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Utah thinking of using firing squad

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by coyoteman5, May 17, 2014.

  1. coyoteman5

    coyoteman5 North south east west Active Member

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    guns+generic+web+copy.jpg

    First off I want to say I have no idea why they put a table full of handguns to represent an article about firing squads.

    SALT LAKE CITY - In the wake of a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma last month, a Utah lawmaker says he believes a firing squad is a more humane form of execution. And he plans to bring back that option for criminals sentenced to death in his state.

    Rep. Paul Ray, a Republican from the northern Utah city of Clearfield, plans to introduce his proposal during Utah's next legislative session in January.

    Lawmakers in Wyoming and Missouri floated similar ideas this year, but both efforts stalled. Ray, however, may succeed.

    More: Botched execution could renew 'cruel' challenges

    Utah already has a tradition of execution by firing squad, with five police officers using .30-caliber Winchester rifles to execute Ronnie Lee Gardner in 2010, the last execution by rifle to be held in the state.

    Ray argues the controversial method may seem more palatable now, especially as states struggle to maneuver lawsuits and drug shortages that have complicated lethal injections. "It sounds like the Wild West, but it's probably the most humane way to kill somebody," Ray said.

    Utah eliminated execution by firing squad in 2004, citing the excessive media attention it gave inmates. But those sentenced to death before that date still had the option of choosing it, which is how Gardner ended up standing in front of five armed Utah police officers.

    Gardner was sentenced to death for fatally shooting a Salt Lake City attorney in 1985 while trying to escape from a courthouse. He was third person to die by firing squad after the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

    A couple other death row inmates have opted to die by gunfire instead of lethal injection in Utah, but they are all several years away from exhausting the appeals of their death sentences, Assistant Utah Attorney General Thomas Brunker said.

    Ray's proposal would give all inmates the option. Lethal injection, the default method of execution in the U.S., has received heightened scrutiny after secrecy and drug shortages in recent years and the April incident in Oklahoma, when inmate Clayton Lockett's vein collapsed and he died of a heart attack more than 40 minutes later.

    Ray and lawmakers in other states have suggested firing squads might be the cheapest and most humane method. "The prisoner dies instantly," Ray said. "It sounds draconian. It sounds really bad, but the minute the bullet hits your heart, you're dead. There's no suffering."

    Opponents of the proposal say firing squads are not necessarily a fool-proof answer. It's possible an inmate could move or shooters could miss, causing the inmate a slow and painful death, said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Washington, D.C.,-based Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes capital punishment.

    "The idea is that it would be very quick and accurate but just a little movement by the person could change that," he said. "Things can go wrong with any method of execution."

    He cited a case from Utah's territorial days in 1897, when a firing squad missed Wallace Wilkerson's heart and it took him 27 minutes to die, according to newspaper accounts of the execution.

    Dieter said that if Utah brought back firing squads as a default option rather than leaving it up to inmates to choose, as was the practice before 2004, it could be challenged in court.

    The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of the firing squad in 1879, but as tastes have changed in the country since then, Dieter said it's possible a modern court could rule the practice violates an inmate's protection from cruel and unusual punishment.

    Beyond the legal challenges, Dieter said it will probably bring back the kind of "voyeuristic attention" the state wanted to avoid. For Ray, the option makes sense to avoid a situation like Oklahoma or legal fights over the blend of drugs used in lethal injections.

    "There's no easy way to put somebody to death, but you need to be efficient and effective about it," Ray said. "This is certainly one way to do that."
     
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I got an Idea that is totally fool proof.

    What if they create a 4' x 8' concrete table with hold down strap for the arms and legs so the criminal is held slightly spread eagle on the table. Then at the moment of execution a matching 4' x 8' block of concrete 8' thick is dropped from 5ft above the criminal. Death would take place in less then 1 sec from the time the block was released. And there would be no miss no burst blood vessel no blow fuse nothing but a BUNCH of gravity.

    The block would weigh approx. 38,400lbs with a compression factor of 1200lbs per square foot. Pretty sure that would do it.
     
    parallax and d2the3 like this.
  3. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    Damn. I was just thinking do unto them the way they did unto the other person.
     
  4. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    guillotine.

    Fact of the matter is, the constitution holds us to be protected from "cruel and unusual" thus, something that is one or the other does not meet the standard. At the same time, the constitutional protections seem to be stronger for the convicted rather than the average citizen on the street. My mind boggles at the knots people tie themselves into over the death penalty.
     
  5. Bacchus

    Bacchus The Republic Active Member

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    Should give the libs something to think about.
     
  6. parallax

    parallax eugene, or-gun Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If this passes ,, I will donate all the ammunition, anytime a sentence needs to be carried out.
     
    Caveman Jim likes this.
  7. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Funny that. As I was reading the OP the "French chopper" briefly came to mind, BUT dismemberment is repugnant to me, and brings of visions of (for lack of a better term) "Taliban justice".
     
  8. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I still think the 'mechanical gun' should be use IF execution by firearm is accepted. It's an old concept. Non-handheld firearms are mounted mechanically and positioned strategically to aim at the heart and make it a 'fire by wire' trigger system to largely in part eliminate the human involvement.
     
