Bring back the firing squad? Maybe.

posted at 12:31 pm on May 18, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

As reported by our Townhall colleague Christine Rousselle, Utah Republican representative Paul Ray raised a few eyebrows this week when he proposed bringing back the firing squad as an accepted method of execution in his state. This followed the debacle in Oklahoma over the execution of a convicted monster who buried a young woman alive.

Rep. Paul Ray, a Republican serving in the Utah House of Representatives, wants to bring back the firing squad as an execution method in the state of Utah. Ray’s proposal comes in light of the recent controversies surrounding lethal injection as an execution technique.

Inmates sentenced to death row in Utah could opt for the firing squad until 2004, although Utah executed an inmate, Ronnie Lee Gardner, in this manner in 2010. Gardner was sentenced to death and chose to be executed via firing squad prior to 2004, and thus was grandfathered in. Utah eliminated the firing squad as an option due to “excessive media attention” given to the inmates.

I think that this is worth looking in to–if suffering can be avoided, it makes sense to pursue that route. The firing squad is relatively quick, and with modern rifles, almost guaranteed to be an instant death rather than a slow, drawn-out process.

I suppose my first and overarching question about this story is to ask when, precisely, did it become so controversial to execute a convicted monster by shooting them? I understand and respect that there are plenty of people who hold honest and completely valid objections to the death penalty. (In fact, Ed Morrissey and I are on opposite sides of the issue, as he discussed recently, while public opinion remains substantially in favor of it.) But much of the discussion seems to center on how kindly we can perform the act if we are, in fact to engage in the practice.

Not to put too fine a point on this, but the end objective of capital punishment is to kill someone. It would seem that there are, by definition, limits to exactly how “kind, gentle and painless” we can be when achieving this goal. That’s not to say that we should intentionally torture someone to death, dragged out over a period of days or weeks in some medieval fashion. (Though some families of the victims of these monsters might give it at least passing consideration.) But the fact is that when you drag a convicted monster out of their cell and take them to meet their end, it’s not going to be a stroll in the park for ice cream.

Also to be considered is the fact that one facet of the ostensible goals of capital punishment is to act as a deterrent to others considering similarly heinous crimes. Laying someone down for a nap from which they never awake does not convey the same level of threat to such criminals as lashing them to a pole with a blindfold and a cigarette or leading them up the steps of a gallows featuring a thirteen knot noose. And as Tim Cavanaugh notes at NRO, even opponents struggled to find examples of firing squads being all that ineffective.

A death penalty opponent cited by AP noted that death by firing squad is also not fool-proof, but he had to reach all the way back to Utah’s territorial era for an example of an 1897 execution in which the prisoner took 27 minutes to die.

I maintain that we must continue to be extremely cautious and judicious in our use of the death penalty, needing to shoot for 100% accuracy in determining guilt before it is applied. But when we know we have the correct person in custody, they have been found guilty beyond any reasonable question and exhausted all of their appeals, a certain amount of brutality is not only unavoidable, but in some sense desirable in carrying it out. I don’t know if a firing squad is preferable to a hanging or, as Ed mentioned, the guillotine, but it would seem that a properly trained and organized firing squad could complete the process in short order. With that in mind, Paul Ray wasn’t really saying anything that shocking, extraordinary or outrageous.


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Ma Duece.

butch on May 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM

The left don’t mind it in Cuba and N. Korea.

Can’t wait to get their reaction.

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2014 at 12:40 PM

The OK dude should have been buried alive.

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Start with every public servant that is derelict in upholding the constitution.

AH_C on May 18, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Why would a squad be needed at all? One pop to the back of the head with a 357 mag would do the trick just fine. Boom, lights out, good bye. Quick, cheap, “humane.”

WhatSlushfund on May 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM

but he had to reach all the way back to Utah’s territorial era for an example of an 1897 execution in which the prisoner took 27 minutes to die.

Give the prison warden a Colt .45 to finish the job, if needed.

rbj on May 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM

The left don’t mind it in Cuba and N. Korea.

Can’t wait to get their reaction.

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2014 at 12:40 PM

They salivate over doing to their political enemies.

Wet dreams about Limbaugh in a blindfold, I’d wager.

hawkdriver on May 18, 2014 at 12:44 PM

The left dreams of an active Cheka mo doubt. The firing squad is an effective and humane way of executing justice.

Murphy9 on May 18, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Indeed, hawkdriver

Anyone, name one people/nation which are free/freer, due to obama/Hillary/Kerry…I triple dare you.

Name lands where lots of executions of political opponents, women, Christians, gays, children, the cruelest possible, take place, and nothing has been done, nada.

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM

“Lead Poisoning” is safest, surest, fastest, least expensive way to administer the Death Penalty.

Period. End. Of. Report.

bobnox on May 18, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Bring back the firing squad?

No. I am Against Capital Punishment.

Bmore on May 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

I think the discussion about how to execute such monsters should start with this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaphism

and we can selectively dial back the duration and pain in accordance with how much mercy they showed their victims.

SoRight on May 18, 2014 at 12:56 PM

One bullet for One execution is a way to reduce costs.

