “disposing” of the body in the woods. What he went through, unconscious, was nothing compared to what she went through wide awake.

      • Make the punishment fit the crime. If he quickly and painlessly executed his victim I could see your point. In this case he callously tortured, via anal rape, and murdered a woman within 2 months of giving birth. He deserved no mercy.

        • DO tell. What progressive got to you?

          Punishment for crime only morphed into “pay his debt” under when the progressive garbage took control of the courts.

          A sentence is about PUNISHMENT with perhaps a measure of deterrent for like minded individuals.

        • Amazing how many people can support one part of the constitution and not the others… and also how quickly they get off on being just like the people they condemn.

      • I’m against capital punishment (because I don’t think the state should have that much authority). That said I will note the word AND there. Cruel AND unusual. If something is cruel, but usual, it’s constitutional.

        • Maybe I don’t understand the concept of “and”, but if I said,” I having bacon and eggs for breakfast.” That implies both items are present and together, “or” would be used of either can be applied separate of one another…

          Or, am I missing something?

        • Ding, ding, ding! I’ve always used the example that if you have a guy dressed as a clown, rectally inserting dynamite to the convict as the execution method. Might always be cruel, but do it often enough and it stops being unusual. Words have meaning and ‘and’ is written in there for a reason. Extreme example but that’s how you change peoples thinking.

        • @Mike

          Can I change my vote from Vlad Tepes Special (TM) to Rectally Inserted Dynamite? The latter sounds way more appropriate for certain scumbags. (Like any durka durka caught alive)

        • @ RockOnHellChild:

          If I was to say, “when you come to visit me, please note that we do not allow peanuts and cats in the house,” would you feel it was ok to bring one of them just so long as you didn’t bring the other?

          if I said, “I have given up bacon and eggs,” would you offer me bacon?

      • Deterrence is not about revenge either. A slow, agonizing, death is probably one of the best deterrents available.

        • Capital punishment is a deterrent only to the convict executed. Studies, and just plain common sense, demonstrate this proposition over and over again. Criminals know that their planned crimes can carry the death penalty, but they don’t care because they have this belief that they just won’t get caught.

        • Well, they’re not supposed to be, anyway.

          No matter how bad it is here, it’s better than virtually any historical example of prison life, which is where some of that cruel and unusual stuff came from. Remember that back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon for people to be thrown in a cell, the door locked, and they were left on their own from there on, to live or die as fate (and the paths of rats) decided.

      • You damn leftists are so “civilized” because you side with killers/thugs? This is ridiculous and you are what is wrong with this country.

        • Oh, wait, I belay my last comment. I hadn’t scrolled down far enough to see that you called me a leftist, too. You really are new here, aren’t you? I suggest you do a little research before you start calling people names. Using the words liberal and leftist to refer to William Burke and myself demonstrates a level of stupidity that could only be described as stupefying.

      • He didn’t suffer. He was unconscious and unaware. Gasping is the body’s normal, reflexive response to a lack of oxygen. People quite often go through this as death approaches from many other causes. The medical term is agonal breathing.

    • Simply because we live with animals does not mean we must become one.

      A quick death is all that is required, the death is the punishment, not the pain before the death.

  9. Up until last year I’d have said “a bullet is cheaper.”

    I’m wondering if the Utah firing squads are using the many blanks, one bullet approach? It seems two to four minutes is a little excessive if a firing squad are all shooting live rounds.

    I do like the short drop with a sudden stop approach as well. Whichever method is best I think we’re missing the deterrent effect of broadcasting said execution….

    • I agree. No more midnight executions, midday and broadcast on every news channel, plus closed circuit into every prison, with mandatory attendance for all inmates.

      • I personally would not watch an execution. After a certain point even the most hardened to get affected by seeing death take another soul. 10 years ago I would have answered differently. Yes it might deter some if they were broadcast but I do not think it would be good for many people to witness especially young people (kids).

        Also I am not at all liberal. I am a very committed Constitutionalist. If the Constitution does not say the government can do something it is my belief they cannot and should not!

        • I could watch it easily. These scumbags DESERVE to die. I’m SICK of taxpayers having to foot the bill for these f**ks getting a free ride the rest of their lives. KILL THEM. I’ll pay for the bullets. Send me the bill.

    • As far as “not knowing” is concerned, if you’re a good enough shot to be on a firing squad, then you are also very familiar with recoil. You may not know if you’ve got a live round in the gun before you pull the trigger, but I garan-damn-tee you you’ll know afterward.

      • I don’t know if that’s true. Different folks react differently, but in the stress of a real world situation I’ve never felt recoil. I got knocked silly by a large explosion that killed another man. To this day I remember everything about it but the noise. I honestly don’t remember the noise at all. It’s like I didn’t hear it.

        • Same here. I didn’t hear the blast, I heard a moment of silence as I felt the blast hit me. But I did hear the echoes from the blast.

        • Same here. Had an 82 mortar rd detonate extremely close, did not hear it, or much of anything for a while. I did feel it, and saw it. Funny, from rock&roll, weapons fire and explosions I should be deaf as a stone and yet I have scarily good hearing.

      • Duh. I should have realized that the guy with the blank bullet will realize it due to recoil. I have never fired a blank.

        • I seem to remember hear or reading about special blanks or guns that simulated the recoil of the full load, while looking identical to the real thing.

        • If you’re gonna go into that much detail, make 2 sets of hand-loads, one blank, one with a round and try to balance them so the recoil feels similar.

    • Thats what I took away as well; 2-4 minutes after taking several 150Gr Silvertips? Unless they classify “death” as total cessation of any brain function that seems like a very long time.

      For all intents and purposes even a single rifle round to the heart is going to be near-instant incapacitation and loss of consciousness.

  10. Death by water hose enema… If we’re going make them go, let’s make them GO, you know what I mean?

    In all seriousness, I say let them or their immediate family decide, but in the absence of a decision, the ol’ 150 gr 30-06 should be pressed into service.

    • Lots of skill to chop a man’s head off. Many an ax or heavy sword got stuck in a man’s neck without severing it completely. Henry the Viii’s executioner whispered the name of one unfortunate wife so she would turn and relax her neck to look his direction. He then followed with the death blow.

      Saudi Arabia stopped with the beheadings because they have run out of qualified swordsmen.

