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Gary Gilmore's execution (courtesy the journal.ie)

I know discussing the finer points of firing squads sounds a bit . . . gruesome. But why not? Clayton Lockett’s botched lethal injection has Americans up in arms (so to speak). So why not return to the same method of execution that famously helped Gary “Let’s Do It” Gilmore shuffle off this mortal coil? The protocol for that one [via wikipedia]: “Gilmore was strapped to a chair, with a wall of sandbags placed behind him to trap the bullets. Five gunmen, local police officers, stood concealed behind a curtain with five small holes, through which they aimed their rifles.” As I recall, only one had a dud round. Caliber unknown. If firing squads make a comeback, how should it be done?

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358 COMMENTS

    • Best reply ever…

      But I doubt Odumbo will let us shoot people with Russian ammo just so we can bring it back.

      My vote on the caliber: 7.62NATO (suppressed)

      Hey, silence is golden.

  1. Only the best for those deserving the death penalty… .177. It would get the job done… eventually.

    • Exactly. Seems to me the traditional firing squad was seven people. One of the rifles had a blank round in it. Six rifled slugs would definitely do the job.

      BTW, It was my understanding that Gilmore was executed with Winchester Model 94s in 30-30 Winchester.

  2. Since firing squads only get one shot, a bolt action. Since you want the target dead, no poodle-shooter calibers – go with 30-06; so 1903 Springfield.

  3. Not quite. Five rifles, 4 rounds. The psych was that each rifleman could think he had the blank.

    • Nevada(I think) in the early 20th century built an automated firing squad, you could bring that back, no person involved in pulling the trigger.

    • I gotta call BS on this. It’s an urban legend that’s never been verified and it makes no sense. The guys who had blanks would know they weren’t actually firing real bullets because the recoil is significantly different.

      • Like the poster above says, do some reading before you just call ‘BS’ on the internet.

        Yes, a practiced marksman will be able to tell the difference… but the practice is very real anyway. The idea is someone might choose not to tell the difference.

  4. Screw firing squads. Too damn inefficient (ballistic trauma is messy and gruesome to clean up, bullets aren’t as cheap as rope, etc). If we’re gonna change how we dispose of criminals, we should go back to public hangings in the plaza. One last humiliation before the scumbag dies. Of course, that would never happen. The liberals would scream about “inhumanity”.

    • Non, non, mon ami! We must show that we are sophisticated and understand nuance, like the French.

      Whack their heads off with a guillotine.

    • Why not just stone them? Those are cheap!

      I’m being sarcastic but I feel like that would be lost on some who would feel right at home stoning someone.

    • BS on cleanup. Haul ’em out to the back 40 (prisons have plenty room), drop ’em and leave ’em. Then dream up fun answers for inmates or visitors who ask “What’s that smell?”

  5. Lets go old school – .50 cal. lead ball

    But in all seriousness, why aren’t we just executing by nitrogen asphyxiation? Painless, Cheap, 100% effective, Safe (for everyone else). I don’t understand why it has to be so complicated.

      • Don’t even need a sedative. CO just puts you to sleep on its own. Nitrogen does the exact same thing but isn’t harmful unless inhaled continuously in high concentrations. Don’t even need to fill a whole room – just a face mask.

    • That would work. High concentrations of CO2 can kill without the victim ever being alerted to the danger. Seems pretty humane to me.

      • Yeah, but then the greens would get their undies in a bunch about the increase in greenhouse gases. . .

      • If I remember correctly, CO2 causes the feeling of suffocating. CO or N2 or Helium or a handful of others are completely painless. Nitrogen is just the safest/simplest/cheapest

        Also forgot to mention, with any of the above all organs are useable

        • Not that I really care about the comfort of the condemned, but CO will give you a hell of a headache on the way out.

        • Yes, CO2 is not a reasonable method. It’s also slower. A high percentage of a inert gas/nitrous etc would work fine.

          Still can’t figure out why we don’t use it.

    • That’s how I kill large quantities of rodents (for snake food).

      Bonus: the organs might be harvestable.

      • Probably not. Hypoxia is bad for everything, not just the brain. To be really sure they are dead you would need to wait 15-20 minutes after the EKG goes flat. That’s a lot of hypoxia. The brain tolerates that less well than other organs, but not sure a badly hypoxic liver or kidneys would be much use.

      • Because it’s quick and painless for the rodent. It involves no clean-up for the snake owner. And it passes on no bad chemicals to the snake. It’s also very easy to kill large numbers of rodents at a time and freeze the others. Most labs and snake owners (that feed pre-killed) use some version of asphyxiation.