ONE FOR ONE should be the method we choose. This is the WRONG area to worry about “humanity”.

originalpechanga on May 18, 2014 at 12:58 PM

“Lead Poisoning”

bobnox on May 18, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Kinetic Energy Poisoning

GWB on May 18, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Ask for volunteers: first from local National Guard units, then the public at large (if there are no National Guard units). Have stand bys if one of the volunteers gets cold feet.

Then, the post, the blind fold, the cigarette and 12 shooters at 20 yards – one of them having a blank. Aim for the heart. It doesn’t get more instant than that.

Ruckus_Tom on May 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM

The OK dude should have been buried alive.

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2014 at 12:40 PM

I reference you to a Robert Heinlein novel (The Number of the Beast) where an “Earth Analog” planet practiced “Equalization” and made the punishment match the crime…right down to the amount of time that a victim suffered. Of course this planet also had a single, planet wide holiday. “The Day They Killed the Lawyers”.

TexasEngineer on May 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM

The Republican Party successfully employed the circular firing squad in the 2012 presidential primary season and no one seems to have had a problem with it then.

MessesWithTexas on May 18, 2014 at 1:05 PM

I once read where the only difference between how someone died in the Chinese Civil War between Chiang’s Nationalists and Mao’s Communists was the ceremony. Chiang’s army did it by the numbers…firing squad, military precision and protocol. The communists took the condemned out back and put a single pistol round into the base of his/her neck. What’s the difference? Dead either way.

TexasEngineer on May 18, 2014 at 1:06 PM

“The Day They Killed the Lawyers”.

TexasEngineer on May 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM

May they go the way they lived, the lawyers :)

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Personally I think monsters should be executed the same way they killed their victims. Like those guys that dragged the black guy to death in Texas should have been killed the exact same way.

Failing that, the firing squad with blindfold works well enough. I might consider embellishing it by calling out “ready, aim, wait a minute, let’s hold off a few more seconds” a few times.

Andy in Colorado on May 18, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Why would a squad be needed at all? One pop to the back of the head with a 357 mag would do the trick just fine…

WhatSlushfund on May 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM

While I agree and I believe this is how they do it in China, the reason for a firing squad is to share the mental load of having killed a person. One always has a blank, so each man can rationalize they had the blank and didn’t kill the person, and being a member of a team is another rationalization that it was ‘correct’, morally.

Most people aren’t sociopaths, but they could probably get the Klintons to do it!

Tard on May 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

The squad doesn’t have to be trained. When Gary Gilmore was executed, the rifles were mounted and pre-aimed. Gilmore was placed in a chair, and at the signal the shooters pulled their triggers — but that’s all they did. They weren’t holding their rifles.

All that was done precisely to avoid a screw-up, and it worked.

Steven Den Beste on May 18, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Why have a “squad” at all? It would be easy to have a fixed rifle position that will never miss it’s target. Just put whatever you want to shoot in front of that target.

I have said before, I don’t like the death penalty. I do not believe it is a deterrent, more likely a motivating factor to serious criminals to kill witnesses. But we have one, so it should be done professionally, quickly and cheaply. Painlessness is a privilege.

Mord on May 18, 2014 at 1:35 PM

In any form, capital punishment is unworthy of a civilized nation.

Everyone understands the need for punishment for crimes against humanity. And if the fellow from Oklahoma – the “convicted monster” – had killed a loved one of mine, I would probably have been glad to have been the facilitator of his exit from the status of the living.

But in the abstract, how can killing be morally justified, unless it is done to preserve the lives of others when no other recourse is available? Can we envision our Lord in the act of casting the stone?

Life in prison (and not release for “good behavior) would be a much better deterrent, as well as a more appropriate punishment. Not to “get even” with the perpetrator, but a means of always reminding both society and perpetrator of the act which resulted in the punishment and the resulting need for justice and deterrence, would be the purpose for imposing punishment – for any crime. Capital punishment doesn’t accomplish this, but has revenge its heart above all else.

oakland on May 18, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Want it to be a deterrent?

Execute criminals in the exact manner they murder their victims.

catmman on May 18, 2014 at 1:37 PM

This is the right solution, and it should have been the standard solution long before.

David Blue on May 18, 2014 at 1:37 PM

It would seem that there are, by definition, limits to exactly how “kind, gentle and painless” we can be when achieving this goal.

Jazz you pickle head… There is no kind or gentle way to kill a human being. When you kill a human being you are taking from them the only thing that they genuinely truly posses. You brought nothing into this world when you came here, and sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, you will take nothing out with you when you leave.

Nothing that you beg, borrow, steal, or build will follow you from this world. All that you believe you posses, in fact belongs to this world, not you. It was here before you got here, and will remain here once you are gone. You are at best, a temporary custodian of it.

The only thing that you have that cannot be replaced, is your life. Hence the profound significance behind Jesus Christ’s statement, “No greater love hath any man, then he lay down his life for another”.

Personally I oppose the Death Penalty in all but the most circumspect of circumstances. Only, when a) the crime for which the individual is being executed, is premeditated first degree murder, and b) only when their is zero question as to the guilt of the individual to be executed.