        • I watched a video of this sixteen year old Mexican “girl” beheading an unfortunate man who’d run afoul of a drug gang for one reason or another. It was neither pretty nor quick as she sawed and sawed at the neck of her living victim. Most beheadings there are with a chain saw. Again, pretty gruesome.

      • More likely the Saudis are afraid to “arm” any Filipino serfs. ( the Saudis needing others to wipe their…..)

        • That’s not what the government says. It is harder than you think to take off a man’s head with a single blow. If you don’t do it right, then you end up hacking away until it finally comes off. There are many reports of botched executions in England, a land famous for dull swords and duller axes. To say nothing of the fact that it is pretty hard to lop off a head cleanly with a severely curved bladed ax and a chopping block.

        • Beheadings in KSA are done with a sword, not an axe. And it’s not the traditional European style large tip-heavy two-handed execution sword, which is really more like an axe with a really long blade. It’s a scimitar. Taking off a man’s head with such a thing is certainly not easy.

      • The the Japanese not only had one “second” during ritual suicides to behead the “victim” but a second because there was a high rate failure in severing the head with a sword. These guys weren’t amatuers either.

  11. With ammo prices still being somewhat high, and hard to find…

    Nope. That’s a waste of perfectly good bullets!

    The guillotine instead!

  12. I figure 25 minutes of gasping and convulsing is a good start on the road to penance, though something more biblical or barbaric would be preferable.

  13. I can’t remember who (might have been Carlin) suggested it (however sarcastically), but for mass murderers and serial rapists, all you really need is a catapult and a brick wall.

    Barring that unlikely happenstance, I go with a short drop with a quick stop.

  14. Bring back the firing squad…!!! Quick, cheaper, and unlimited availability of both rifles and ammunition ensure no delays in executions.

  15. utah, I believe, used to offer the condemned person a choice between the firing squad and the rope. Set up a selection and let the condemned chose. If he can’t make the choice then have a prison official draw lots from a hat.

    Now my wife believes that a person that harms a child should go feet first into a wood chipper.

  16. Firing squad, Everyone aim at the chest using 308 or equiv. This guy deserved a gut shot from a 22 short.

  17. Im ok with anything that can be later auctioned off especially in high profile cases to help pay for what I consider a luxury stay in a tax payer funded resort. Theres plenty of morbid people with some big bucks that would be willing to pony up just to be able to say they own the bullet and casing that killed (insert scumbag here)

  18. OF COURSE IT IS.
    I was appalled at the whining I heard on the talk shows about agony and suffering and cruel and unusual. As if what a murder does to their victim is not about agony and suffering…. or cruel….

    Best Gore [dot] com – for those who can stomach it – has an extensive video collection of Syrian beheadings and such. THAT is brutal.
    It also had a video of a series of post WW2 executions of Nazi officers by firing squad.
    I suggest watching the beheadings and then the executions for crystal clear clarity in the distinction on what is and is not cruel.

  19. If you can strap down a person for execution – or in anyway have that person in any position you desire then I say gun “yes” firing squad no. A .410 shotgun blast to the top of the neck (a.k.a. kill stick) would do it for far less than the chemicals needed for lethal injection.

    While we are on the topic . . . I have heard that firearms are still used to put down animals – some of great size like a horse? What do they use for that? I have heard a .32. Can we not just use the same guns and/or chemicals used to put down animals?

  20. First, a bullet to the base of the skull is instant and painless. Our concern with “humane” executions is a concern about detaching ourselves from what is happening- we want to believe the gallows/chair/injection is doing the killing; a man with a pistol makes it a little too personal.

    Second, why on Earth is it okay to execute people painlessly but not painfully?

    Third, I don’t trust the government to administer the death penalty for the same reason I don’t trust the government to decide who can and cannot have a firearm.

    • “I don’t trust the government to administer the death penalty for the same reason I don’t trust the government to decide who can and cannot have a firearm.”

      This, our justice system railroads too many people for me to have any faith in the idea of only the deserving being executed.

    • The Russians were very fond of two shots to the back of the skull with a .22 for political executions. Very effective, very instant, and very neat. Not much blood leaks out of such a little hole, a the .22 enters but doesn’t have enough energy to exit, rattling around and making scrambled eggs of the brain.

      • Neither Russia nor USSR never used .22 for executions. It was always done with the typical service sidearm of the era – Mauser C96 or Nagant revolver initially, later adding TT to the mix, and after WW2, Makarov.

        • Solzhenitsyn wrote in Gulag Archepelago that any use of the words “nine grams” referred to execution by Nagant revolver. The little pill in that recessed 7.62mm cartridge fills the bill.

          Anyway, I say bring back the firing squad. That’s how Utah got the ball rolling in 1977 with the Gary Gilmore execution, even though that happened only because he waived further appeals & begged to be put to death. Far fewer problems about technology or skills. Just bang & it’s done.

        • “Nine grams” (or “nine gram pill”) actually proved to be a very persistent euphemism, and is still used in Russian today to mean any execution-style killing with a handgun.

          The traditional firing squad method can, and often did, make things messy. Commie-style bullet to the back of the skull is extremely efficient, I don’t think there was any recorded case of it not working instantly. But it’s still messier than it needs to be. Executions are such a rare event that, if we have to have them, we might as well make it as civilized as possible. Which means nitrogen.

          I’d much rather not have them at all, though. There is always the possibility of executing an innocent, and it’s a mistake that cannot be undone. Life imprisonment is just as good as a deterrent/punishment/safety measure, but is not irreversible.

    • Finally some voice of reason vs. angry revenge.

      I’ve thought that our response to execution should probably be to hold our government to the same standard that they hold us to. That is, if the offender is no longer a threat, deadly force is no longer justified. For most people in prison, they are no longer a threat. Some continue to be a threat either to guards, other prisoners or to people outside prison (by arranging hits). I would suggest that all death penalty cases have a mandatory “temporary suspended sentence”. The temporary suspension would be immediately lifted and sentence carried out if the guilty party continued to be a threat while in prison.

