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TODAY'S QUESTION: Should firing squad executions be legal?

Monday, June 21, 2010 | 9:24 a.m. CDT

Early Friday morning, a Utah man became the first death row inmate executed by firing squad since 1996. The lead-up to his execution, as well as the aftermath, has not only raised questions about using bullets to kill death-row inmates, but it has also renewed debates on capital punishment.

According to an article in the Associated Press, Ronnie Lee Gardner was pronounced dead at 12:17 a.m. Friday after five volunteer police officers shot him in the chest using rifles. The executioners aimed for a black target pinned to his chest and over his heart.

Pictures of the execution chamber, including images of bullet holes in the wood behind the chair Gardner sat in, can be viewed in this photo gallery on the Kansas City Star website.

The article says Gardner requested the firing squad instead of lethal injection. Even so, many groups quickly reacted to Gardner’s death, with the American Civil Liberties Union calling the execution “barbaric” and the European Union releasing a statement of opposition to capital punishment.

Gardner’s brother commented to The Associated Press after the execution, saying, “I don’t agree with what he done or what they done, but I’m relieved he’s free.”

Should firing squad executions be legal?


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Comments

Clyde Sosuley June 21, 2010 | 11:07 a.m.

yes in All states

(Report Comment)
Super Yoda June 21, 2010 | 2:02 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
ROBERT SCHENDEL June 22, 2010 | 6:34 a.m.

Should firing squad executions be legal?
I'm really not in favor of any executions.
However, I'm pretty much of the opinion that if we do impose capital punishment, it should be quick and it should be as painless as possible.
To that end, lethal injection is a complete fail, and no one can convince me that the electric chair or the gas chamber are nothing but torture devices that result in death.
When done correctly, hanging and the firing squad are the only execution methods I can think of that are quick and relatively painless.
If I recall correctly, Utah used to allow the condemned to chose to be executed by either of these two methods, and I really believe that's the way it should be anywhere death sentences are applied.
So, yes, the firing squad should be legal. In reality, it is a far less barbaric way for society to execute the condemned.

(Report Comment)
geoff heyes June 22, 2010 | 11:17 a.m.

When done correctly, hanging and the firing squad are the only execution methods I can think of that are quick and relatively painless.

Thats a bit of a joke look at the pictures there are 4 holes at least 4 inches apart from first to last,
The fireing squad need to take a bit more care with there sights ,If you call blowing someones heart apart painless then I suggest that you should try it

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