  6. I like how UT is still using the 30-30. I think we should stick to that and make sure they buy Henry rifles that are loaded with a Hornady Flex Tip. Keep the tools designed and manufactured by Americans to dispose of the scum of society.

  7. Dunno caliber and weapon, but I think they all ought to be loaded with live rounds. The argument for one round and the rest blanks is that no one knows who fired the killing shot. The problems I see with that are 1) blanks tend to not have the same recoil as a “live round” and 2) only using one bullet seems to give a certain likelihood of maiming rather than killing.

    Put live rounds in all of them and call it a day.

    • I expect, as noted elsewhere, that RF got it reversed–not one live round out of five rifles, but one dud out of five, and supposedly no one knows who got the blank. Otherwise, you would be right, almost certainly not an immediate kill. I would go with 30.06, Springfield ’03 would work fine.

  8. .308 or 30.06, Prisoner’s choice of heart or head shot (organ donation may be a possibility with a head shot, once again, prisoner’s choice if they donate organs). 5 person firing squad minimum.

    • If organs are harvestable, pee on the prisoner’s choice, just donate them all.

      • That’s one hell of a slippery slope. If death penalty equals more organ donations, and given how there’s always a shortage of organs for transplantation (not even getting into the whole compatibility thing etc), citizens get a vested interest in increasing the scope of death penalty very widely, in hopes that they (being law-abiding) would still not run afoul of it, but the supply of organs would keep them live for that much longer.

        See also, “The Jigsaw Man” and “A Gift from Earth” by Larry Niven.

    • Good lord. I guess the plus side of that is no matter where they hit the condemned, they are almost certain to die rather quickly. Downside is those rounds are fricking expensive. I would’ve said .50 Beowulf or .458 SOCOM.

  9. There is a video on the internets of some durka durka, jihad jihad making a head shot on some poor bastard with a 50 cal from about five feet away…..seemed to have done the job. The guys in the background were certainly alah snackbarring it up.

  10. Only one live round? That’s not really a guaranteed kill, particularly with cops shooting. Why not have several rifles locked into a benchrest and connected to a single mechanism for firing? Then a single person could do the deed by simply pressing a button. I’m sure you could find a family member of the victim to volunteer.

    Or, you could always use a .30 caliber mini gun. Just to make sure.

  11. 45acp rifle – multiman team – iron sights calibrated for fixed extreme short range distance – head shots only.

  12. .50 BMG single shot(might as well be sure)

    Nevada I think had an automated firing squad mechanism in the early 20th century, maybe they should rebuild that.

    • Well, that was sorta my idea, but I was gonna say .50 BMG at 1 mile, 5 shooters, draw straws for who goes first, 3 shots at a time, like 2 sighters, then it’s the next guys turn, winner gets a new car. That way the condemned gets to see lotsa BBs going past and destroying the neighborhood, or even taking off small pieces for a while. Only problem is who is declared the winner if the perp bleeds out while the shooting is still going on.

  13. Why not a .950 JDJ? And make the mamas good Lil boy pay for the round as well.

  14. Everyone will have a live round. I believe in overkill. 12 Gauge shotguns with rifled barrels and HP Saboted rounds. Use 6 people, the same number which is required for a casket. These saboted rounds will make 56 cal holes going in and have devastating damage going through. One of my favorites is the Remington Copper Solid. I stopped shooting them because of the cost, not because of the terminal performance.

    Before someone says a 12 gauge slugg is .72, remember this is saboted so the projectile is .56.

  15. Prove that Lockett wasn’t just cosmic karma coming home to roost.

    State of Ok should have proceeded with the 2nd scheduled “procedure” as a control and in the name of gathering research data.

    • death by firing squad is for gentlemen. these run of the mill monsters dont deserve that.

      hang em.

    • Kind of partial to 41 pellets of #4 buck myself. A firing squad of 5 with that would be like a firing squad of 200 shooting .22LR.

  16. My 4 point methodology:

    1) Clergyman presiding last rights, it’s for their soul.
    2) 50 cal. mini-gun with a grid pattern painted on the wall behind their head, it’s for science. 3) Ultra slow motion camera work shown on close circuit throughout the prison, it’s for rehabilitation.
    4) Before and after shots side by side, it’s for the family of the victim.

    • 50 cal. mini-gun

      Well, at least it would save the backs of the guys on the cleanup crew. All you’d need is a mop and bucket….