And yes, this is 100 percent consistent with my position on Abortion, the only time an abortion should be permitted, is when the mother will die if an abortion is not performed.

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 1:39 PM

I say yes, its fast and efficient and not dependent on manufacturers whims.

dmacleo on May 18, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Yes, we can envision The Lord casting the stone. He executed men for wickedness and evil on more than one occasion.

catmman on May 18, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Can we envision our Lord in the act of casting the stone?

oakland on May 18, 2014 at 1:36 PM

I suggest you STFD and STFU, read the Bible, quit making up your own bullshite.

Not one jot or tittle shall pass from the Law. Yes, the law that he was referring to contained the death penalty. That law also contained the absolute requirement that before anyone be executed, their guilt be established beyond any question of doubt.

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 1:43 PM

While I agree and I believe this is how they do it in China, the reason for a firing squad is to share the mental load of having killed a person. One always has a blank, so each man can rationalize they had the blank and didn’t kill the person, and being a member of a team is another rationalization that it was ‘correct’, morally.

Most people aren’t sociopaths, but they could probably get the Klintons to do it!

Tard on May 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Yeah, I’m no expert on the history of firing squads, and, frankly, I’m too lazy to look it up on this nice Sunday afternoon, but that was always my understanding too — that the purpose of the firing squad was to alleviate the guilt of the executors in some way. They could tell themselves that they were firing the blank.

But, I don’t know, it just seems silly to me. Either decide that you want the death penalty or not, and if you choose to have the death penalty then go about it efficiently is what I say. I’m not religious, so maybe that makes me a bit coldly pragmatic.

WhatSlushfund on May 18, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Bring back the firing squad?

…for the front lawn…at the White House?

KOOLAID2 on May 18, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Tard on May 18, 2014 at 1:32 PM

After all, when they do lethal injection, don’t they have someone specific pulling the lever? Or do they have multiple people pulling multiple levers not knowing which is the “real” one? I seriously don’t know how it works. But if you don’t do it for lethal injection, why bother going through the charade for a firing squad?

WhatSlushfund on May 18, 2014 at 1:49 PM

I’m not religious, so maybe that makes me a bit coldly pragmatic.

WhatSlushfund on May 18, 2014 at 1:44 PM

I am religious, and I agree. If as a society we have made the corporate decision that the death penalty is the appropriate response to certain criminal activities, then that decision should be carried out in as pragmatic and rational a way as possible.

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 1:51 PM

It’s not insignificant that this is in Utah.

Mormons believe that if one sheds his own blood for murder that atonement is made.

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:03 PM

There is the Queen Victoria solution to the Great Sepoy Mutiny. She had them all fired.

Out of a cannon.

Works every time.

ajacksonian on May 18, 2014 at 2:06 PM

If as a society we have made the corporate decision that the death penalty is the appropriate response to certain criminal activities, then that decision should be carried out in as pragmatic and rational a way as possible.

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 1:51 PM

An act of justice, plain and simple, then? If so, you’ll get no disagreement from me, oscarwilde. Because I think the same.

So, what do you define as being as a “pragmatic and rational way”?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Why not a single bullet to the back of the head? Quick, efficient and relatively painless. I’m sure there will plenty of volunteers to pull the trigger.

myiq2xu on May 18, 2014 at 2:08 PM

No. I am Against Capital Punishment.

Bmore on May 18, 2014 at 12:52 PM

I agree…especially if Capital is innocent.

timberline on May 18, 2014 at 2:12 PM

But in the abstract, how can killing be morally justified, unless it is done to preserve the lives of others when no other recourse is available? Can we envision our Lord in the act of casting the stone?

St. Paul mentioned that the magistrates bear the sword for a reason, as a warning to Christians that they had better not rebel against the authorities who might kill them. He never said that this was unjust, nor pined for the day that there would be no swords. Jesus told his disciples to buy swords, etc.

Life in prison (and not release for “good behavior) would be a much better deterrent, as well as a more appropriate punishment. Not to “get even” with the perpetrator, but a means of always reminding both society and perpetrator of the act which resulted in the punishment and the resulting need for justice and deterrence, would be the purpose for imposing punishment – for any crime.

So you’re in favor of a punishment worse than death? That’s merciful?

Capital punishment doesn’t accomplish this, but has revenge its heart above all else. oakland on May 18, 2014 at 1:36 PM

So? What is punishment for a crime but revenge?

God thought there was a deterrent effect:

“…lest innocent blood be shed in your land which the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, and so the guilt of bloodshed be upon you. “But if any man hates his neighbor, and lies in wait for him, and attacks him, and wounds him mortally so that he dies, and the man flees into one of these cities, then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him from there, and hand him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die… And the rest shall hear, and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you. ” -Dt. 19:10-12, 20

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God has God made mankind.” -Gen. 9:6

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Give them a loaded pistol and an iPod full of Obama speeches. They’ll shoot themselves.

faraway on May 18, 2014 at 2:12 PM

I would imagine the only death that’s instantaneous would be either a shotgun blast point blank or a stick of dynamite taped to the head. Something that vaporizes most or all of the brain before pain receptors can fire. The guillotine was hardly instantaneous death.

