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john65pennington's avatar

State of Utah uses firing squad to execute a killer. any comments?

Asked by john65pennington (29235points) June 18th, 2010

Its been 14 years, since the State of Utah has used a firing squad to execute a convicted killer for a capital crime. anonymous police officers volunteered to carry-out the execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner for using a weapon to kill two people. only one officers rifle had the actual live bullit that completed the task. Question: in your opinion, how does the use of a firing squad execution to you, compare to the use of lethal injection, gas, or the electric chair? is one more humane than the other?

Source: Associated Press.

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18 Answers

cbbg's avatar

All methods of capital punishment are very distressing. I’m from PA so Utah seems like a very strange place to begin with. We apparently have the death penalty but according to, the state has only executed three people since 1976. Super creepy. At least he got to choose, huh?

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t have a problem with the death penalty. I think it’s interesting that this guy chose a firing squad over lethal injection. I looked at the site @cbbg posted and I am actually shocked that there are still states that use methods aside from lethal injection (electrocution, the gas chamber, hanging, and firing squad). I think in general the lethal injection is the more humane (as humane as things can be in regards to the death penalty) thing to do, but even that can have issues. I think gas, electric chair, and hanging (unless the person’s neck breaks upon the fall) are the least humane. The firing squad is in the middle for me (all dependent upon how successful the firing squad is). If it takes one shot and the person dies instantly, that would be more on the level of the lethal injection, but if that doesn’t happen, then it’s down with the others.

I’m originally from Delaware, they have executed 14 people since 1976. We are in Kansas now and they have not executed anyone since before 1976. I think that’s interesting given the size difference between the two.

blemonge's avatar

An eye for an eye would leave us all blind. I think there is no way of humanely killing someone, and I think it makes the state and the people no better than the killer themselves.
It isn’t about showing mercy to the perpetrator, its about being a better society than the perpetrator, and showing a higher form of justice; I also think a lifetime devoid of freedom is a greater punishment than a quick and painless death.
Britain got rid of capital punishment in the sixties, and this (along with the NHS and the BBC) is why, as a British-American I am more proud to be British as I think, and theres a majority of British people that would disagree, that a lack of death penalty is an illustration of a society more caring about freedom and proper justice.
and to be fair I grew up in the green and pleasant land!

CMaz's avatar

The end result is what is importent.

End result is the same, no matter what posion you pick.

jfos's avatar

I read that one of the potential killers had blanks, not that one had live rounds.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@jfos I read the same thing. There were 5 executioners and one had a blank.

john65pennington's avatar

Blemonqe, i agree with your answer and i disagree with your answer. killers do one thing and that is to kill other people. if we left these convicted killers unchecked, the world would eventually be full of killers. if we did not have laws, the world would be hotbed of criminals. no one would be safe. life in prison is the answer in some cases, only. life in prison is very costly for the taxpayers. executing another person, tried and convicted by a jury of a capital felony is not the same as the intentions of a killer. yes, its taking a life, but taking this life is not only for the crime the person is convicted of, but also to prevent this person from ever killing another human being. we must live by the law of the land.

CMaz's avatar

Prison for life or execute me? Hmmmm

I say off me as soon as possible. That would be a humanitarian thing to do.

Prison = Torture

shego's avatar

I was watching lockup raw, and they said that they give the death row inmates a choice between lethal injection, and firing squad. One inmate said that he felt so bad for the crime he committed that he chose the firing squad so he could feel the pain of the people that he hurt.

ratboy's avatar

Firing squad for blood atonement.

DominicX's avatar

The death penalty is all wrong in my opinion. Lethal injection is supposed to be more humane, but there is evidence that it can cause just as much suffering as the other methods, if not more. He chose to be killed by firing squad; I really don’t see a problem with it.

phaedryx's avatar

This question is worded oddly. It makes it sound like firing squad is the only way Utah does executions. However, quick googling makes it seem like the criminal is can choose how he wants to be executed and this is one of the options?

ItsAHabit's avatar

I don’t approve of capital punishment, so I don’t approve of the firing squad.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@phaedryx Utah stopped allowing inmates to choose in 2004. This guy was given the dealth penalty before then and therefore was grandfathered in and allowed to choose between lethal injection and firing squad.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Would those who are fans of capital punishment support slow strangulation or impalement as a method so the condemned would have to suffer more?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence I wouldn’t. To me, capital punishment isn’t about making them suffer, it’s just about ending their life. I think we should do it in a way that provides as quick and as painless death as we possibly can. Their death and time on death row before execution is their punishment.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I agree with @Seaofclouds in that I’m don’t believe suffering should be part of a prison death sentence. Lethal injection looks heinous to me, so drawn out and from what I read not always painless. Just because we can’t see or hear the person suffocating doesn’t make it less cruel. The electric chair is just as barbaric in my opinion and the prisoners don’t always die right away, ick. I’d pick the firing squad for myself or anyone else. Why isn’t a guillotine used anymore? Fast and the body remains intact (kind of).

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Beheading by scimitar is popular is Iran and Iraq. Hanging is pretty reliable.

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