January 28, 2014 10:57 am -

Because of difficulty getting lethal injection drugs because the nations that make them consider them too barbaric, various states are looking at even more barbaric methods of executing people. Never mind that the death penalty, itself, is barbaric and beneath the dignity of an allegedly civilized nation. If other civilized countries believe that lethal injection drugs contribute to a depraved society, maybe we ought to sit up and take notice. Instead, we’re becoming more depraved.

“This isn’t an attempt to time-warp back into the 1850s or the wild, wild West or anything like that,” said Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin, who this month proposed making firing squads an option for executions. “It’s just that I foresee a problem, and I’m trying to come up with a solution that will be the most humane yet most economical for our state.”

Brattin, a Republican, said questions about the injection drugs are sure to end up in court, delaying executions and forcing states to examine alternatives. It’s not fair, he said, for relatives of murder victims to wait years, even decades, to see justice served while lawmakers and judges debate execution methods.

But it’s “fair” for relatives of the convicted to see their loved ones shot at by firing squads?

Like Brattin, a Wyoming lawmaker this month offered a bill allowing the firing squad. Missouri’s attorney general and a state lawmaker have raised the notion of rebuilding the state’s gas chamber. And a Virginia lawmaker wants to make electrocution an option if lethal-injection drugs aren’t available.

If adopted, those measures could return states to the more harrowing imagery of previous decades, when inmates were hanged, electrocuted or shot to death by marksmen.

I’m ashamed to live in a country where we elect officials who would even consider such options. It’s bad enough that we have a government that believes it can decide who lives and who dies.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.