Judge_Dredd on May 18, 2014 at 2:14 PM

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 1:51 PM

An act of justice, plain and simple, then? If so, you’ll get no disagreement from me, oscarwilde. Because I think the same.

So, what do you define as being as a “pragmatic and rational way”?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:06 PM

In my mind, no individual being executed should be tortured. As a Christian, I believe that being sent ahead of your appointed time to meet the final judge is sufficient.

That being said, I am an old fashioned pragmatist, the quickest most efficient means of execution known to man, is hanging. Believe it or not, decapitation takes longer for the individual to die. Hanging, done properly, takes 1/100th of a second.

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Give them a loaded pistol and an iPod full of Obama speeches. They’ll shoot themselves.

faraway on May 18, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Hilarious.

astonerii on May 18, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Can we envision our Lord in the act of casting the stone?

The character of God is not only loving, compassionate and forgiving. It is also holy, righteous, and just. Jesus the Son had the same qualities and learned from the mind of God the Father.

You can’t just interject the qualities of love and compassion in interpretation of a situation without considering the others as well.

If you want to argue on the premise of choosing other forms of punishment than the death penalty, by all means, do so. That’s a discussion that is well worth having.

But don’t cherry pick the qualities of Jesus in the process, please.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:17 PM

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:14 PM

I’ve not heard anyone make the argument for hanging, oscarwilde, so you may have your work cut out for in doing so.

In your own heart and mind, no qualms between the death penalty and the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:14 PM

The lengthy knot in a hangman’s noose is designed to knock the subject out. When the rope snaps taut it slams against his head, concussing him.

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:21 PM

–if suffering can be avoided,

Why do people keep repeating this same idiotic canard? The slimebags who get the death penalty are the lowest of the low. They have forced pain and suffering on innocents, usually for their own sick pleasure, and have been found deserving of death. They are certainly deserving of a death that involves at least as much suffering as that they inflicted on innocents.

This nation has no concept of morality, anymore. There is an old saying from Midrash:

He who is compassionate to the cruel will ultimately be cruel to the compassionate.

It’s beyond odd that most normal people can expect a decent probability of a painful or terrifying death, either from an accident, the actions of one of the above scumbags, just a terrible disease or some other reason to die other than in your sleep … but for the lowest scum of the Earth – those who have murdered and tortured and brought terrible pain and suffering to innocents – they are guaranteed the most painless deaths imaginable. It’s a sickness that our society is mired in. A really twisted sickness.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:22 PM

In your own heart and mind, no qualms between the death penalty and the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”? lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Just like in English, Hebrew has different words for kill and murder. The commandment is best translated as for instance it is in the Book of Common Prayer, “Thou shalt do no murder.”

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:23 PM

In your own heart and mind, no qualms between the death penalty and the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Thou Shalt not Murder.
God had the Israelite kill many many times. He had many Israelite killed. It is a sanction against murder. He also prescribes what to do with those who murder. You kill them. You kill them swiftly. You kill them swiftly with as many witnesses as you can gather.

astonerii on May 18, 2014 at 2:26 PM

How about performing a post birth abortion?

trs on May 18, 2014 at 2:26 PM

In your own heart and mind, no qualms between the death penalty and the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

None at all, because their is no commandment “Thou shall not kill”. What it says, is, “Thou shall not murder”.

Thou shalt not kill

You shall not murder sometimes translated as You shall not kill, KJV Thou shalt not kill (LXX οὐ φονεύσεις, translating Hebrew לֹא תִּרְצָח lo tirṣaḥ), is a moral imperative included as one of the Ten Commandments in the Torah,[1] specifically Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17.

The imperative is against unlawful killing resulting in bloodguilt. The Hebrew Bible contains numerous prohibitions against unlawful killing, but also allows for justified killing in the context of warfare, capital punishment, and self-defense.

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:26 PM

In your own heart and mind, no qualms between the death penalty and the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

That’s a retarded question.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:26 PM

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

There’s a difference between Googling the Bible, and reading the Bible.

faraway on May 18, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Nothing is more disgusting than holier than though preachings.

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:23 PM

My father, who is something of scholar in Hebrew and Latin, says the same. There is a distinction there.

How does that fit in with your viewpoint of the death penalty? Do you see the death penalty as murdering someone?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:30 PM

In your own heart and mind, no qualms between the death penalty and the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

That’s a retarded question.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Not really, there are a great many sincere Christians who have never read anything other than the King James Bible, and therefore are simply unaware that “Thou Shall not Kill” is not the literal translation of that commandment.

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:31 PM

WHOA! For everyone coming at me about the question re: “Thou shalt not kill”, it was for the purpose of establishing context and trying to find out to what extent we agree.

Fair enough?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:31 PM

“He who is compassionate to the cruel will ultimately be cruel to the compassionate.”

Ok, but is this an advisement to be sadistic in meting out punishment?

If we skin murderers alive or scoop out their eyes with sporks before shooting them in the kneecaps and leave them to the crows and foxes, doesn’t the same logic apply eventually in some reverse manner? “If you are cruel, you are cruel.”