  21. It’s ALWAYS been my contention that convicted felons, on death row, that have committed murder, should be put to death in the same manner that they used to commit their crime…”What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander”…

  22. For crying out loud, why is it such a big deal killing someone? People are trying to stay alive in so many places!
    Clean him up, give him a nice suit, drop him off in a bad neighborhood in Chicago. Put a 20 in his pocket to pay the executioner for his services. Problem solved.
    Or wrap him in an American flag, drop him off in any Mexican border town after dark. Matamoros, Ciudad Juarez, Nogales. Or send him to Afghanistan.

  23. I don’t mind the bullet. They’ll feel it, but not for long. They’d better be putting multiple bullets in there though. Don’t want to miss.

    Saw someone suggest carbon monoxide. That’s not a bad way to do it. Quick and clean. Though that is SUPPOSED to be how lethal injections go. See the problem?

  24. Interesting question… We are limited to an execution that is not “cruel or unusual.” Not my definition, but the Supreme Court’s. If we start there, the goal would be to make the execution as “painless” and as natural as possible. This would be the justification for lethal injection; the scumbag goes to sleep and additional drugs then cause the heart and/or breathing to stop, which can take a few minutes or in the case of the recent execution in Ohio up to 25 minutes.

    Ok, so what was the experience of that death from the perspective of the person being executed? I frankly don’t care much, but it is a question that ought to be answerable. I have personally undergone 24 surgeries; 20 of them under general anesthesia and 4 of them using epidurals preceded by an intravenous drug that knocked me out. I would offer, based on that experience, that being unconscious does not mean being unaware.

    I’ve been able to recall some things that occurred during several surgeries that border on the bizarre (nothing bad). For this reason, I would never opt for a lethal injection (not that it would be necessary as I am so law abiding I qualify as boring).

    The root cause for the long string of surgeries was devastating injuries suffered on a drilling rig in TX. Despite both legs being crushed, multiple compound fractures, and various impact injuries on other parts of my body, I never lost consciousness (so lucky on that one, not). The interesting thing is that I felt very little pain. Initial terror, yes, but that was gone quickly thanks to a crew member who talked me through it.

    I’ve since spoken with many people who suffer huge injuries and some of them say the same thing. Very little pain, some sense of “pressure”, perhaps, but not true pain. Our bodies – sometimes, for at least the lucky ones – can sometimes just shut things off that (I think) overwhelm out ability to process it, including signals of pain flowing to the brain. By the time the ambulance arrived, I was very calm, laying back and drinking water and smoking a cigarette. That has always struck me as very strange considering the scale and permanence of the injuries. My point is that it is possible that a firing squad – say 5 or 6 rifle shots to the chest – could be a faster and possibly calmer way to exit this mortal coil. But I wouldn’t count on it.

    Not to sound all Stalinistic, but without a doubt the best way to go – other than a calm passing during a exhausted sleep after a looong night with your optimum sexual partner – would probably be a gun shot to the base of the skull. The old NKVD special. Use of a Makarov chambered in 9×18 optional. Which, of course, could not be considered usual in the US (at least not yet), though it is certainly not cruel.

  25. Any method that results in a reasonably quick death should be fine. This is waste disposal, not revenge.

    I’m less concerned with the method than with the fact that it took more than 20 years to deliver the penalty.

    • Absolutely this. This is taking out the trash. All of these people who want the guy to suffer and die slowly, would you do the same to a rabid dog? Because in most cases, that’s what we’re talking about: the human version of a rabid dog. The dog would get the Ol’ Yeller treatment. Quick, clean, painless. So should the condemned man.

      • The rabid dog and Old Yeller aren’t morally responsible for a heinous act. Even if the rabid dog did do something bad.

  26. Boom, boom, boom. Three in the head, you know they’re dead.

    If there is a way to screw up a simple thing, the government will find a way.

  27. Rope, no drop, steady lift till toes are barely in contact with ground and let them have what they have earned.

    If it has to be injection what is wrong with heroin? Tons of the stuff seized every year, so put it to use.

  28. I’ve read in the past a worker’s experience with a closed chamber and Nitrogen gas – I guess there was a leak in one of the lines and his co-workers saw him collapse and got him out of there right quick. He didn’t seem to remember anything – one minute he was working in the chamber, the next he was outside surrounded by everyone. A nitrogen gas chamber might be worthwhile, although I don’t think it’s been used (for whatever reason).

    As far as humanely executing someone, I thought that’s what prompted the electric chair… sure it might look nasty from the spectator’s point of view, but that’s mainly the muscles reacting to the high current.

    Otherwise, a bullet to the back of the head seems to be the next best thing, if we need to keep “humane” in mind.

    • Yes. I too have wondered why they don’t use nitrogen gas. The brain has no idea anything is wrong until you lose consciousness.

    • The electric chair was actually a marketing program to stick a needle in the eye of his competition in the electric power business (Sparky using AC current while Edison was the prophet of the inferior DC current scheme). Sparky frequently being a very messy and inefficient failure.

  29. I have said this for years and still hold it. Firing squads have nobility to them. That is, to stand and face your death retains some nobility. I think of Gen. Sherman’ s murder of a Confederate POW (his subordinate originally refused the unlawful order but was threatened with court marshall). The poor POW chosen to be shot stood and face his death such that one of the firing squad wrote, ” As the smoke floated away among the tall pines our boys looked with sadness upon the bleeding corpse of a brave old man who met death unflinchingly and heroically for the crime of another man”

    The firing squad was a soldier’ s death. Honorable, for what it is.

    Hanging is more appropriate for the worse criminals, child rapists and the like.

  30. At the rate the federal gov. has bought and stockpiled ammunition, they can execute for free and then spin it as some sort of public works program.

    EDIT: And as far as we like to point out that talking about revolution, violence etc looks bad and may make us seem crazy, does talking about this add to that? random thought.

    • Amen brother. ER RN for 30 years. Seen many accidental executions. DWPA. Died With Paramedic or Physicians Assistance. Nurses cause their share but it wont rhyme.

    • As a physician, you should know the answer: a qualified physician cannot carry out an execution, since that would be in violation of his oath.

      It is made even more complicated by the fact that US imports so many drugs from EU, and those imports come with strings attached that you cannot use them for executions (EU has a law against exporting goods used for that purpose anywhere). So if you use a drug with a proven track record that is widely used, then you cut off the supply of that drug in the future, including for medical applications. So they have to come up with drug cocktails that aren’t used for anything else, and don’t have a useful medical purpose.

