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The Death Penalty

March 12, 2015

Yesterday I responded to a flash fiction prompt about a criminal who is about to be executed. I try and make the stuff I post to this blog funny and irreverent, but a writing prompt about a criminal waiting to be executed gave me 100 words to write something that expressed my anti-death penalty belief. Flash forward a few hours and I’m at home listening to the news and a story comes on about how the state of Utah wants to continue carrying out executions in spite of a nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental, one of the three drugs we use to kill prison inmates.

Utah isn’t alone. Other death penalty states are also scrambling to find a ‘humane’ alternative to lethal injection. Every pro death penalty state is busy looking for new combinations of drugs to murder their death row population and the only reason I’m focusing on Utah is because they were the subject of the news story I heard and because the idea of a firing squad, their solution to the problem, strikes me as an even more barbaric solution. The Utah Senate has approved a bill that would allow the use of a firing squad to carry out executions in the event they can no longer obtain sodium thiopental. After a short debate the bill was approved and is awaiting Governor Gary Herbert’s signature.

The sponsor of the measure is Representative Paul Ray who “…100 percent agree[s] with the death penalty.”

I believe it’s nearly impossible to 100 percent agree or disagree with anything.

Representative Ray says, “I don’t think there’s really a humane way to kill anybody…” He, “believes that a firing squad is a more humane form of execution than lethal injection. He says: “I’ll tell you I think it’s a lot more humane than lethal injection because the time it takes the individual to die is a lot quicker with a firing squad than with lethal injection.”

Representative Ray was asked about whether or not some people wouldn’t want to be a part of a firing squad and his answer shocked me and made me sick. “And they don’t have to be. How we do it here in Utah is a volunteer basis and it’s law enforcement. For instance, let’s say the murder happened in Salt Lake City. The jurisdiction that investigated the murder has the first option for their officers to volunteer for the firing squad and it kind of goes out regionally from there. And we always have an abundance of people volunteering for the firing squad.”

We always have an abundance of people volunteering for the firing squad. I’m guessing here when I say that the representative must be one of those eager volunteers because if someone supports the death penalty then shouldn’t they also be willing to carry it out? Hell, it’s one’s civic duty, right? One’s moral obligation! Ladies and gentlemen, take a number and line up for your chance to put a bullet in an animal. Relax, folks, not a real animal because we treat our pets with love and compassion, but a human animal; the kind we don’t care about. The kind that aren’t ‘human’. The kind that deserve to die.

Personally, my thought is that, assisted suicide notwithstanding, murdering anyone for any reason and calling it ‘humane’ is absurd. The only reason I thought to write about this at all is because I thought it was scary that a bunch of politicians would be spending time arguing about the best way to carry out a premeditated revenge killing. I can’t believe there are people in this country who spend their time trying to figure out ways to legally murder someone.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2015 5:49 pm

    …I agree with you….no type of death, unless it is natural, is humane or is up to a fellow human being to administer. Your post is, quite evidently, something that you have thought about, chewed, with a final position firmly decided upon….it is why the prompt allowed your very clear post! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

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