Tags: Capital Punishment | Death Penalty

Capital Punishment Bill Stirs Up Controversy

Monday, 01 December 2014 09:54 AM Current | Bio | Archive

So far this year there have been a number of manufactured controversies surrounding the execution of murderers in the U.S. In Oklahoma and Arizona, a great deal of media coverage focused on how long it took the murderers to die after the initial lethal injection.

Frankly, it’s more than a little repulsive how reporters are so concerned about the pain and suffering of a murderer being executed — yet they never have time to compare what the murderer allegedly felt and what their victims endured before they died.

In the case of the Oklahoma execution, the murderer — if he did feel any pain — got off lightly when compared to the agony the young woman he raped and murdered endured.

Be that as it may, the state of Utah is considering eliminating any chance for pain and suffering when it eliminates murderers. The solution: Go back to the firing squad.

According to a report in The New York Post, Utah called a cease-fire to firing squad executions ten years ago due to concerns about negative media coverage. Instead the state, like many others, began using a three–drug fatal cocktail.

Using drugs was supposed to pacify opposition to cruel and inhumane methods of execution that included hanging, the gas chamber, and the electric chair. Instead, murderers could lie down on a comfy bed in an air–conditioned room, slowly drifting off to a permanent dreamland.

So much for penal system gullibility. As soon as they started using drugs, anti–capital punishment fanatics began working to get those drugs banned. They were largely successful. Unable to import the proven, effective drugs states began experimenting with a variety of less lethal combinations.

Although in the end the new mixtures were effective — the murderer won’t be getting any second chances — these combinations didn’t work as fast and the executed were less than serene.

So Rep. Paul Ray, R–Clearfield, proposes to go back to the firing squad. “We have to have an option,” Ray told reporters Wednesday. “If we go hanging, if we go to the guillotine, or we go to the firing squad, electric chair, you’re still going to have the same circus atmosphere behind it. So is it really going to matter?”

The Chinese certainly have found it a useful method, although I would not imagine the state of Utah will bill families for the bullet, as the Chinese do.

Naturally critics don’t like this either. Going back 135 years they found evidence that Wallace Wilkerson’s execution was marred by lack of accuracy and it took him 27 minutes to die.Utah’s five–man firing squad will no doubt avoid that outcome through the use of numbers.

The fact is there is no pleasing the anti–capital punishment crowd, and it’s futile to try and do so. If the bill passes the legislature in the future murderers will be given a choice in their method of execution, which is more than they gave their victims.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is an in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.


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The fact is there is no pleasing the anti–capital punishment crowd, and it’s futile to try and do so.
Capital Punishment, Death Penalty
Monday, 01 December 2014 09:54 AM
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