    • Maybe auction off the hunting license and use the money to save the black rhino. Might get the progs to support it as they seem to like endangered animals more than people.

  31. Ironically, people don’t realize that they guy who was executed probably had the time of his life as he died. The drugs would have blocked all sensations of pain or oxygen debt and given him a drug-high. O2 hypoxic euphoria would have kicked in later on as well.

    Firing squads were phased out after a particularly embarrassing execution in 1951 Utah of a guy named Elisio Mares. 6 shooters all flinched and didn’t aim at the heart- they hit the guy’s right chest instead, and it took him a half hour to bleed out from his lungs’ low pressure vasculature.

    The Ohio execution went ‘fine’, the guy didn’t feel a thing as he died- just like any overdose. The only real difference from past executions is that since he wasn’t given paralyzing drugs, people saw his body’s autonomic response as it died.

  32. I’m confused. I was under the impression that all it takes to kill a man is one shot delivered by a handsome movie star shooting with his gun turned sideways. Why don’t we just do that?

  33. After Googling for what this guy did to land himself in this position, I couldn’t give a flying f*ck how they killed him. A rusty spork would have been too good for him.

  34. Bucket of gas and a road flare is about what I think they generally deserve. Or just let the family members of killer’s victims gang bludgeon them to pulp, then the bucket of gas and the road flare.

    Perhaps the state should have sued the sh!tbag’s family “for his cruel and unusual behavior” when he committed his crimes? Is everybody a f’in victim these days?

  35. My votes is for tying a bungee cord around their neck and throwing them off a short bridge. If you insist on being humane, a .50 cal machine gun will do.

    • This!! Run them through the coaster till croaked and put it on pay per view!! Give the money from the PPV to the victims family!!

  36. I’m all for the firing squad. I would think it would be 1000x cheaper than leathal injection. Save the good law abiding tax payers some money whenever possible.

  37. Ok so there’s been a lot of methamphetamine taken off the streets and it has to be disposed of. Why not just inject the prisoner with enough pure meth that their heart seizes up in a few minutes? We get rid of the drugs, we put down a dangerous animal and who cares if he or she suffers?

  38. Use the same injectable cocktail my vet used for 2 dogs & 1 cat. Dose they use for horses should work at half dose. Very quick, the sooner arrives in hell, the better.

  39. I used to be a big proponent of Capital Punishment. But, I had to come to terms with how many innocent, or perhaps not-quite-guilty people are put imprisoned by our justice system. And while I do believe there are many incontrovertibly guilty people on death-row, even the slightest chance of an innocent many being executed is not worth it.

    I take to heart the idea that its better a 1000 criminals remain alive than one innocent man put to death, so I could no longer reconcile being a Humanist, Constitutionalist and a Libertarian with Capital punishment.

    • So you are one of the… “If it saves one life, then its all worth it?”

      That’s the argument of the Antis on every new gun regulation. There is no absolutes in life. We can only go on the best efforts of the legal system to do its job. Perfection is enemy of good when you use that standard.

      • Straw-man much? That is hardly the same argument. In fact it is in acknowledging the imperfection of the legal system that brings me to my conclusion. It is more humane and incidentally cheaper, to keep criminals locked up for life with the added benefit that there is no chance of executing an innocent man before he can be, if ever, exonerated.

        Furthermore, I can assume from your rebuttal that if you ever found yourself falsely convicted of a capital offense, you would simply accept your fate because some criminals deserve it.

        In addition any justified act of self-defense precludes the act of threatening/attacking the defender and therefore their guilt as well. The anti’s “if it saves just one life” argument is predicated on the false assumption that guns are used in criminal attack far in excess of their use in justified self-defense – that they are in and of themselves more a threat to life than not, and so therefore is not a valid argument and not at all similar to my position on Capital punishment.

        • If I found myself in the wrongly convicted situation, I would fight like h3ll to fight my conviction until I had exhausted my resources in doing so but if I was unsuccessful I would like to die like a man facing my fate. Many an innocent man has been executed for things they did not do, but the system was not torn down because of it. A good example of this was Daniel and the Lions, or better yet John the Baptist and his beheading. Niether of the victims called for the destruction of the law because they had been wrongfully accused or trapped in it.

          The “if it saves one life” is an impossible standard used by the Antis to push impossible laws through. Saving one life could be applied to not letting a person go to jail because there is a risk if getting shived there. It has an impossible standard associated with it.

          The Save one life is also the Socialist argument against product liability to attack the “evil” capitalists who make guns or cars or whatever. Another Antis tactic used in recent history.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdyKAIhLdNs

          Not a straw man argument but a measure of risk of a mistake by a jury that would wrongfully convict a person. To Err is human, but its humans that judges humans. If we refuse to use a tool because of the risk of making a mistake, we are stuck doing nothing and that is far from being effective as a people.

        • “but the system was not torn down because of it.” There is that straw man again. Abandoning Capital Punishment, in favor of permanent incarceration is not tearing down the system. It is in fact the same system without the chance of wrongfully executing anyone.

          If it saves one life in one context is not the same as another. Abandoning Capital Punishment does not deprive anyone of a Civil Right as in the case of the Anit’s argument…It in fact preserves ones right to Life! If you can’t see the difference I’m not sure what else I can say to you.

          And lastly – are you suggesting that execution is a tool, that if abandoned means surrendering the whole concept of Justice? That’s absurd.

      • In this particular case, life imprisonment is equally efficient in all respects other than satisfying people’s desire for revenge, and allows you to let the person out and compensate the harm to them if they’re later found innocent.

        So, is satisfying the desire for revenge worth occasionally executing an innocent?

        • Revenge is not the goal of conviction but of returning society to balance. Those who commit atrocious crimes are removed from society and pay the debt through their death. It serves as a deterant and if they would hurry up the process, save money for the state through lesser captivity.

        • And life imprisonment fulfills all these goals just as well, if not better (a lot of criminals said they’d prefer death to life sentence). And it lets you correct miscarriage of justice.

          The reason why death sentence is so expensive is precisely because we want to make pretty damn sure we are not executing innocents. Even with the current process, it happens often enough. If you reduce the number of hoops needed to sentence someone to death even further, we’ll kill even more innocents. This is not the area of justice system where skimping on money is justifiable or moral. Death penalty is rare enough that we can damn well afford paying to make sure that we don’t fuck it up.