    • If you are using the slo-mo camera you could ask the condemned if they have preference of caliber. You know, for science.

      • Yeah, but for them to actually make an informed decision, you’re gonna need to have them watch the slo-mos from the last 5 or 10 executions in several different calibers, you know, so slow that it takes about 5 minutes each from the time the projectile appears onscreen.

        • Now that is cruel and unusual punishment. I think we can safely cut that time down to 4 minutes.

  17. I’m a big fan of the (I think still on the books) Utah procedure. .30-30 Winchester for the win.

  18. .30-30 Winchester has been the standard for some time, if I am not mistaken. 5 men with Winchester 94s, 4 shots, 1 dud, all aimed at the heart. It seems to be quite effective, and I don’t see any reason to change it.

    Additionally, I do believe that if we have to have the death penalty, it should be this or hanging, condemned man’s choice. It’s not that hard to kill someone, and I cannot understand why we having been screwing this up for so damn long.

    • We’ve been screwing it up because we’ve been trying to be too nice about it.

      • This. “Humane” should mean: “dead without undue suffering.”
        There are dozens of ways to accomplish it, it just requires the will to do so.

  19. 2 .22 rifles aimed at the head, no mess quick am painless, cheap, and most likely instantly lethal. Bench rest them and have them fired from and automated button in anothe room so the executioner doesn’t have as much connection and doesn’t go insane.

    • .22LR was the choice of mercy killing on the farm. You would think one shot or two between the eyes would kill them straight out. I had a cow that took 9 shots to put her down effectively. 22LR isn’t as effective as you present.

      • Watched my uncle kill a boar hog for the table, with my granfather’s .22 lr rifle. Ons shot right between the eyes, dropped like a rock, thoughly dead.

        Have anyone of the Aligators from”Swamp People”to do it

        .

      • There are different kinds of .22, and then of course a cow skull is not the same as a human skull.

        I’m pretty sure that a Velocitor round point blank would be quite sufficient to penetrate the bone and destroy enough brain tissue to kill instantly if aimed at the right spot.

  20. Jerry Miculek, 100 round drum. Doesn’t matter what caliber, it’ll all be over in 1.1 seconds and you can clean up with a garden hose.

  21. Computer controled, with multiple operators. So know one knows wo fired the real shooting blow. It kinda takes the old fashioned way out of it. But it’s efficient and effective.

  22. A) Botched executions result in something other than death. Lockett died, therefore, it was a successful execution, even if it wasn’t a textbook example.

    2) Looking at the facts of the execution, and Lockett’s actions leading up to it, it’s entirely possible that his result was his intent. If a convicted rapist and quasi-murderer wants to subject himself to a painful, excruciating death, so be it.

    d) Almost to a man, those who are crying foul about Lockett’s execution would be crying foul even it had gone by the book. The hew and cry about the untested cocktail, the double booking, the court stays and non-stays, and a dozen other details have little to no standing, and are little more than the regular claptrap anti-execution people trot out when a execution comes a-callin’.

    As for the best caliber, I dunno. Through and through the heart seems like a good choice, but would likely be messy. A few .22s thru the nose would hopefully keep the mess down, but the risk of survival seems slim.

    I gotta go with hanging, assuming of course that the rope is strong enough and the gallows stage high enough. Broken necks are better than strangulation.

    Speaking of necks, the guillotine seems to be pretty effective. not sure about the mess, tho.

    • We already have too many “head” shops, so we would have to watch for that.

    • botch

      verb : to do (something) badly : to ruin (something) because of carelessness or a lack of skill

      If it takes you 45 minutes to kill someone, you’re doing a pretty piss-poor job of it. It was supposed to go down one way, and it happened completely wrong. Botched is absolutely the right word. I’ve heard no one say it was an “unsuccessful” execution, which is what you’re describing.

      • Yeah, maybe, but how do you expect them to get the required practice/experience to do it right? Execute innocent puppies? Rats? Why not those who deserve it, and learn as we go?

        • You don’t need to experiment at all. There are plenty of execution methods that have a proven track record for being efficient and humane – bullet to the brain, long drop, nitrogen asphyxiation etc. None of those have been ruled to be cruel and unusual, or are at any threat of such, so the state is free to use them.

      • The criminal experienced a pretty typical medical problem; a vein malfunctioned during intravenous therapy.

        in nearly every other instance of this happening, it happens in an ER or an OR, and is quickly noticed and responded to, which helps to prevent a heart attack and generally prevents the patient from dying on the table.