It’s beyond odd that most normal people can expect a decent probability of a painful or terrifying death, either from an accident, the actions of one of the above scumbags, just a terrible disease or some other reason to die other than in your sleep … but for the lowest scum of the Earth – those who have murdered and tortured and brought terrible pain and suffering to innocents – they are guaranteed the most painless deaths imaginable. It’s a sickness that our society is mired in. A really twisted sickness. ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:22 PM

I sympathize.

However, the point of capital punishment is to put the miscreant in the presence of that Judge whose judgment is perfectly suited to the crime of the man in the dock.

When executing a criminal we are transferring his case to a higher court, so to speak, to receive his final sentence, which is much more fearsome than anything we could impose. Why delay the execution of that sentence with lesser punishments that pale in comparison?

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:32 PM

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Language isn’t your strong point. You ought to stop trying to use it since it is, obviously, quite beyond you. Stick with grunting and spitting.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:33 PM

My father, who is something of scholar in Hebrew and Latin, says the same. There is a distinction there.

How does that fit in with your viewpoint of the death penalty? Do you see the death penalty as murdering someone?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Did God not say that “Should a man strike another a mortal blow he shall be taken from my altar and put to death”? Hebrew scholars read Thou Shalt Not Kill as Thou Shalt Not Commit Murder.

Judge_Dredd on May 18, 2014 at 2:33 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Sorry, not likely. I discuss what I choose with whom I choose, as long as they are willing to engage in the conversation with me.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:34 PM

However, the point of capital punishment is to put the miscreant in the presence of that Judge whose judgment is perfectly suited to the crime of the man in the dock.

When executing a criminal we are transferring his case to a higher court, so to speak, to receive his final sentence, which is much more fearsome than anything we could impose. Why delay the execution of that sentence with lesser punishments that pale in comparison?

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Well said. And sobering.

Murphy9 on May 18, 2014 at 2:35 PM

When executing a criminal we are transferring his case to a higher court, so to speak, to receive his final sentence, which is much more fearsome than anything we could impose.

For some. For others, it is earned punishment – and I emphasize “punishment”. The punishment should fit the crime.

Why delay the execution of that sentence with lesser punishments that pale in comparison?

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Because it is fair and just.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:35 PM

My father, who is something of scholar in Hebrew and Latin, says the same. There is a distinction there.

How does that fit in with your viewpoint of the death penalty? Do you see the death penalty as murdering someone?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:30 PM

How could you make your first statement then ask the next two questions?

If there is a distinction, and we mind that distinction and understand that the same God who tells us not to murder one another also tells us to kill murderers, then what’s the problem?

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Why delay the execution of that sentence with lesser punishments that pale in comparison?

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Because it is fair and just.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Fair and just for whom?

VegasRick on May 18, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Because it is fair and just.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Not according to God. God thinks a murderer should be expeditiously executed. God is nothing if he is not Fair and Just.

astonerii on May 18, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Judge_Dredd on May 18, 2014 at 2:33 PM

That point has already been made.

Let me rephrase this. One of the greatest arguments against the death penalty is that it is morally wrong, being grouped with murder in the deliberate and intentional taking of another human life.

The only way to find out how someone views the issue and what their position might be in response to that moral position is to ASK QUESTIONS. Which is what I’m doing.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:38 PM

How does that fit in with your viewpoint of the death penalty? Do you see the death penalty as murdering someone?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:30 PM

No, I do not. I see the death penalty, when applied in the correct situation, as purely an application of justice. As I stated above, in my world view, as an individual of the Christian faith, who, like your father has spent a considerable amount time studying the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin, as well as taking considerable time to study the cultural ideology of those individuals who wrote the Christian and Jewish texts.

That the death penalty should be carefully restricted and only applied when the barest minimum of criteria have been successfully met. The death penalty cannot be reversed, it is utterly final. Therefore it should only be applied in cases where there is no doubt of the guilt of the individual being executed. Nor should it be applied for anything other than premeditated murder, or an action that has as it’s consequences, premeditate murder. (Yes, that would include treason).

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Fair and just for whom?

VegasRick on May 18, 2014 at 2:38 PM

For all. There is nothing more fair or just than reciprocity.

Not according to God. God thinks a murderer should be expeditiously executed. God is nothing if he is not Fair and Just.

astonerii on May 18, 2014 at 2:38 PM

We aren’t talking about your run-of-the-mill murderer. We’re talking about twisted, ecil animals who got kicks out of torturing innocents and inflicting as much pain and terror as they could. Not just murder.

Consider it the way of the 10th plague – the scumbag gets to choose his own fate. He, at least, had the choice. His victims didn’t. He should suffer what he forced on them – at the least. That is fair and just.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Let me rephrase this. One of the greatest arguments against the death penalty is that it is morally wrong, being grouped with murder in the deliberate and intentional taking of another human life.

The only way to find out how someone views the issue and what their position might be in response to that moral position is to ASK QUESTIONS. Which is what I’m doing.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:38 PM

I’m not knocking your views. I’m simply pointing out the Bible is chock-full of instances where killing, hate, and all sorts of negative human emotions are appropriate.
I dis agree with those here that believe the condemned should suffer depending on the crime. Death should be as quick as possible. For two reasons. One, what if the person is innocent? There have been many wrongly executed people throughout history. And two, there will be divine justice on the other side. Unless you’re an atheist. But a lot of atheists suddenly get religion when faced with their own end.