    • My preference is that they die at the hands of their intended victims.

      Failing that, if they are guilty of something truly heinous (like home invasion/multiple rapes/torture/arson with the victims still alive in the house) and there is no fricking doubt of it at all, off ’em.

      • The point is, it is much more expensive (court wise) to sentence someone to death than to feed them for the rest of their life.

  40. The North Koreans recently executed a guy with him standing on an X and hitting him with a mortar. Only tiny bits left of him when they finished. I vote for that.

        • I think he was talking to me. And I’m sure he and I aren’t the only two fans on here. Although, the group of us that are fans of A Song of Ice and Fire is certainly significantly smaller than the group who are fans of Game of Thrones.

          Yes, I’m being a little elitist about that. A tiny bit. Sue me.

      • I like the dreidel idea, 4 forms of execution. Spin the top, “win” the prize.
        The over the over the cliff chase (filmed in slo-mo) was from Monty Pythons Meaning of Life, I think. There is a grave and a funeral party at the bottom.

  41. We seem to be forgetting that the considerations for methods of execution are not all to do with the suffering of the executed. Execution methods ideally have to concern themselves with psychological impact on those conduction the execution. Hence why some of the newer methods seem so involved – the idea is to separate the act from the outcome to mitigate the trauma of the executioners.

  42. The nitrogen tank idea is good, as would be a helium tank. Do-it-yourself suicides are going the helium route lately. Almost instant unconsciousness, apparently painless death, and the gas is available at many party-supply stores.

    As always, the marketplace has determined the best method.

  43. Think we should not care how they die as long as they do. They murdered they gave up the freedom and humanity when they did so and got convicted and given the death penalty. I am in favor of firing squad and barring that hanging. I will say not all murderers deserve the death penalty mind you.

  44. A firing squad sounds like very poor use of resouces, I guy with a 5.56 rifle, two rounds through the back of the head, closed pine box and be done with it.

  45. Why do murderers deserve better treatment than their victims received? Send the bastards on their way by the same means that they used to commit their crimes.

  46. So execution is about justice, not revenge. Justice sanctioned by a jury of your peers. So let’s take the ‘state shouldnt have this power’ argument out of it. The State is carrying out the duly authorized will of the populace. Also, as terrible as a person might be to earn (yes earn) execution they’re still someone’s child, someone’s parent, and providing the family closure with an intact corpse is a legitimate concern for the State. For that reason I’m not fond of hanging, guillotine, broadsword, or firing squad. What’s so wrong with under anesthetic sleep, enclosing the condemned’s head in a recirculating mask until oxygen deprevation shuts down the body? The condemned dies peacefully, the family has the body with no outward signs of trauma, and the meted justice is carried out? Who needs the cardiac arrest inducing drug?

  47. So why not use what they use to put dogs down? When my dog was put to sleep, they shaved its leg about 4 inches, gently inserted the IV, started pushing the drug, in about 4 seconds her head drooped, eyes closed, in 10 seconds she was flaccid and heart rate was dropping and buy about 20 seconds, she was dead. It was so peaceful and painless looking that if I could choose my demise, that would top the list. I don’t think most criminals deserve such kindness but hey its cheap and effective and the liberals wouldn’t be able to claim it was cruel.

    • Different drugs work differently on different animals. (I know there must be a way I could have worded that using “different” even more.)

  48. automated firing squad,

    Sit them in a chair with their head locked in place so it can’t move, set a .50bmg round in a firing chamber with a shortish barrel(rifling not needed) with the muzzle at the base of their neck aimed up at an angle to traverse the brain stem and majority of the brain, at the appointed time a computer fires the round, the bullet moves faster than nerve impulses guaranteeing a quick, painless death.

    Or, sit them in a chair outside, surround them with 50 or so pounds of C4, then at the appropriate time detonate it,

    • I can’t imagine this response coming from anyone that knows what a 5obmg round does to the human body (or head for that matter), or knows what 50lbs of C4 is/does. Hint: its not what you see in movies or video games.

      • Yea, I have made it a point to explain to my son that the effects of explosives seen on TV and in movies is not what they are really like. Such as pirate movies, cannon balls were very rarely explosive.

  49. Ammo is costly. And somewhat scarce. Do we need to have yet another government agency competing for it? We could burn the violent animal criminal at the stake… Oh, the global warming fanatics would go nuts. Hanging in the public square? Messy to clean up. Poison gas? Dangerous for those administering the final treatment for violent behavior. Rabid dogs… No, that is mistreatment of the dogs. Why do we insist on allowing the question do be asked that insists on the notion that disposing of criminal violent animals should be quick, clean and humane? Punishment SHOULD be cruel and it should become so rare as to be unusual. Bring back caning and humiliating punishment for other crimes and then put these bastards down in a fashion that is safe to the people performing the execution. If that is a firing squad that takes minutes for bleeding out or a gaping abdominal wound before being left in a desert to the coyotes I could honestly care less for the criminal.

  50. Why execute these convicts, torture is preferable, strapped to a chair in front of a TV with non stop Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Obama speeches 24/7.

  51. Strange that they changed the mix. My background is medicine.

    In the past they’ve used three drugs. A benzodiazepine like valium or versed. A deep sedative – phenobarbital not available – they used a narcotic. And lastly potassium.

    Valium works faster than versed – should be better here – not used with colonoscopy, etc. as much now because versed wears off sooner – less of a concern here.

    The narcotic – well , that’s a painkiller.

    But to skip the potassium ? That’s what stops the heart instantly without waiting for acidosis to develop from hypercarbia from apnea. The other two drugs just stop your breathing – something we all have grown used too. However, a plastic bag on your head isn’t appealing to me.

    Best way would be to tell him that he’s had a reprieve, his family is waiting in another room to see him, and then shoot him in the head from behind while he’s happily walking there.