        In this one instance, it happened in the death chamber of a prison. it was noticed, but since the patient wasn’t expected to live through the procedure, it would seem life saving medical attention was not particularly high on the agenda.

        As a result, the criminal died of a massive heart attack before he had the chance to die of a chemically paralyzed heart. In this instance, I fail to the see the problem. He died as a result of the chemical injection. That he would have likely died of an otherwise identical saline injection is of no matter.

        I question what the detractors believe the state should have done. He suffers a groin vein blowout, an unknown amount of chemical is in his blood stream, and he has a massive heart attack. Were the attending medical people supposed to patch up his groin, defib him, possibly save his life, and wait and see if the chemical does its job anyway? Do they make him live, merely to execute him by the book at some point in the future?

        Considering his actions leading up to the execution, a case for him attempting to sabotage his own execution may be made. We’ll have to wait for the full medical report, of course, but one does wonder why an otherwise healthy 38 yr old male doesn’t present any good vein to a phlebotomist outside of the groin.

        • a vein can collapse due to a number of things, but the most likely cause was dehydration and/or nicotine in the system……

        • The reason why they keep having problems with veins (it’s not the first one by far) is because the executioners are not medical practitioners. And that is because medical practitioners swear an oath that prohibit them from intentionally taking someone’s life.

          Which is to say, you have an execution procedure that, by design, is medical in nature, but you cannot use qualified people to run it. Which is a recipe for disaster. Which is why lethal injection is a retarded idea in general.

        • @Rich Grise: +1 It’s only 8 years to general practitioner (4 undergraduate + 4 terminal doctorate, MD or DO). Our formal training began by them throwing groups of us in rooms with vacutainers and associated accouterments; instructing us to “have at it.” IIRC, there wasn’t any other formal training… everything else was OTJ skill, mostly from experienced nurses. Crash courses in Phlebotomy are what, a day or two? Phlebotomists are certified at something like 40 hours? (I can’t remember)

      • If it takes you 45 minutes to kill someone, you’re doing a pretty piss-poor job of it.

        Typical government “efficiency”

    • Who cares about the risk of survival? Shoot him and bury him. Guaranteed successful.

    • Back in the 60’s when glue together models of the scary monsters were popular,(creature from BL,Mummie, Frank, the Count) there was one of the Guillotine where the guys head would fall off when the blade came down, a working model.
      My buddy had them all.
      As kids, parents allowed such things.
      Question: have things changed?

  23. There are just too many pansies out there to permit bringing back firing squads or the gallows. Look at all the clamor over the length of time it took to execute the latest thug/torturer/murderer with no discussion or memorial to his young victim.

    • Have you considered that perhaps those are two different and unrelated things, and that we have long ago (like, around 17th century) decided that torture killing is not the right way to go about justice?

      • ‘We” have decided no such thing. “We” are not that squeamish about how the condemned die, nor are “we” concerned that the condemned do not die in a cruel or unusual manner, nor how quickly, nor how painlessly. “We” are not liberal nancy-boys or lawyers. “We,” as a matter of fact, would prefer that a heinous murderer meet his demise in as nearly the same fashion and at the same rate of pain and humiliation as his victim. That not being PC, “we” are quite content simply that the bastidge dies.

        • So you’re saying that the Founding Fathers who put the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment into the Constitution were squeamish liberal nancy-boys, and that you are not like them in any way?

          I’m glad that conservatives are finally agreeing with us liberals on this 🙂

        • “We,” as a matter of fact, would prefer that a heinous murderer meet his demise in as nearly the same fashion and at the same rate of pain and humiliation as his victim.

          At the end of my life, I must give an accounting to my Creator for blood that I’ve spilled and caused to be spilled. Please exclude me from your rolls.

    • It wouldn’t work. They’d come out of the gun, stop short of the condemned, and stand there and scream “SEE HOW WELL WE DID????”

  24. Old School, really old school. Line up a squad of regulars with flintlock brownbess muskets. 8 .71 caliber musket balls aught to be humane as it gets, and a mighty fine show.

    • I concur.

      IMO, the best defense to a ‘that is cruel and unusual, and violates the 8th Amendment’ challenge is to use the methods employed by the men who wrote the 8th Amendment, and presumably would not use means they deemed cruel or unusual.

    • Russian cannibal Andrei Chikatilo. On Feb. 14, 1994, he was silenced for good, executed with a single bullet to the back of his head. Works for them, should work for us.

      • That’s the standard execution method in Russia. With no appointed time the shooter simply fires through the small barred window of the prisoner’s cell.