Judge_Dredd on May 18, 2014 at 2:44 PM

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Thank you, OW, for answering my question.

We are in agreement. I’m of the same mind on all points. I see it as being a measure that is necessary in society.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Why delay the execution of that sentence with lesser punishments that pale in comparison? Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Because it is fair and just. ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Ok, so how would you sentence Jeffrey Dahmer? To be drugged unconscious, sodomized, have holes drilled in his head, and finally be decapitated and cannibalized?

I’ve heard people say that they would be happy to trigger the gallows, but I don’t think that there would be many volunteers for executing such a sentence.

Moving on from my weak morbid humor, what would it make of the executioner who was designated to torture the most heinous murderers by visiting upon them the same horrors their victims suffered, blow for blow, cut for cut?

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:45 PM

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Language isn’t your strong point. You ought to stop trying to use it since it is, obviously, quite beyond you. Stick with grunting and spitting.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:33 PM

I respectfully ask that you cease this hostility, lineholder is one of the good guys (ok girls), she isn’t stupid, nor is she trolling.

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:46 PM

I dis agree with those here that believe the condemned should suffer depending on the crime. Death should be as quick as possible.

Judge_Dredd on May 18, 2014 at 2:44 PM

I have my share of questions about the idea of making someone suffer. That goes in the direction of vengeance, and vengeance is not mine to take…it is God’s. I also thing there are those who would have and would willingly use public examples of human suffering as a means of generating a spirit of fear towards those in power. That goes way too much in the direction of a oppressive influence over society for me to support it.

Thank you for discussing this with me.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:49 PM

He should suffer what he forced on them – at the least. That is fair and just.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

This is a presumption predicated on the notion that there is no God. As such, I admit that it has a certain inescapable logic to it. However, as I am an individual who happens to believe that God does in fact exist, I am forced by that belief to conclude, that there is no amount of suffering that man can inflict on another man that is capable of comparing to that which will be the final consequence of falling into the hands of a living God, who has in his heart, a requirement of righteous justice.

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:51 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Of course it is fair and just. It just is not satisfying for you.

astonerii on May 18, 2014 at 2:52 PM

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:46 PM

{{{{{Very big hug!}}}}}} Thank you.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Nor should it be applied for anything other than premeditated murder, or an action that has as it’s consequences, premeditate murder. (Yes, that would include treason). oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

What about child rape? Kidnapping?

Armed robbery used to be a hanging offense in these parts, as was counterfeiting, which is robbing everyone and is akin to treason.

“If a malicious witness rises against any man to accuse him of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days; the judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother; so you shall purge the evil from the midst of you. And the rest shall hear, and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you.” -Dt. 19:16-20

In such a case, someone who perjured himself against the defendant in a capital case should be executed. I don’t necessarily advise a return to the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s penal code annotated by Scripture, but torah means instruction.

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Ok, so how would you sentence Jeffrey Dahmer? To be drugged unconscious, sodomized, have holes drilled in his head, and finally be decapitated and cannibalized?

Are you implying that Dahmer wouldn’t have deserved such?

No, you don’t have to match the crimes blow by blow but the punishment should be in the same ballpark. A slow electrocution (very slow) would probably have been a fitting ending for Dahmer. Or just burying him alive.

I don’t care. That is what he deserved.

I’ve heard people say that they would be happy to trigger the gallows, but I don’t think that there would be many volunteers for executing such a sentence.

Someone would feel bad about inflicting pain on and terrifying Dahmer?? More likely, people would be intimidated by a media and politicians who would want to make the person carrying out justice to be evil .. as if … and making the rest of HIS life a living hell. Look at how these dirtballs came out for Tookie and other evil dirtbags.

Moving on from my weak morbid humor, what would it make of the executioner who was designated to torture the most heinous murderers by visiting upon them the same horrors their victims suffered, blow for blow, cut for cut?

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Defenders of society and justice. Any blame for the required severity of the punishment goes on the criminal who committed such heinous acts as to justify and REQUIRE those types of punishments.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:55 PM

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Question: How much do think the comprehension of justice means in our society has been influenced by the constant and repetitive reduction of punishment for crimes?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:58 PM

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Oscar, that question should read “comprehension of what justice means”

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 3:01 PM

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:43 PM

What about child rape? Kidnapping?

Armed robbery used to be a hanging offense in these parts, as was counterfeiting, which is robbing everyone and is akin to treason.

“If a malicious witness rises against any man to accuse him of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days; the judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother; so you shall purge the evil from the midst of you. And the rest shall hear, and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you.” -Dt. 19:16-20

In such a case, someone who perjured himself against the defendant in a capital case should be executed. I don’t necessarily advise a return to the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s penal code annotated by Scripture, but torah means instruction.

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Well, to be perfectly clear, I am a Christian, not a Jew. Jesus Christ did not abolish the law, but there also cannot not be any doubt that he softened it’s application by bringing redemption and repentance into the picture in ways that were not in the Mosaic Law.