  52. Being an atheist I can’t let hell be the punisher I would like it to be no matter how strongly I feel that some should rot there. ( since fire is a sterilizer, I’m not quite sure who would actually rot.)
    Now the death penalty, I put in somewhat the same category as to those that certainly deserve it. The problem is that it is the government that dishes it out. The definition of treason is somewhat soft for my sensibilities when speaking of a crime deserving of the death penalty. Do stone cold murders deserve the death penalty? Absolutely.
    Innocent people wrongly convicted and executed is an argument against the DP but not the most important. What we all should be most worried about is being an “enemy of the state”. This we know by the events of the middle 20th century. How many of us would be enemies if the U.S. went Austrailian?
    So if we are going to have the death penalty, let’s make it as inefficient as a three drug cocktail. Something that slows government down. Once the cops have you in handcuffs they can’t shoot you, oh wait…
    If it is always a crime to murder someone, it becomes way easy to know who the enemy is.

    Ready, Aim, Fire at 43 cents a pop is too scary for me.

    • As an adendum to the above.
      As we can see with gun laws, the laws themselves make you a criminal. Don’t you see that you are the target of the death penalty eventually.
      If the death penalty is outlawed then only an outlaw government would use it. (sound familiar)

      If they start killing people we would know to relight the laterns in the Old North Church and that we are back to the Concord Green.

  53. My vote is for an M67 grenade ball gag. It would be painless and instant death.

    Cleanup however might be an issue.

  54. Rope, bullet or needle are preferred to the present method of having the killers die of old age…

    Twenty-plus years from sentence to execution?? AYFSM?

  55. Neither, the death penalty is indefensible.

    Who amongst us trusts the government enough to give them the power of life or death? Are we so sure that jurors will always see all of the evidence that we ignore the very real problem with handing the power of execution to the state?

    • I honestly do not see any logic in saying the death penalty is indefensible. Specifically when stated on a website that very loudly trumpets the right of armed self defense.

      See, I carry with me daily the means to hand down the death penalty to someone who I feel is about to do the same to me. As is my right, both natural and civil. No trial, no jury, no wasted tax dollars. Just me, and my right. And I can revoke a criminals life card for far less than capital offenses. You break into my house to steal my television, I get to pull your card..

      So it seems illogical to me that anyone who carries a weapon would have an issue with the death penalty. After all it’s a matter of pure chance that the criminal lived to make it to trial, judgment by a jury of his peers, and his eventual demise. It could have been instantaneous.

      • That is within the duration of a threat. Preservation of your life is your action not punishment for a crime. When the man runs 10 yards in the opposite direction the small context of self-defense evaporates. Castle doctrine makes the assumption of threat to lessen the burden of proof in one’s home. The law allows you in the immediacy of the moment to make snap judgment of the threat and even gives you space to be wrong. (like the two brothers where one was locked out and tried to crawl through the others window and was shot as an intruder).
        There is still due process on your actions. If you shoot an armed intruder incapacitating him and thus disarmed, under no circumstance are you allowed to summarily put another bullet through his head. If the police find a bullet embedded in the floor under his head you will be charged. If your wife and children had just been murdered by this man, a jury may not convict you of any crime but there will be due process. We all have the right to defend from a threat but none of us have the right to execute, so how do we give that right to our government.
        I am assured even if all those that threaten you in a manner that forces you to act and their death is justified, you will not pose any danger to the rest of us. I do not hold the same confidence in our government.

  56. Interesting question. The only way to avoid a “cruel and unusual” is to ensure a very fast death IMO. Evidence the lethal injection gone awry in Ohio, and it wasn’t just the new drugs, I believe (but don’t quote me) it can even happen with the standard ones. They have to do a “best guess” on how much to give them based on age, weight, sex. Medicine isn’t an exact science and neither is lethal injection, there will always be the chance for a drawn-out death.

    Hangings and electrocution were notorious for not being reliable to administer a quick death. Firing squad can, but for social and PTSD reasons don’t see it happening in this country.

    I think the best way to a quick death, and to ensure it’s not “cruel and unusal” is to sever the spinal column by removing the head. The guillotine dates to the 18th century and was the best they had, but if the blade is dull or there is not enough weight it doesn’t work – there were historical instances of the guillotine blade only going partly through and the executed died choking on their own blood. Whether deserved or not, definitely cruel and unusual.

    I’m a mechanical engineer, so if I were tasked with the best execution method, I would employ a variation of the guillotine. Rather than rely on blade sharpness, use shear force. Simply strap the condemned down to a steel block. Have a sliding block perpendicular to the spine and the block they lay on. Have a human head shaped cut out in the perpendicular block that they initially rest their head on. The perpendicular sliding block is hydraulically or weight actuated (think of a block weighing a literal ton), and when activated instantly slides the block and decapitates the condemned. The idea is to use shear force instead of cutting (i.e. guillotine) to decapitate, a much more reliable method.

    My .02, you got what you payed for.

  57. personally, I think for some crimes, hanging. the very graphic and public death and indignity associated with it are enough to make most people think about the potential consequences. you may as well also consider ol’ sparky, firing squads, and so forth in the list. the punishments meted out now are quite tame. while I am not for causing abject torture and pain needlessly, I do also understand that many of the methods administered nowadays are to assuage the consciousness of those whose duty it is to execute the convicted criminal. this is probably a carryover from the old days, in which one among firing squad would sometimes be given a blank so that none may know whose shot proved fatal. the added side benefit of today’s methods are that they are fairly sterile and require far less clean up.

    @ Wassim Absood: nobody trusts the government to do that. which is precisely why the power of life and death to a panel of jurors and entrust them with making the best judgment decision. this is the American way. the accused has a right to competent legal representation – which is a damn sight better than many other countries do. what the accused and his legal representation do is their own prerogative – if the attorneys fail, that’s why there is a system of appeals and a special circuit of courts for just that reason.

    we should entrust the government with exactly the rights specifically enumerated to it in the Constitution. all else belongs to the several states and the people. says so right there in the same document.

    • I guess the anti’s gleefully dancing in the blood of innocents at the prospect that a shooting incident helps their twisted political agenda don’t have a lock on ghoulishness…..

  58. The two to four minutes doesn’t really bother me. However, if they want the condemned to die faster (without head shots) they should ditch the .30-30 Winchesters and use a higher velocity caliber for the hydrostatic shock effects. I suggest .243 Winchester.