    Caveman Jim likes this.
  9. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    OK granted being crushed to death in an instant would be an unusual method. So change it up to a 2" diameter BOLT GUN like they use thousands of times a day to humanly kill cattle. That would certainly have to be considered not cruel or not unusual. Since it is used to be kind to the animals.
     
  10. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Why not inject them with whatever the get does on an old dog? They just "fall asleep" right in your arms.
     
  11. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Taliban justice is served at the end of an AK-47 or with rocks. The thing to remember is the guillotine was one of the first devices that was purpose built to to ease the suffering of the condemned.

    Royal execution in europe nearly always took the form of beheading. The execution of commoners was done by hanging. Before the guillotine, it was customary for the condemned to tip the headsman to ensure his blade was sharp and his aim was true, as otherwise it could take several strikes to complete the job.

    Fact of the matter is, there are really 4 ways to kill most vertebrate mammals: prevent them from breathing, remove their blood, destroy their heart, or destroy their brain. Nearly everything else is just an alteration on this theme. As a consequence of this, execution will always be a gruesome and brutal occupation. Death is rarely a painless process, ask anyone who's been in the room with a dying person. I've seen death, and in all but a few circumstances life was fighting to stay that way.
     
  12. Provincial

    Provincial Near Salem, OR Well-Known Member

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    I have always thought that an altitude chamber would work well. It is very subtle, if the pressure is changed gradually, and very few people are able to perceive the lessened pressure. As pressure altitude is increased, mental activity and motor skills decrease, and most people pass out at altitudes less than 25,000 ft. after a fairly short time. The FAA requires oxygen masks be used by passengers if the cabin altitude exceeds 15,000 ft.

    Smoking or drinking lower the body's ability to use oxygen. Pilots have been known to subdue rowdy drunken passengers by raising the cabin altitude, sometimes to as little as 10,000 ft., causing them to pass out while leaving the other passengers unaffected. Physical exercise or exertion speeds the effects of oxygen deprivation, so struggling against the bonds would reduce the time of consciousness.

    Once the condemned has passed out, the altitude can be raised rapidly to a level where death occurs rapidly.

    It doesn't really matter what method is used for an execution, since the death penalty opponents won't accept any method.
     
  13. semperfi68to70

    semperfi68to70 South Salem, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The mechanical gun is an illusion. A human still has to set up the gun, aim it, pull a wire or push a button or start water dripping into a can or something. Its a little bit like setting up a booby trap and then pretending you didn't have anything to do with it because you weren't there when someone stepped on the trip wire.

    Besides, I like the human element. If Utah was to advertise for firing squad members there would be so many people lined up for the job you would think they were selling 99 cent gasoline! I would consider it myself if I didn't have to live in Utah.:D
     
  14. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    there would be so many people lined up for the job

    Sell lottery tickets FOR the opportunity.
     
    Redcap likes this.
  15. John H

    John H Whatcom County Well-Known Member

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    Victims get to do it for free. :D

    The guns also need to have Happy Switches :eek:
     
  16. Frankenrifle

    Frankenrifle Clatskanie Active Member

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    Would add a hole new dimension to gang-rape prosecutions.

    Yes, that is how I wanted it spelled.
     
  17. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Oregon Well-Known Member

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  18. BigStick

    BigStick Sherwood, OR Well-Known Member

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    Dead is dead. I don't care what method is used. I can get behind as quick and painless as possible, but it is not necessary for me. They have been found guilty of a crime worthy of death. Ostensibly, that would indicate that they inflicted a large amount of pain or suffering on others. So... not that worried about them. Cheapest and most effective method works for me.

    We should make sure they use sterile bullets though. :rolleyes:

    And if they are really worried about the convict moving, strap them down and block their head into a stationary holding device that won't allow movement.
     
  19. YOURSUPREMECOMMANDER

    YOURSUPREMECOMMANDER Raleigh Hills, Or. Active Member

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    Why does death have to be unpleasant? How about injecting or ingesting a lethal dose of some drug that gets a person High & Happy?
    This should really stir the pot! :)
     
  20. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    The problem with drugs generally is they are too unpredictable. Generally the quickest way to kill a vertebrate mammal is to sever the spinal cord just below the medulla oblongata that disrupts the autonomous nervous system. This has the effect of stopping blood from pumping, and respiration will also cease almost immediately. The trauma of such an event will blind the senses and death follows in seconds.

    Drugs generally work by disrupting the nervous system and suppressing either breathing or heartbeat, the original "lethal cocktail" used for lethal injection was a high powered sedative followed by potassium chloride, which would cause the heart to relax to the point that it wasn't really beating any more. The newer "one drug" cocktail they've been using omits the potassium however different people have different tolerances and alergies to opiates so you may suppress someone's breathing, without giving them the euphoric effect, or without disrupting the circulatory system, meaning they simply suffocate under the weight of their diaphram.

    Realistically, california's old gas chamber was simple, very effective, and fast, it was also cheap and relied on simple industrial chemistry, the europeans had no say in whether they were going to supply us with the drugs or not because you could pick up the stuff to kill someone in this fashion on the way to the execution at the local hardware store.