Federal Judge: Use Firing Squads, Not Lethal Injections For Death Penalty Cases
A Federal Judge is speaking out over the flawed death penalty system, saying that the country should bring back firing squads to remind people of the brutality of executions
On Monday, the ninth circuit federal appeals court rejected Arizona’s request to stop the postponement of an inmate’s execution over of the secrecy of its capital punishment procedures.
Since Europeans and other nations began to boycott supplying the US with lethal injection drugs, states have had to “improvise” and use other lethal combinations but have not been forthcoming about what they are using.
In a statement in court, chief judge Alex Kozinski said that the decision to move from methods like the electric chair, gas chamber, and firing squad to lethal injections in the 1970s was misguided.
“Subverting medicines meant to heal the human body to the opposite purpose was an enterprise doomed to fail,” Kozinski wrote.
The “enterprise is flawed,” he said. Drugs are being used 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.”
Kozinski then called on the US to revert to the brutal, primitive execution methods of old.
“The firing squad strikes me as the most promising,” Kozinski said. “Eight or 10 large-caliber rifle bullets fired at close range can inflect massive damage, causing instant death every time. 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.”