  59. Personally I think scumbags should die the same way their victim died if they are a murder, rapist, etc. The guy in question brutally raped and murdered a pregnant woman. I highly doubt his pain was anywhere near the level of being viciously raped and then stabbed to death. Realistically speaking, we should just bring back the firing squad, except use a computer controlled gun, so nobody has to live with the mental burden having to execute somebody. Otherwise the guillotine variation sounds good.

  60. When the russians had capital punishment it was an AK behind the ear. This destroys the base of the brain resulting in immediate death. It’s inexpensive too. AKs and 7.62×39 are cheap.

    • Jeez, what’s up with all you guys having some weird notions about death penalty in USSR/Russia.

      Neither country had ever used “AK behind the ear”. It was always a pistol shot to the back of the skull, using whatever service sidearm was most common in that period (C96, Nagant, TT, Makarov).

      Chinese were the ones who used AK in the back of the skull, point blank. There were some pictures of that floating online, and it is extremely messy. They have since switched to lethal injection.

  61. Since any ballistic execution would probably be considered to be “gun violence” worthy of inclusion on a “no more names” bus tour, I’d vote for drips, drops, or gas.

  62. Hanging, done properly, is faster and more humane. I’m sure many Middle Eastern countries would be willing to provide instruction.

  63. Well, what a group!
    We’ve decided we are going to kill people, check
    Method, my vote Zyklon B, check
    Although others did provide a very wide and interesting method selection
    Now all we have to decide is who were are going to kill, I hope I’m on the deciding committee and not the decided on.
    When we decide to cross over from the murderers, rapists, child molesters to the political dissidents we will have to recruit more people to shove the condemmed into the chambers. Any volunteers from this jolley group for that task once we are all geared up.

  64. Use the bullet, donate the usable organs to those who need them. Make the bastards do one good thing with their life. The needle makes all those organs unusable, the bullet would make it possible to save usable organs that deserving people need.

    • If you want to harvest organs, then that is the execution method in and of itself. Induce general anesthesia, then just start harvesting. Taking out the heart is 100% lethal, after all.

      But going down this route is dangerous. Once you start harvesting organs from people sentenced to death and use them to keep the rest healthy, the society gets an incentive to extend the application of death penalty for the sake of having more organs to go around. After all, by this line of thinking, why not harvest them from a thief, if that would let a honest law-abiding citizen to live a little bit longer?

      • Harvesting organs from the condemned is common practice in communist China. Or is the condemning done to facilitate the harvesting? Extracting future value from each execution can get out of control very quickly. And don’t forget the other communist practice of requiring family members to pay a “bullet fee” in order to claim the executed’s remains.

        Execution should be solely for the purpose of justice, with no profit to the state whatsoever.

  65. I think it’s a wee bit hypocritical for people who so staunchly and adamantly cry out against infringement of the second amendment are so enthusiastic about discarding or not recognizing the eighth. All this talk about torture and horrendous means of death makes us look bad. I also assume that the people commenting here with the goriest ideas have never seen a man die. It’s not like on TV. We live in a civilized society. I believe in leaving barbarism to barbarians.

  66. Dennis McGuire, shown above, gasped and convulsed for 25 minutes in an Ohio death chamber after receiving an experimental two-drug cocktail recently. His family has sued the state for ‘cruel and unusual punishment’, and other states are trying to avoid making Ohio’s mistake.

    A bang to the back of the head with a 44mag would have ended his life instantly. I agree – 25 minutes of convulsing around is cruel and unusual. Even bloody Mary’s guillotine is better than that.

    I don’t understand why they like to torture them. I would think the best is a massive dose of morphine, or any of the tried and proven conventional methods. Any anesthesiologist would know the best methods, why bother trying “experimental” drugs.

    • Therein lies one of the problems… doctors trying to obey the Hypocratic Oath and “first, do no harm” philosophy… how can they participate in a man’s execution and be true to their life’s work of helping people’s health?

  67. For me I would choose bullet to the brain. For sending murderers back to hell, a pack of hungry wolves sounds reasonable.

  68. I think firing squads are just as humane.

    But though I agree that the punishment should fit the crime, anymore I question whether I should trust the state with the power to take life when I increasingly can’t trust the state not to misuse the NSA, not to strip away my constitutional rights, not to misuse the Justice Department against the press, not to misuse the IRS against political enemies of the administration, and not to do a whole host of other things.

  69. I watched this TV program the other night, about the last 24 hours in the life of someone sentenced to die. At the end of the show, they strapped him down on the table, and just before they stuck the needle into him, they rubbed his arm down good with disinfectant!
    Was that really necessary?

  70. All methods should be on the table with the following caveat; those that sentenced him or her to death have to perform the execution.

  71. Why don’t they just use heroine? Are you telling me that they can’t purify enough and give a mass amount to kill a person? It’s plentiful and cheap. Given the choice of getting shot or die of a heroine overdose, I’ll take the smack.

  72. The death penalty satisfies some part of the human brain that demands justice in the form of an eye for an eye. Whether you believe it is right or wrong to execute criminals, there are a few things to keep in mind when talking about the death penalty.

    1) There’s no coming back. It is fact that innocent people have been executed for crimes they didn’t commit. With the advent of DNA evidence this is far less likely, but if the justice system gets it wrong, there’s no way to undo an execution.

    2) Victims get re-victimized by the courts. Trying a capital case is a very long process. The victims and/or families are forced to relive an extraordinarily painful episode in their lives over and over again, in a very public manner.

    3) Capital cases are extraordinarily expensive. It is actually cheaper to try the same event as a non-capital case, even including incarceration costs for the lifetime of the perpetrator. These cases take years, thousands of man-hours on the State’s end, and ultimately years of incarceration during endless appeals and legal back-and-forth. Is it worth it to satisfy a sense of vengeance?

    I have no particular issue how a death penalty is administered, though there should never be cruelty, otherwise it is no longer justice. But is it worth it at all?

  73. Realistically, I vote firing squad. Save for a few specific crimes (murders involving willful and deliberate torture, brutal murders of children), I think all duly executed convicts should be able to die with at least some semblance of dignity, and without unnecessary suffering, because that’s who we are here in America. The firing squad meets these criteria.