  25. No need for a squad. A single executioner with a suppressed 9mm loaded with hollow points firing into the head from approximately one foot away. Quick, simple, and cheap.

    • Actually I think that makes sense, too. But I think the squad is preferred because, again, it gives each individual executioner at least the opportunity to imagine that he did not fire the fatal round.

      • I understand the reasoning there, but really, if you’re not absolutely convinced of the rightness of your actions and need that little “plausible deniability” trick to get to sleep at night, then maybe you shouldn’t be an executioner in the first place.

        • I propose one of those machine rigs the ammo manufacturers use for ammo testing (basically a barreled action mounted to a bench vice) remote controlled and have 3 people push a button that starts a randomized time delay, but only one is connected.

          Pick a caliber that is stout enough to kill after going through the sternum, and high velocity enough to generate lots of trauma like a 270 with a ballistic tip. That guy who last saw a firing squad in Utah if I remember reading right was strapped to a chair with a hole in the middle so that blood drains into a bucket.

  26. I vote for all of them and end this silly debate about stopping power. Each state should be allowed to experiment with various caliber/#round combinations and then we’ll tally the results to see which predator was deader quicker.

  27. I just like the you don’t know if you had the bullet thing of the you probably did variety. Nice to have that comfort since no one really wants to take a life. Even one filled with evil.

    Caliber doesn’t matter that much if you put them in the brain pan, yes? Still, the bigger the better. I’d do .308 or .30-06

  28. How about we do sort of the inverse of a firing squad: put the prisoner in a large cannon and fire him at a concrete wall? Alternatively, a headshot from a .223 is just as lethal and nasty as one from a .308…

  29. Most of the firing squads in the past used some sort of .30 or larger cartridge and most of the firing squad marksmen actually had blank loads with only one preloaded with an actual round. This is true even of the days of muzzle loading rifled muskets and non-rifled muskets. The firearms as I understand it were all preloaded before being issued out to the marksmen and no one knew who had the lethal load. Now you have to remember in military and some civilian firing squads the squad leader had a pistol to deliver the coup-de-grace in order to make sure the condemned did indeed die. That is the only person who knew for sure that he had a lethal load.

  30. This is something I’ve been harping on for awhile- Simply set up a lottery, at a dollar a ticket for a month or two before the date- six winners get their expenses paid to travel to the site of the execution, and the family of the condemned’s victim gets to decide what to do with the rest (keep it, give it to charity- whatever). Shooters get to bring their own rifle (or the option of using a state-owned weapon).
    Can you imagine the money that would be raised for charity in this manner? As an added bonus, every leftist in the US would instantly die of apoplexy when they heard of this plan!

    Oh, and nothing under .222. Past that, whatever.

  31. Big Jersey Barrier. Suspend 20 feet above. Drop.

    Why complicate things with bullets, hanging, guillotine, or dugs?

  32. Depends on the crime!
    As much as I would be against it, if you had to execute a person who had killed their spouse after years of mental and physical abuse, then do it mercifully, shot to the head, heavy caliber.

    On the other hand, for someone like the dipshit who shot and then watched his victim being buried alive, then we need something a bit more drastic, like using a 22 short, and starting at the feet, working your way up the legs and after at least 43 minutes, or so, leave them to bleed to death.

    • Interesting. I wonder if you treat the 2nd Amendment with the same disregard you show for the 8th.

      • I don’t see your comparison?
        What do you think they should have done with Eichmann? A noose was too good for him.
        What kind of punishment would you give a person who committed a crime, such as shooting someone and then burying them alive?
        I have a high regard for the second amendment, and you have no cause to question me. How I feel about the death penalty has nothing to do with how I feel about the right to bear arms!

        • @Gunr

          I see your point in the stance of making it poetic, but if we support one right, then we need to support all rights. Starting at the bottom with a .22 round and working your way up is the classic example of ‘cruel and unusual punishment’. As I have stated elsewhere, staying locked up for life it cruelty in itself, yet no one seems to think about that. Making someone live in pain is cruelty. We don’t even force our pets to live in pain: we kill them, and call it ‘humane’. If a dog attacks someone, we kill it, yet we don’t do that yo the filth that we place in prison.

          Personally, I think that a single shot to the back of the head is more than they deserve, but it is not cruel or unusual: it is humane. Use a large enough round to do the job, and make as little mess as possible.

        • Shawn F.
          Thank you for being civil in your reply. Not everyone on this forum acts with integrity.
          I suppose the reason people want the death penalty to stay intact is for pure gratification, or revenge!
          Even though it may cost more, it assures us of final closure, and that this person is “out of the picture” for good. These reasons do not make it right, or wrong for killing another human being, but they are reasons.