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 3:04 PM

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Question: How much do think the comprehension of justice means in our society has been influenced by the constant and repetitive reduction of punishment for crimes?

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:58 PM

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Oscar, that question should read “comprehension of what justice means”

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 3:01 PM

I believe that justice has been profoundly perverted by an ever encroaching believe by many in our society, that the end justifies the means.

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 3:06 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 2:55 PM

I meant not what category would he be placed into, but how would he live with himself?

My father would routinely awake in a sweat after nightmares about Korea. Once I woke him up for dinner while he was asleep on the couch, and he literally jumped over the coffee table and shouted, “Where’s my rifle?!”

He never murdered anyone, but he had some horrific stories to tell about war. He was in fire control, and it wasn’t until he was 75 that he told me about calling in artillery on a camp of 400 Chinese at dawn, and the grisly sequel. He just wanted to tell someone before he died. It still bothered him, though he knew it saved American lives.

I’m just saying that human beings are affected by their actions even when they are legal and justified. Asking a man to slowly bury a condemned man alive is a far cry from asking him to hang a condemned man, yet hangmen have nightmares too.

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 3:10 PM

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 3:06 PM

We’re in agreement on that as well.

lineholder on May 18, 2014 at 3:11 PM

After all, when they do lethal injection, don’t they have someone specific pulling the lever? Or do they have multiple people pulling multiple levers not knowing which is the “real” one?

WhatSlushfund on May 18, 2014 at 1:49 PM

The one machine I know about has two electronic buttons with an ‘executioner’ on each button. They press them at the same time, the computer running the system was randomly switching which button was active over time, so only one of the button-pressers actually started the system (plungers pressing the injections). This was some years ago, it might be all different now.

I wouldn’t want to do it.
I had night sweats after being forced euthanize one of my Koi.

Tard on May 18, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Jesus Christ did not abolish the law, but there also cannot not be any doubt that he softened it’s application by bringing redemption and repentance into the picture in ways that were not in the Mosaic Law. oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Like I said, torah means instruction. It’s the principle, not the exacting application of the letter of the law, that we should apply.

Interestingly, and you appear to be a theologian so I’d like your take on this, there are few if any applications of penalties like we are discussing being carried out in the Bible. Phineas in Numbers 25 comes to mind. There was no trial, but it stopped a plague. See also David and Bathsheba. I find this interesting.

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Sorry for the double quote. My remarks are original to that post.

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Having shot Bambi a few times, a heart shot turns out the lights nearly instantaneously. Guillotine is messy, and you’d have some dumba$$ posting videos of the criminal looking around in terror after the head came off. Hanging is an appropriate method of execution for criminals (a lot of history to that), but the rope and drop have to be calculated carefully – too much and the head comes off, to little and they just strangle (Saddam style – again, on video).

John_G on May 18, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Like I said, torah means instruction. It’s the principle, not the exacting application of the letter of the law, that we should apply.

Interestingly, and you appear to be a theologian so I’d like your take on this, there are few if any applications of penalties like we are discussing being carried out in the Bible. Phineas in Numbers 25 comes to mind. There was no trial, but it stopped a plague. See also David and Bathsheba. I find this interesting.

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 3:17 PM

I refer you to the controversy of the original Christian Church in Jerusalem, wherein Peter, John and James found themselves in a conflict brewing between those Christians of Jewish linage, and those of Gentile linage. Paul stepped up and provided a resolution to this conflict by literally squaring the teachings of the Torah with those of Jesus Christ.

The Conflict in Antioch

So, as I said, I am not a Jew, nor can I thereby as Paul repeats in Romans, again be bound by the Law, since as a gentile before becoming a Christian I was never bound to it in the first place. Therefore while I find it necessary to be taught and informed of what the Law was, so as to understand the theology as taught by the Apostles, it is the theology of Jesus Christ and his Apostles that I focus on, not the Torah.

oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 3:38 PM

I meant not what category would he be placed into, but how would he live with himself?

I know what you meant. I don’t think you’d have a problem finding people who would carry out these punishments, save the attacks they’d have to suffer from the media, politicians and nihilistic leftist dirtbags.

It’s tough to hear about your father’s issues from Korea, but the fact is that we have never had a problem finding people to do in war what needed to be done. The problem we have these days is allowing our soldiers to do what is needed. This society has moved into a phase (after Korea, actually, when Truman came up with the great idea of not fighting to win, anymore) where it is considered proper to tie our own troops’ hands behind their backs to “make it a fair fight”. That is the perversion of “fairness” that has infested this society.

I’m just saying that human beings are affected by their actions even when they are legal and justified. Asking a man to slowly bury a condemned man alive is a far cry from asking him to hang a condemned man, yet hangmen have nightmares too.

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 3:10 PM

I hear you. Still, I don’t think you’d have any problems finding someone to bury Dahmer alive, or slowly roast him on some AC current. Heck, the doctors and nurses in Great Britain routinely give similar treatment to THEIR PATIENTS in the hospitals there – which we can all look forward to, here, too, as BarkyCare takes over more and more. Just grab some VA personnel …. they had no problem letting people slowly die waiting (and those were not only innocent people but veterans!).

