Execution on the Cheap

I’m sure most of you have guessed I’m against the death penalty simply on the grounds that I don’t believe a government has the right to kill citizens outside of the defense of a human life (in other words the same rules that apply to the citizens apply to the government in my book). But if you’re going to execute somebody at least do it on the cheap.

At 0000 MDT Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed by .30 Winchester rifle round to the chest:

Four of the .30 calibre Winchester rifles were loaded with live bullets but a fifth carried a blank, so that none of the men would have known with certainty that he had shot a lethal round.

Gardner was asked if he had any final words and said: “I do not. No.”

He was hooded and strapped to a black metal chair, with a white target pinned to his chest.

Gardner was then shot at a range of 25ft (7.6m).

I have to say I don’t mind this method of execution if we’re going to do it. It’s cheap and effective. Lethal injection requires chemicals that I’m sure are fairly expensive, the electric chair isn’t always reliable, but good old bullets are cheap and reliable. Also this may go down at the best use of Twitter ever:

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff used the Twitter micro-blogging site to say he had given the go-ahead for execution.

“May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims,” Mr Shurtleff tweeted.

That’s right his execution was Tweeted. I wonder if that’s a first.

I’m also not sure if I would call this an execution so much as natural selection:

He was convicted in 1985 of fatally shooting a lawyer during an attempt to escape from a court where he was facing another murder charge dating from 1984.

Real bright buddy. You’re up on murder charges so at the trail you shoot a lawyer and try to escape… from a courtroom most likely to guarded. You’re a smart one aren’t you. I guess I should say you’re were a smart one weren’t you.

But alas this method of execution was deemed too efficient and both in it’s ability to execute the target and in the small cost to the taxpayers:

Gardner, 49, chose the firing squad before Utah banned the method in 2004. Critics say it is barbaric, harking back to the Wild West.

Critics say death by firing squad is barbaric? Really? Wouldn’t it be better to say execution in general is barbaric? I mean between being electrocuted to death, injected with lethal chemicals, or shot I’d rather be shot. But the bottom line is killing somebody outside of self defense is a barbaric act. Changing the method of execution doesn’t all of the sudden make it all rainbows and unicorns.

One thought on “Execution on the Cheap”

  1. Short of dying in one’s sleep of old age, I’d say getting shot ranks pretty high on the list of least-bad ways to go. Beats the crap out of every method of execution currently common in the US, and every other historical one I can think of.

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