  33. I am against the death penalty (economical and ethical reasons), besides it is a waste of perfectly good bullets. Just use carbon monoxide or nitrogen.

    Gotta admit, you guys are creative when it comes to killing people…in a sick way (not the good kind either).

    • I understand and can respect your ethical opposition to it, but I have to admit I’m curious as to what you see are the economic benefits to life imprisonment over capital punishment?

      • Under the current system the cost of imprisoning someone for life is a lot less than imprisoning them for 15 years on death row.

        I know the answer might be “well, stop doing that!” but that’s the way the legal system works. And considering that there have been people exonerated from death row, I don’t see why it shouldn’t.

        • What Hannibal said. Also it is easier on the conscience to keep a thousand bad men alive, than kill an innocent man.

          At least for me, one of the few things my conscience registers.

    • Part of the problem you don’t see is that when you sentence some of these individuals to life in prison is that they don’t magically go away to never never land. People, good people have to watch and interact with them for the rest of their lives. These individuals have nothing to lose. They’re never getting out so what makes you think they will behave in prison when they didn’t on the outside. They will victimize their captors just as much if not more than when they were free. And it is not just the corrections staff that they will target. Civilians also work there such as medical staff, food service, laundry and such. Plus prisons don’t have full hospitals, so they may indeed get to harass “outside” folks. Not to mention the possibly of escape. They have nothing to do all day but dream up ways to hurt you or escape. I worked in a prison for over a decade. I now have to use a wheelchair to get around and live off a small disability pension. So, how’s your conscience now?

    • Not much for turning the other cheek, are you Reverend?

      I think I hear baby Jesus crying.

  34. I’m a bit of a traditionalist, so I’d say either Springfield’s or Garands, loaded with soft point hunting rounds. A single pistol shot to the back of the head may be more efficient, but it’s too Soviet for me.

  35. A large maze filled with AR-15s mounted on turrets controlled by 13 year olds online. If he makes it through he lives. Whoever gets the kill gets a free $20 X-BOX live card.
    Statements of ”lulz how duz I teabag?” in the chat section will be forbidden to keep the whole affair classy.

  36. I say go back to “blowing from a gun”–preferably using an old battleship’s 16 inch main.

  37. Leathal injection is still good. So what if a killer who has been condemned to death for murder has a little pain on the way out? I mean, really!

      • I say screw being better than your enemies. I have done things, and will probably do things, that keep me up at nights. But these criminals that are on death row have done worse, and would do again. And if I can prevent that, I will. I totally respect your view, and I think that being able to be the better person like you is admirable. But I could never live with myself if I let someone live who then went on to reoffend.

        • I probably wouldn’t live with myself. But really that’s the chance that you have to take for it. If a hundred bad people are gone, and one innocent man went with them, wouldn’t that be worth it? I just hope the innocent guy wouldn’t come back and haunt me.

  38. 5 “ma deuce” at 100 yards with 200 round belt of .50 BMG rounds. The following round would be preferred:

    ” Cartridge, Caliber .50, High-Explosive Armor-Piercing-Incendiary (HEIAP), Mk 211 Mod 0 “. Hell, it would be like Knob Creek !!!

    or as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn so graphically described, in the Soviet Gulag the condemned got “9 grams in the back of the head” sometime after their sentence. Middle of the night, the executioner walks in the cell. Boom. End of story.

  39. Not to rain on everyone’s parade, but it would be massively more cost effective to not execute people in the first place. Life without parole seems plenty punishing, and doesn’t spend millions just to drag out a court case for the taxpayers and, more importantly, the victim’s families. And you avoid many many years of paying for someone to be in a segregated death row, which is wildly more expensive, while the case works its way through the appeals process.

    • No, you spend millions giving three hots and a cot for the rest of their pathetic existence. The problem is not in HAVING the death penalty, the problem is that it takes too damn long.

      • There is a reason why it takes “so damn long”. It’s because for a punishment that serious, you want to be absolutely sure that you’re executing the right man. That’s why there are so many appeals etc. And even then we screw it up surprisingly often. If you strip away all those checks and safeguards and just make them hang at dawn on the next day, you’re going to kill more innocents.

