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October 15, 2011

"Florida firing squads? What has death penalty supporters all riled up?"

The title of this post is the headline of this new article in the Christian Science Monitor, which gets started this way:

A majority of Americans seem to agree: They want the death penalty. And in a majority of states, the death penalty is legal.  So why are supporters of the death penalty engaging in so much heated rhetoric when, by all appearances, they seem to have both public opinion and the law on their side?

A case in point: Republican presidential contender Rick Perry received booming applause from a debate audience last month after he said he “never struggled” with any of the 234 executions he presided over during his watch as Texas governor.

And now in Florida, a state that already has capital punishment on the books and carried out an execution as recently as late September, a Republican lawmaker is proposing a bill to do away with lethal injection and only allow execution by electrocution or firing squad.

So what is happening here?  Some analysts suggest that those who think capital punishment is the ultimate crime deterrent are becoming increasingly insecure in the face of a resolute opposition to the death penalty, and that is moving them to find louder and more visible ways of making their position known.

In Florida, state Rep. Brad Drake (R) said his legislation is in response to the execution of Manuel Valle on Sept. 29, which was delayed by legal battles over the mixture of lethal drugs used in the procedure.

In a statement, Representative Drake said he is “tired of being humane to inhumane people,” and believes harsher punishment is justified to achieve justice for the most heinous crimes in his state.  “Let’s end the debate.  We still have Old Sparky,” he said. “And if that doesn’t suit the criminal, then we will provide them with a .45 caliber lead cocktail instead.”

Some recent and older related posts: 

October 15, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink

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"Some analysts suggest that those who think capital punishment is the ultimate crime deterrent are becoming increasingly insecure..."

Really? Isn't it just plainly obvious that this change would do away with all of the drug/pain challenges and avoid the need to have the medical profession involved?

Posted by: Steve | Oct 15, 2011 7:29:18 PM

Steve,

The one thing I can see it avoiding is the drug merry-go-round as the manufacturers try to stay one step ahead of having their product be the one used in executions. I would think the answer there would be for the protocol to not specify exactly which anesthetic agent is to be used, only that any such chemical in sufficient quantity be administered. Oh, and relax certain requirements when it comes to obtaining prescription drugs (I'm not sure how the current system deals with the interplay between normally prescription only products and using the same drugs for an execution, I would think it would violate any doctors ethics to order such an injection even if they weren't the one to actually perform it, so there much be some dispensary leeway already)

We now have a huge amount of data on a wide variety anesthetic agents at this point. In large enough doses we know for certain that the trick with all of them is keeping the patient alive after the injection, not killing them,

I think there would be renewed and massive litigation over a switch to a firing squad and after the last round of court hearings in FL over leathal injection I don't expect any future challenges of that sort to get very far unless they can in fact bring forward compelling evidence. And I honestly don't expect that any such evidence (as opposed to speculation) will be forthcoming.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Oct 15, 2011 9:18:21 PM

Years ago they asked to crucify Thomas Harrison Provenzano who belived to be Jeasus

Posted by: Dott. claudio giusti, italia | Oct 16, 2011 12:22:18 PM

Although there is an ick component, beheading with a properly made and sharpened Samurai sword contacting neck at appropriate angle and velocity; is near instantaneous and painless.

Properly induced extension fracture of C-2 also works.

Typing of extension fractures, today is Anniversary No. 65 of the IMT sanction of Hans Frank, Esquire.

More detail at
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/judfrank.asp

Posted by: JAG | Oct 16, 2011 1:24:24 PM

The good thing about shootin' em is that it takes some skill. The other techneeks ain't go no class, really.

Unlike the other stuff, killin' em by shootin' takes some skill to hit the targut, and that's preponditory evidence that everything else leading up to it - the trial, the error, the appeals, etc. was also done the right way.

And acourse, by shootin' em, ya' can even do more to make the punishment fit the crime - especially in the case o'when one o'them Islamahamists comes along!:

www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2011/fall/mystery-company-markets-pig-fat-gun-oil

Posted by: Al Ammo | Oct 16, 2011 2:45:41 PM

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