Killing state capital punishment

Graveyard & Deathsource: Socialist Worker
published: 29 April 2015

Officials in Oklahoma and other states are scrambling to figure out a way to kill people. Concerned over a lack of access to lethal injection drugs, the Oklahoma legislature passed a bill in late April approving the use of the gas chamber for executions.

This comes on the heels of Utah’s move in March to bring back the firing squad as an alternative to lethal injection, an announcement that spurred another round of debate about executions. While the Denver Post editorial board wrote that the firing squad was “not a solution,” a Bloomberg editorial titled “Death by firing squad is more humane than lethal injection” circulated widely.

When Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill authorizing the use of the firing squad, he admitted that he found the method “a little bit gruesome.” Compared to the sanitized image of lethal injection as a painless “medical” procedure, the firing squad appears antiquated and barbaric, a remnant of Wild West justice.

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