    • The problem is that the death penalty is capricious. Variable. Inconstant. If people knew that a murder committed in the process of robbery, rape or various other crimes WOULD get the death penalty in all instances, it would be a deterrent. If people were promptly and publicly executed, it would be a deterrent. If people could remember “crap, if I do this I will get the death penalty AND I will be executed” while high and/or drunk, it would be a deterrent. As it is, it is one of a range of possible outcomes and it is exceptionally rare.

      I think executions should be public because if the public demands that someone die, the public should bear witness to what it has wrought.

      The actual death penalty plays out across the land every day. Somewhere between 70-90% of murder victims in large cities have a criminal record. It may not be homicide or what the state would execute them for, but there is definitely a correlation between prior negative interactions with the criminal justice system and current deaditude. The victims are criminals and the executioners are criminals, and it happens far, far more frequently than state capital punishment.

      If it must be done I am a fan of either hanging (the Western way with cervical fracture and severing the spinal cord, not the Iranian strangulation thing, which is cruel and unusual) or nitrogen gas suffocation.

    • I respectfully disagree. Personally I don’t agree with the concept of death row at all. Once they are sentenced, give them a ‘goodbye day’ then kill them.
      If death row was eliminated, then it would be cheaper to kill them quickly. Anyone else has to work. For the rest of the work concept see Skallagrim’s video on the subject.

      • Go and look up the stats on how many people have their verdicts overturned on appeal from the death row. Then come back here and explain why you still think that’s a great idea.

        • For one idea, why don’t we reserve ‘within reasonable doubt’ for lesser sentences? If someone can be proven guilty ‘beyond any margin of doubt’, then we are less likely to put an innocent man to death.

    • It’s only expensive because we entertain the objections of anti capital punishment azzholes with no sense of justice. Why should we surrender to people who have no sense of justice or morality?

  40. I have actually discussed on non gun blogs so I will go with a bolt action rifle chambered in 308 or 30-06. Shots to both the head and heart. Death by firing squad went out of style not because it wasn’t ineffective or painless but because of the effect of the blood and gore on the witnesses.

  41. .45acp to the back of the head, the Che Guevara way. Take them out to the woods, let the coyotes dispose of the body.

    That or go back to hanging.

    • If you are going to go that way then I why not the traditional Tokarev. We could hire some retired KGB warders as executioners.

  42. Stand them in front of an A-10’s GAU-8/A cannon. There would be very little left to actually cleanup and I’m pretty sure it would be rather painless.

  43. Buckwheats kill with a .380 ACP… If you’re not familiar with the term, see “Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead”.

  44. Meh, I don’t think the government is competent enough to be in the execution business. I agree with the death penalty in principle, but in practice I don’t trust the government with that power. Otherwise, .308 or .30-06.

  45. Sick bastards. I wonder how many of you tough talkers would actually join the execution team if you were asked. If you would or have, you’re even sicker bastards.

    For me killing someone is only warranted during a life-threatening attack or to prevent an immanent life-threatening attack–the time period when the aggressor(s) pose an immediate threat of grave bodily harm or death. That’s why I want most people to be able to possess and carry guns. The ceremonial, premeditated execution of a killer after the fact, whether by firing squad or any other method, is for me unacceptable in every single circumstance.

    Probably very few people reading this agree with me. Still, I find Farago’s query and the above responses mightily disturbing. Of course I find killers’ actions exponentially more disturbing, but I bet my abhorrence to the death penalty will convince some that I lack sufficient compassion for victims. I don’t.

    • Agree 100%. I also wonder about the thought process behind the question. But why are we ignoring the quickest, most painless method of all – the guillotine?

    • Why show mercy to those who were incapable of showing mercy to their victims? Some of these killers tortured, raped, mamed and/or otherwise commited acts that would make blackest of hearts cringe yet we should provide shelter & food to these animals for the rest of their natural existence? If so, I’m sure you’d have no trouble volunteering to house and feed these vermin of society.

      P.S. – I’m also in favor of the guillotine. It’s simple and effective while being incredibly hard to screw up.

      • “Why show mercy to those who were incapable of showing mercy to their victims?”

        …because you claim to be better than them.

        • @Hannibal

          I, for one, do not claim to be better than them. Everyday we make choices not to go off the deep end and commit crimes. The ones who are on death row made the choice to take someone else’s life. You would have no problem shooting down an animal who was trying to attack you, or the same human(s) who is/are intent on killing you and yours for the few dollars you MAY have in your pocket, or the chance to rape your spouse/children. Yet we feel that because it didn’t affect us, and they didn’t attack us, that we should take the higher ground and feel mercy for them? I don’t think so. Your choice, your responsibility for payment.

