United States on the brink of welcoming back firing squads

Originally published at: United States on the brink of welcoming back firing squads | Boing Boing



I hate this stupid, cruel timeline… So very much. Come on, people, we CAN and MUST do better…


Capital punishment is a barbaric practice that has no place in a modern society, especially one with such a flawed justice system.

That said, the reason states adopted lethal injection in lieu of firing squads wasn’t to reduce the suffering of the condemned. It was because people wanted to hide the inherently violent act of taking a human life behind the trappings of a medical procedure.

Firing squads are violent, but at least they’re honest.


I don’t mean to imply general endorsement of capital punishment(much less as it is implemented here); but I’d be very much in support of moving away from lethal injection and toward firing squads if you are going to do it.

There’s both the practical element: corrections staff have proven time and again that they are incapable of injection competence at even ‘motivated junkie’ level; much less any kind of professional standard; and their DIY pharmacology ends up being a torturous hackjob that would be bad even by the low standards of feedlot veterinary medicine(much less veterinary medicine we use on animals we love; or anesthesiology) and the intellectual honesty element:

Lethal injection was always a repulsively squirmy attempt to throw a veneer of clean, medical, practice on over the fact that you are killing someone. That alone is damning in its dishonesty; the fact that people are willing to accept slow, error-prone, and sometimes torturous results(helpfully obfuscated by administering the paralytics first) to preserve that illusion is way worse.

Just straight up having your violence professionals shoot the subject, by contrast, is simple, honest, and permits little equivocation with yourself or others about what you are doing. Plus; it doesn’t require medical skills that corrections employees lack(and, if even their marksmanship is lacking, mechanical mounts that keep a gun pointed in a given direction are common and trivial).

If you are going to do capital punishment; firing squads seem like they rank very favorably in terms of honesty and humane outcomes(messy, yes; but that’s not something the person executed has to worry about; and ties in to the ‘honesty’ bit).


The new jobs for sociopaths bill seems risky. Do you really want to train them?

If a person is found innocent after the sentence is imposed- will the firing squad members be charged with murder? Be subject to lawsuits by the murdered persons family?


They should be charged with murder even if the person is guilty.


Where’s the Catholic lobbying groups on this?

Too busy eliminating trans people, I guess.


Surely the same considerations apply (or not) to anybody who carries out an execution, regardless of the method.


To be fair, we are trying to destroy western civilization /s


Why stop there?


The death penalty is utterly wrong. It’s meted out in utterly unfair fashion. It’s expensive. It doesn’t act as a ‘deterrent’. It’s medieval. It should outlawed and consigned to a violent past.

As to its means, a techno-nerd could offer up a dozen more assured, less painful, even cheaper methods, to accomplish it. Given that atavisms like firing squads clearly aren’t about getting the task done; it’s for political, vengeful, and likely purely sadistic motives.


It’s so odd that people who constantly complain about the power of government want to give the government the power to take citizens lives.


Besides the fact that multiple bullets could be more effective than a single bullet, the point of a firing squad instead of a firing sniper is so that one individual can’t be or feel responsible for the death.

Plus, logic and ethics aren’t exactly the basis for those who advocate for the death penalty.


Opposition to “Big Government” never extends to law enforcement or the armed forces (except for libertarians who say that they can be abolished or privatised).


If you want to ensure that a condemned prisoner ends up properly dead than it does make a sick kind of sense to give the job to people who were trained to kill (i.e. soldiers and guards) rather than to give the job to a medical professional whose training was mostly about keeping people alive.


Someone call the horse trader, I bet he’d be happy to sell them some fully self-firing guns.

(I wish this was sarcastic)

Clearly the best way is to pit 20 condemned people against each other and pardon the last person standing. Or breathing.

We could sell the streaming and betting rights.


Absolutely, so why not consider the guillotine? It’s quick, reliable, minimizes suffering (it was designed to be humane, after all) and yet would satisfy the blood lust of the observers better than almost any other method. I’d be willing to bet that the rate of botched executions during the Reign of Terror approached zero.

But it’s French.

NOTE: The above is an attempt at sarcasm. Capital punishment is barbaric and should be abolished immediately, as it has been by almost all civilized countries.


Freedom blades?


Agreed. If the death penalty is such a necessary thing, then quit pussyfooting around about it. Bring on the firing squads, and require it to be broadcast widely for all to see. Beam it into classrooms. Preempt must see TV. If the state is going to be killing people in our names, don’t be hiding it behind closed doors.