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Utah votes to bring Firing Squad back for death penalty; claims more humane than lethal injection

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posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 12:48 AM
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Utah lawmakers passed a bill to bring back the firing squad if lethal injection drugs are in short supply; claims to be more humane.





Utah lawmakers have passed a bill that would make it the only state to allow firing squads for carrying out a death penalty if there is a shortage of execution drugs-some even claim the firing squad death is more humane.

The passage of the bill by the state Senate on Tuesday comes as states struggle to obtain lethal injection drugs amid a nationwide shortage.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Paul Ray of Clearfield, touted the measure as being a more humane form of execution. Ray argued that a team of trained marksmen is faster and more humane than the drawn-out deaths that have occurred in botched lethal injections.

The bill gives Utah options, he said. 'We would love to get the lethal injection worked out so we can continue with that but if not, now we have a backup plan,' Ray told The Associated Press.

Opponents, however, said firing squads are a cruel holdover from the state's wild West days and will earn the state international condemnation.

'I think Utah took a giant step backward,' said Ralph Dellapiana, director of Utahns for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. He called firing squads 'a relic of a more barbaric past.'

Dellapiana said the legislature should be discussing whether, not how, to execute citizens.

Whether Ray's proposal will become law in the conservative Western state is unclear: Utah Governor Gary Herbert, a Republican, won't say if he'll sign the measure. His spokesman, Marty Carpenter, did issue a statement this week acknowledging that the method would give Utah a legitimate backup method if execution drugs are unavailable.

Utah American Civil Liberties Union representative Anna Brower said the organization is still holding out hope that Herbert will not sign the bill. The legislation would make Utah 'look backwards and backwoods,' she said.

Utah is one of several states to seek out new forms of capital punishment after a botched Oklahoma lethal injection last year and one in Arizona that took nearly two hours for the condemned man to die. Legislation to allow firing squads has been introduced in Arkansas this year.

In Wyoming, a measure to allow firing squads if the lethal drugs aren't available died. In Oklahoma, lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow the state to use nitrogen gas to execute inmates.

Texas' supply will be used up if the state goes forward with two lethal injections in the next two weeks. The Texas deadline is the most imminent, but other states are struggling, as well.

The Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment, says a firing squad is not a foolproof execution method because the inmate could move or shooters could miss the heart, causing a slower, more painful death.

One such case appears to have happened in Utah's territorial days back in 1879, when a firing squad missed Wallace Wilkerson's heart and it took him 27 minutes to die, according to newspaper accounts.




Firing Squad Execution
Before they are shot to death, inmates may have a last meal.
In Utah the prisoners are generally not allowed a final cigarette
They may offer a final word right before their execution.
Firing squad executions are usually executed by five or so police officers with .30-caliber Winchester rifles in rapid succession aimed at the chest.
The prisoner is then hooded and over their heart is placed a small circular target.
In one of the rifles is a blank bullet so no one knows who is responsible for the killing.
The state has carried out three executions by firing squad since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.
Utah's last firing squad execution was that of murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner in 2010.
He was pronounced dead just two minutes after the 12:15 am execution at 12:17 am.




I'll be honest, I'm still unsure how I feel about the death penalty. There are days, when I read an article about something so heinous it's enough to make you sick to your stomach, and you think to yourself, "God yes, the death penalty needs to be legal, it's just and fair!" Then you read about someone who was awaiting execution on the death penalty freed because of DNA evidence that no one bothered to check years and years ago, and it makes you wonder, "How many other innocent men were murdered on the 'death penalty'? Men that could have been raising their families, could have been employed, saving money, been a member of society? Quite the conundrum. It is honestly a double edge sword for me. I don't think I will ever come to a definitive yes or no. Not as long as corrupt people put innocent men away, and as long as evil exists in this world that allows it to run loose among us.



edit on 3/11/2015 by Anyafaj because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 12:53 AM
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I'm not good with the death penalty either ... but I understand.

Truth be told, a bullet to the back of the head would seem the preferable way to do it if it has to be done. Leaving people to sit on Death Row for years needs to be fixed too. If you're gonna do it, show everyone you've got a pair, and drag the perp out on the court house lawn ... and get'r'done.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 12:58 AM
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originally posted by: Snarl
I'm not good with the death penalty either ... but I understand.

Truth be told, a bullet to the back of the head would seem the preferable way to do it if it has to be done. Leaving people to sit on Death Row for years needs to be fixed too. If you're gonna do it, show everyone you've got a pair, and drag the perp out on the court house lawn ... and get'r'done.



Yeah that's another thing that bugs the crap out of me. Just letting them sit in jail for years with HBO, weights, all the amenities, etc... You'd think they were in a hotel half the time. Some of those prisons have game systems, THAT I'M PAYING FOR! That ticks me off to no end! I can't afford it for my own house, but I can apparently afford to pay for it for them! Same with the HBO crap! I can't afford cable TV for my house, but I'm paying for them to have HBO! Give me a stinking break! I better shut up or I'll keep going and raise my blood pressure.





posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 01:13 AM
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a reply to: Anyafaj




Seven years ago Irish priest Charlie Burrows witnessed the execution of two Nigerian heroin smugglers on Nusakambangan, the remote penal island where Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will also be shot dead.

It took the Nigerians up to eight minutes to die. "When they were moaning in pain I tried to sing Amazing Grace," Father Burrows said.