          I think the greater mercy is to stop the disease before it spreads. Get rid of the ones who have proven they cannot be part of society by making the choice to kill the innocent. You would if it was you they were trying to kill, and probably without qualms.

    • If I were selected by lottery, I would solemnly carry out the duty. The only condition being the condemned has been properly adjudicated to my satisfaction.

      I too find the ceremonial, methodical destruction of a human being repulsive. But I also feel a lifetime of incarceration is repulsive as well.

      I would not enjoy it. I would probably have some psychological issues over it after the fact. Yet, I would rather do it than let some sadist take the job.

      I think that ‘reason’ and ‘logic’ can be too effectively to justify cold-blooded killing (see Nazism and Soviet & Chinese Communism), but murderers are usually serial criminals who had many, many opportunities on the road of life to choose good or bad. A bullet, rope, guillotine or injection is the logical culmination of the life of poor choices.

    • Tim, you have got entirely the wrong idea. What you are implying is that we, the hypothetical executioners, are the cold-blooded killer. How the f**k do you think the criminal got on death row in the first place? Your train of thought assumes the criminal was not to blame. As for mercy, God knows that the f**kers on death row showed little enough mercy for their crimes. Among them are rapists, kidnappers, murderers, serial killers, and a number of more horrible men and women. If you believe that it is alright to let these violent killers back on the street where they can kill again, then you must be one sick b***ard yourself. And although you said you did, you seemed not to have spared a thought for the victims, who would want closure, to ensure the criminal is off the street.

      • Who said anything about letting then back on the street?

        If what victims want is safety, then life sentence is perfectly good. If what we want is justice and deterrent, then it is also good. The only reason to prefer an execution over that is either revenge, or a desire for a bloody spectacle. Neither of those two reasons are valid in a civilized society.

        • Very good point but I was looking at it from a monetary view. It would be cheaper to buy ammo, or just reloading parts, than to keep the amount of prisoners we do.
          If you are really against the death penalty, what you could do is this:
          Once convicted, give prisoner one free week in cell with food.
          After 1 week, make them go to work.
          The wages they receive (minimum wage, food is cheap) go towards food and other things that they need.
          If they don’t work, they starve.
          Or; they have to pay for prison accommodation. If they don’t work, they can’t pay, then they get executed.
          What do you think of those ideas? That way, we don’t have to pay for the prisoners and some folks get cheap workforces.

          • Financially speaking, we actually spend more people on the death row than on those in for life. The reason is that death sentence, being so extreme and final, comes with ample opportunities for appeals etc, so that we don’t accidentally execute the wrong guy. Now it might be argued that life sentence should come with the same, but today it doesn’t, so we pay more for killing them (or rather, for making sure we don’t kill an innocent).

            I don’t find anything objectionable with the notion that prisoners are put to some useful work, per se. The problem with this practice today is that the state doesn’t want the headache of deciding what that useful work is, so they “rent out” the inmate labor force to private companies. Once that starts happening, it all becomes a lucrative business – basically, the more people you put in prison, the more super-cheap slaves you get. It’s doubly worse when prisons are run directly by private companies, as we already have in some places (it’s cheaper to the govt). You then see judges bribed to impose more harsh sentences on people to get more inmates – we already had real-world cases of that. Then, there’s the problem that we don’t really have a shortage of unskilled labor, but rather the opposite – so a bunch of convicts on the labor market will only depress the wages further. So may be a good idea, but there are a lot of implementation quirks that need to be considered.

            One thing that I think any inmate in for life should have access to, is euthanasia on request. Whether it’s out of the sense of guilt, or just because they can’t bear prison, they should be given an out – and that will not come with all the appeals etc strings attached, so it would be cheap.

        • int19h- I think that if we ditched private-run prisons then we could start getting somewhere.If the government want these folks behind bars, then they should do it by themselves. Don’t start a job you can’t finish.
          The sorts of jobs I was meaning were the type that nobody would take (unless they were really desperate), like digging ditches, building walls, hell, even expanding the prison itself (being employed by the builders contracted). Physical labour of that kind would also, as well as being the sort of back-breaking work that would make them feel that they don’t have it easy, get them fit. The prisoners would also have the right not to work, we won’t force them, but if they don’t, they won’t have any money for food.
          The other issue you raised was that the prisoners could end up being, as it were, ‘in demand’. Honestly, I cannot think of any solution to this. I don’t doubt you are right, and if you have a solution I would love to hear it.

          [EDIT]- I meant that in a non-sarcastic manner. I really would like your input.