Executions are a difficult business.  The firing squad is the best legalized method to use.

The power of government is being used to kill someone in the most pre-meditated way possible.  It is better if we make it a quick and hopefully painless with little or no difficulties.

Death penalty opponents say that murdering a murderer won’t solve anything.  This point of view ignores the role of justice and misplaces a moral equivalence between the condemned and victim.

The difference between the victim and the condemned prisoner is the prisoner has had a full trial and penalty phase where it was vigorously argued whether the guilty party deserves life in prison or the death penalty.  This trial and verdict is often followed with many years of appeals and other challenges to the punishment.

The dead victims are just, well . . . dead.  No trial, no appeal, no chance.

There has been a lot of talk this week about the firing squad and how outdated and barbaric it is.  When you consider the options and possible complications the firing squad is actually the best thing.

There are only a few methods of execution authorized in the United States, hanging, toxic gas, electrocution, lethal injection, and firing squad.  Each method has its possible difficulties, complications, and are often not exactly painless.

Hanging can be quick or slow.  The neck can break and death quickly follows.  There have been reports of the drop not doing the job and the person hanging until unconscious and then dead.  Sometimes the rope/gallows is just a little too long/short and the person can stand on their toes prolonging the process.  In probably more than one case the person being hung was too heavy and was decapitated by the weight of their own body.  Yuck.

Toxic gas generally takes several minutes and is mostly likely painful.  People who have experienced poisoning and survived have described it as painful.  It has to be done in an airtight room in order to make it concentrated enough to be successful while protecting the people outside the room.  A non-toxic gas could be substituted which would make it less painful or possibly painless but this has not been authorized for executions yet.  It still would take several minutes.

Electrocution can be slow and is always painful.  The prisoner often convulses violently and is cooked to death.  If the first round of electricity is not sufficient then additional shocks are applied until the person is dead.  The corpse then has to cool before it can be safely moved.  Effective and gruesome.

Lethal injection is typically trouble free but there are many examples of difficulties.  Some prisoners are IV drug users and finding veins to use can be tough.  Doctors and are not employed in lethal injections because of the Hippocratic oath so difficulties may multiply.  Sometimes the injections go into muscle mass instead of veins and then the death is prolonged by several minutes and is probably quite painful.  In many cases there appeared to be prolonged suffering before the drugs were successful.

Firing squad if done by experts and under controlled circumstances is quite quick and probably painless.  The main difficulty is when the prisoner tries to move out of the way or if the marksmen miss.  A shooting that is off mark can take several minutes to become fatal.  If there are difficulties, more shots should be fired to finish the job.  When everything goes according to plan the condemned is dead in just a few seconds, before the pain of injury would begin to register.

The last two executions in Utah done by firing squad were done expertly without difficulty.  Their deaths were quick and most likely painless.

Of the five authorized methods of execution in the United States, the firing squad is the most humane, not lethal injection as people tend to believe.

Lethal injection is supposed to be the kinder, gentler way of executing people if you don’t count the people who seem to be in pain for several minutes, or who have collapsed veins, or misplaced needle sticks, or who are naturally resistant to the drug cocktail meant to kill.

Nobody is immune to gunfire.   The firing squad of modern times has proven to be a superior method to hanging, the electric chair, gas chambers, and lethal injection.  It works every time and is simple to carry out.

We already have the death penalty, the firing squad is a good option to have if you concern is to have a quick and mostly painless death.  We should keep the firing squad.

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