No … I don’t think there would be much of a problem finding people to carry out fair and just punishments for the scum of the Earth. It would be the right thing to do. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be emotionally difficult for many, but not for all – and I mean, not for all decent people.

Look, I know that this society would never move towards any of this. But this notion has to be raised to counter the absolute insanity that makes people argue that the death penalty has to be the most painless, fearless, most comfortable experience that the criminal could ever imagine. THAT notion is beyond insane, but that is what passes for conventional “wisdom” these days and it is dangerously stupid and intellectually offensive. People need to push back and, most importantly, reject the asinine notion that the death penalty should be anything remotely close to painless or without fear. There should not even be any consideration about the pain or terror that the criminal experiences, and the only way to start driving that home is to point out that the criminal murderer deserves much harsher punishment than he’s getting, to begin with.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Tard on May 18, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Hmmm, interesting about the lethal injection method.

Yeah, as far as putting a bullet in the back of one of these scumbags’ heads, I think I can say with complete confidence that I wouldn’t have a problem with doing it myself. They are monsters. It would be an honor to put them down. I’d do it and forget about it completely five minutes later. Maybe that makes me bad. But I’m not a sociopath, and I’m not saying this out of bravado. If anything, I’m a sentimental guy to a fault.

But rubbish must be discarded. I don’t consider them living things. It would be no different to me than shooting at a cardboard target pointblank.

To me, the question is not the killing itself, but what are you killing for. The values that you represent. Scum who hate life and peace and Western Civilization deserve to die.

Euthanizing a dog is a different story. That would really rip me up.

WhatSlushfund on May 18, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Every change in procedure creates years of delays in appeals so I say no. But, if I were to be executed, I would chose firing squad.

But why is this even an issue? Because one guy in Ohio made some gurgling noises? That’s normal. And another guy in OK had a heart attack? So, he died of natural causes. No good comes from the thug lovers to lie about what occurred during these executions. Since they are against all executions, any changes made will be attacked just as vehemently. Remember, lethal injection was started just to please them. Now, they act like it is torture. It is not. It’s a very easy death so long as you don’t have a heart attack before it. :)

Blake on May 18, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Tard on May 18, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Oops, sorry, I thought a Koi was a dog. Then being the genius that I am, I looked it up AFTER I posted.

It’s a fish?

Anyway, either way, you get what I mean.

WhatSlushfund on May 18, 2014 at 3:45 PM

But in the abstract, how can killing be morally justified, unless it is done to preserve the lives of others when no other recourse is available? Can we envision our Lord in the act of casting the stone?

I can envision Him giving the power of the sword (capital punishment, life and death) to Caesar, as indicated in Romans 13:4…

For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

Not that whatever they do is ‘for your good’, of course, but the notion that the state can and should wield the sword as ‘punishment on the wrongdoer’ is, actually, biblical.

Life in prison (and not release for “good behavior) would be a much better deterrent, as well as a more appropriate punishment. Not to “get even” with the perpetrator, but a means of always reminding both society and perpetrator of the act which resulted in the punishment and the resulting need for justice and deterrence, would be the purpose for imposing punishment – for any crime. Capital punishment doesn’t accomplish this, but has revenge its heart above all else.

oakland on May 18, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Beyond the scripture above which is contra your ‘revenge’ perspective, putting these people in prison for life endangers other prisoners and guards, allows for the possibility of escape and subsequent danger to citizens, etc.

I don’t have a problem with removing them ever having an opportunity to harm another person again.

Midas on May 18, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Laying someone down for a nap from which they never awake does not convey the same level of threat to such criminals as lashing them to a pole with a blindfold and a cigarette or leading them up the steps of a gallows featuring a thirteen knot noose.

Okay, Jazz…

You’ve gone over the line with the cigarette!

That could lead the executed person to develop lung cancer just minutes before he dies. It could also lead to the members of the firing squad to suffer from second-hand smoke. Not to mention that it may lead all the young aspiring murderers to take up a filthy habit like smoking!

I’d suggest an E-Cig, but if a stray bullet hit the lithium battery, it could cause singed eyebrows just prior to death. Not to mention that gullible youth may see E-Cigs as a gateway to cigarettes, and eventually murder.

ZeusGoose on May 18, 2014 at 4:02 PM

it is the theology of Jesus Christ and his Apostles that I focus on, not the Torah. oscarwilde on May 18, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Well when asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus went to the Torah – Love God above all and your neighbor as yourself. I think that is still in effect, as did e.g. St. John. And St. Paul condemned things that the law condemned. The apostolic difference being that law-keeping was not enjoined for salvation.

The Torah remains instructive to us, and shouldn’t be treated as irrelevant.

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 4:13 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 18, 2014 at 3:40 PM

You acknowledge that none of your recommendations have any chance of being implemented in this day and age.

Obviously, their mere suggestion would be used to discredit advocates of the regular ol’ death penalty. It would be enough if it were applied consistently, swiftly, and in my opinion, humanely. It is a fearful enough thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Akzed on May 18, 2014 at 4:17 PM

bump

BobMbx on May 18, 2014 at 4:36 PM

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