The upcoming Arizona execution has raised a lot of controversy over the death penalty, with one one judge writing that he believes that Joseph Rudolph Wood should be executed by either a firing squad or guillotine.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, earlier this week the Supreme Court ruled that the Arizona execution could proceed as planned. The execution had been delayed because “Wood’s lawyers filed for a preliminary injunction to keep Arizona from completing the execution unless the state provided them with information about the qualifications of the executioners and the origin of the drugs to be used in the process.”
Now, 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski has thrown more fuel on the political fires by suggesting the death penalty should be handled by methods some may consider inhumane:
“The firing squad strikes me as the most promising. Eight or ten large-caliber rifle bullets fired at close range can inflict massive damage, causing instant death every time. There are plenty of people employed by the state who can pull the trigger and have the training to aim true…. Sure, firing squads can be messy, but if we are willing to carry out executions, we should not shield ourselves from the reality that we are shedding human blood. If we, as a society, cannot stomach the splatter from an execution carried out by firing squad, then we shouldn’t be carrying out executions at all.”
Bringing back the old methods of enforcing capital punishment is not actually a new idea. Utah proposed that bringing back the firing squad would be the most “humane way to kill somebody,” according to some politicians. Tennessee is considering hooking up the electric chairs again, and that possibility is even more controversial since it would be the only death penalty option for inmates.
The impetus for having older execution replace lethal injection was created by mainly two reasons. The first is practical since states are finding it difficult to find the chemicals necessary for the Arizona execution ever since Europe instituted a boycott. The second reason is that some are questioning whether lethal injection is in fact the most humane way to kill a person. A recent botched execution in Oklahoma had the inmate suffering for 43 minutes after the drugs were administered. Writhing and clenching his teeth in pain, the man eventually died of a collapsed vein instead of the drugs, and some claim he was “tortured to death.”
Although Kozinski may not sound like it based upon his suggestion to back the firing squad, he’s actually not a proponent of the death penalty. Some legal scholars claim he’s just trying to shock the nation by suggesting the “best” method is the guillotine and the firing squad is “the most promising.” If anything, the rest of the quote makes it clear Kozinskthat he does not “like” any of the death penalty methods:
“Whatever the hopes and reasons for the switch to drugs, they proved to be misguided. Subverting medicines meant to heal the human body to the opposite purpose was an enterprise doomed to failure. Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and peaceful—like something any one of us might experience in our final moments. But executions are, in fact, nothing like that…They are brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality. Nor should it. If we as a society want to carry out executions, we should be willing to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf…. If we, as a society, cannot stomach the splatter from an execution carried out by firing squad, then we shouldn’t be carrying out executions at all.”
Do you think the Arizona execution should have used an older method on Joseph Rudolph Wood? Or do you think the death penalty should be abolished?