    I’d even go as far as to observe the traditions, rituals, and theatrics of the process. For example: Outdoors, at dawn or first light, a blindfold and cigarette are offered to the condemned, a patch red of cloth is pinned above the convicts heart as the point of aim, 5-10 willing men in uniform armed with military rifles situated in a half circle around the old “post and wall” of the designated execution area, given the “ready, aim, fire” volley-fire orders by a commanding officer. The family of the victim(s) are given the option to be present for the execution.

    If you really want to spice things up, why not try a pneumatic guillotine? Clean, fast, one-stroke beheadings with the human error factor all but completely eliminated.

  74. Damn. Ask a simple question concerning whether a bullet or injection is a better form of trash removal and you get a friggin debate on the morality of the death penalty and lectures on the constitution and cruel and unusual punishment. Joy and Carl Stewart were the names of his victims. The young woman he raped and butchered and her unborn son who died with her. Apparently her husband Kenny committed suicide less than a year after their deaths. Did McGuire suffer? He was unconscious so I would say no, but I don’t give two shits if he did or not. If any of you fellas are moved to tears by his passing then send a card or flowers to his family, that should make you feel better.

  75. Death by firing squad.

    A .22LR to the temple is sufficient. Jut enough power to penetrate the skull without enough energy left to exit. Ergo, it just bounces around the inside of the skull until it comes to a rest.

    Damn near instant, too, and doesn’t make a big mess. Should also pretty easy for a seasoned mortician to conceal, from my estimation. YMMV.

  76. Bullets are obviously. quicker and less costly. But this is America so natually we have to do the opposite of common sense.

  77. In the immortal (last) words of Lieutenant Harry “Breaker” Morant: “Shoot straight you bastards, don’t make a bloody mess of it.”

    Having said that I don’t believe in capital punishment. Take cases like Michael Morton. His wife was murdered in 1986. His 3 year old son witnessed it, said his father wasn’t home, it was a monster that broke into the house. A bandana with another dudes DNA and is wife’s blood was found in the yard. Prosecutor didn’t disclose either fact. Morton was convicted in 1987 and served 25 years of a life sentence before the prosecuted was disbarred and the conviction was overturned.

    Yes…I would rather have 1,000 guilty men not executed rather than one innocent man be executed. There is no Constitutional right to revenge.

  78. It is time for the death penalty to be eliminated. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with a little chlorine in the gene pool for those who have waived their right to be a member of the human race, BUT:
    1. It costs $25,000 to $35,000 per year to keep a convict in jail. By comparison, between lengthy and expensive trials and a lengthy and expensive appeals process in both state and federal courts (which has also created a massive backlog in appellate courts because death penalty cases take priority), it costs between $3 million and $7 million and 10 to 15 years before a convict is faced with an actual execution date. In fact, in many states a convict is more likely to die of disease or natural causes than to be executed. IT IS CHEAPER TO LOCK THESE GUYS UP FOR LIFE WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE THAN TO TRY TO EXECUTE THEM.
    2. The death penalty is NOT a deterrent, not for the person who committed the crime (duh) nor for anyone else who would commit a similar crime. The death penalty has been around for tens of thousands of years, yet we still have violent crime; if the death penalty actually deterred, we should have no first degree murders any more.. The fact is that criminals do not consider the possible legal ramifications of their acts when they commit the crime. therefore, the only possible justification for he death penalty is retribution and removing a criminal from the society of men–which can be accomplished just as readily by life incarceration.
    3. Mistakes are made, and innocent men are locked up for very long periods of time or executed. LTC gives an example. the Innocence Project has successfully reversed the death penalty convictions of over 100 persons to date, and more of others sentenced to life. The fact is that the police, as many here are fond of noting, will railroad anyone that they have concluded is the “real culprit” irrespective of the evidence. By way of example, there is pressure to “retry” a fourteen year old black teenager who was convicted and hanged for “rape” of a white woman–because he “leered” at her from across the street. How many here have talked about not talking to the police and buying self-defense insurance, because your self-defense shooting may not be perceived as such by the prosecutorial side of the justice system; and you may or may not be able to prove your innocence. Officers lie and twist your words, district attorneys looking to increase their visibility as “crime fighters” for their own political gain, lie or “lose” exculpatory evidence. It may take years for this evidence to come to light, or for technology (e.g. DNA evidence) to catch up with crime scenes. Yet the very foundation of our criminal law system, from the earliest history of our Republic, is that it is better that nine guilty men go free rather than one innocent man be wrongly convicted. They system works–usually–but is not perfect. The death penalty is final; there is no room in it, from a natural justice perspective, for error.

  79. I’m sure if we did, the yearly count of executions would be added to the “deaths from gun violence” figure the antis are always throwing around. You know, the 30,000 and something figure that includes suicides, police shootings, and legal defensive gun uses.

  80. Regardless of the method, I think that a pay-per-view event is the way to go. Disperse the proceeds to the victims family, maybe recoup some of the costs of the trial/detention/execution…

  81. I don’t see the big deal. What’s wrong with rope?

    A good rear-naked choke can put you out in seconds. A “good” one isn’t even very painful. Pressure on the arteries and not on the trachea is virtually painless, you don’t even know it’s happening until you start feeling funny. A slightly unpleasant pressure on your neck, a feeling of floating or weightlessness, and then someone’s waking you up. I imagine a rope applying large amounts of virtually uniform pressure would be even more efficient.

    I can’t imagine it would take very long to pass out. Then, just leave ’em for a little while. What is it, like ten minutes without oxygen and your brain dies or some such thing? Have the prison doc check his pulse after 15 minutes to declare T.O.D. and untie him. Heck, you can even reuse the rope.

  82. If we’re going back to the firing squad methods then IDC if this is unconventional to the Geneva convention or not the type of .30-30 round they’ll be shot with should be a hallow point round with the tip coated in mercury to ensure it gets the job done so it isn’t botched or otherwise resort to a .50BMG fired from either a Barret M82 or a M2 Browning doesn’t matter if it mutilates the criminals body they won’t still be on the ground bleeding or convulsing for several minutes afterwards

    • Hell, the current one the leftards are screeching&gnashing their teeth about is DEAD, and yet they keep calling it a “botched” execution. He. Is. DEAD. Where is the “botched” part? Other than the years wasted between sentence reading and death, that is. And another multiple rapist and killer gets put on hold because of this “botched” execution.

      What. The. F**k.

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