Yes the firing squad is so humane . How about putting them into an anaesthetic induced sleep then shoot them if you must go this way . I know this is not Utah but a firing squad is a firing squad .

www.smh.com.au...
edit on 11-3-2015 by hutch622 because: to make more readable



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 01:14 AM
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a reply to: Anyafaj

Wow the US was the only Western Country to consider bringing back firing squad. Many other Western nations have removed capital punishment.
edit on 11-3-2015 by starwarsisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 01:38 AM
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I don't believe in the death penalty except in extreme cases, but if I had to choose between lethal injection and a firing squad I would choose the firing squad. You don't have all the waiting around and needles and drugs. Just boom.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 01:42 AM
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Fifteen years later...

Utah votes to bring public hangings back for death penalty; claims more humane than firing squad



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 01:49 AM
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a reply to: Lucid Lunacy

20 years later.....

Utah decides to bring back Wild West style Kangaroo Courts. Considers it more just than Legal Court Procedures.
edit on 11-3-2015 by starwarsisreal because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 02:02 AM
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Compared to the sick headed Saudis who behead AFTER dishing out a couple hundred lashes....firing squad is far more humane.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 02:27 AM
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Part of the point in a death penalty is the cinching of the rope, or the strapping in to the chair, or the tense moments of ready aim fire. The whole going off to sleep thing was just silly for an unrepentant villain, where's the deterrent factor in that?
edit on 11-3-2015 by TinfoilTP because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 02:29 AM
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a reply to: TinfoilTP

where's the deterrent factor in that?


Death.

Along with it the knowledge it's permanent.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 02:35 AM
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originally posted by: Lucid Lunacy
a reply to: TinfoilTP

where's the deterrent factor in that?


Death.

Along with it the knowledge it's permanent.


Why should their last conscious moment be peaceful?
Take a classic mobster for example, if he stays outside he dies violently with cement shoes or fed into a wood chipper. Now if he knows he can just get caught murdering some easy stranger to avoid the wrath of his associates and get a nice peaceful ending, isn't the lethal injection method actually an incentive to harm an innocent?



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 02:51 AM
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a reply to: TinfoilTP




Why should their last conscious moment be peaceful?


I am sure their last "waking" moment is anything but peaceful . Gas chamber people holding their breath , lethal injection trying to fight back sleep , firing squad the heart trys desperately to keep beating while its owner moans . The object is to end life , not to torture . To do so puts us a the same level as the person being executed .



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 02:56 AM
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a reply to: Anyafaj

Blowing chunks of flesh out, smashing and ripping through skin, muscle, bone and blood is more Humane than an injection?

Utah really has lost the plot.

Why not just lower the condemned feet first slowly into an industrial meat mincer, tie them to train tracks or slowly drip battery acid onto their foreheads...



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 03:01 AM
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originally posted by: hutch622
a reply to: TinfoilTP




Why should their last conscious moment be peaceful?


I am sure their last "waking" moment is anything but peaceful . Gas chamber people holding their breath , lethal injection trying to fight back sleep , firing squad the heart trys desperately to keep beating while its owner moans . The object is to end life , not to torture . To do so puts us a the same level as the person being executed .


The object is to deter others from committing the acts of the condemned. Torture is taking a kids iPhone away these days. Firing squad is quick, it is not cruel and unusual suffering.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 03:02 AM
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a reply to: TinfoilTP

Why should their last conscious moment be peaceful?

You're changing questions and your point.

You asked what the deterrent should be.

It's death itself.

Death is the deterrent. To undermine that is wholly disingenuous to our ultimate fear. Suggesting that death isn't a deterrent unless it's perceived as painful is absolutely not reflective of reality.

Now as for your point about what they deserve. I don't care. I'm not concerned about eye for an eye justice, or poetic justice. My only concern is preventing said violent criminal from further harm to innocents. Death in of itself accomplishes that.
edit on 11-3-2015 by Lucid Lunacy because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 03:03 AM
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originally posted by: MysterX
a reply to: Anyafaj

Why not just lower the condemned feet first slowly into an industrial meat mincer, tie them to train tracks or slowly drip battery acid onto their foreheads...


Now those would be cruel and unusual. Which makes them unconstitutional.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 03:05 AM
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a reply to: TinfoilTP

Loss of the right to live?

The deterrent is thought to be right there mate...except of course, that it isn't.

The death penalty doesn't put an end to capital crime, obviously. It only shows how extremely backwards a society actually is, compared to how progressive it thinks it is.

Barbarism is barbarism...you can't stamp it out with yet more barbarism. Do you shout at your kids because they are shouting too loudly? Do you stamp out dishonesty using a tirade of lies to convince others not to lie? To combat darkness do we turn out the light?

Murder is murder, violence begets violence, regardless of whether the group of murderers are calling themselves 'the state' or not.

LONG, HARD, SOUL DESTROYING time is where the deterrent actually is. Harder than we have now is what is needed, not more barbaric hypocrisy.



edit on 11-3-2015 by MysterX because: added text



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 03:13 AM
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originally posted by: Lucid Lunacy
a reply to: TinfoilTP

Why should their last conscious moment be peaceful?

You're changing questions and your point.

You asked what the deterrent should be.

It's death itself.

Doesn't matter how humane it is or not. Death is the deterrent. To undermine that is wholly disingenuous to our ultimate fear. Suggesting that death isn't a deterrent unless it's perceived as painful is absolutely not reflective of reality.

Now as for your point about what they deserve. I don't care. I'm not concerned about eye for an eye justice, or poetic justice. My only concern is preventing said violent criminal from further harm to innocents. Death accomplishes that.


No, a deterrent to others.
Peaceful death in an unconscious state or facing a firing squad.
Most people who never been convicted or done a crime can never hope for such a peaceful death as lethal injection. Death is inevitable, the way it comes is what matters.



posted on Mar, 11 2015 @ 03:32 AM
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a reply to: TinfoilTP

We are at an impasse it seems.

Death I argue is a deterrent to everyone. Notwithstanding the surrounding conditions.




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