Utah, the state where nothing is too crazy, might kill man by firing squad

You know how sometimes you read a headline and you’re like, “I wonder what third-world country THIS INSANITY is happening in?”  Usually the answer is Utah.  The country of Utah, on the continent of Thatshit’scrazy.

I vaguely remember hearing about a state that was going to kill a man by firing squad, but at the time I was like, well, that’s clearly NOT going to happen, for reasons that seem too obvious to require explanation.  TURNS OUT I’M A NAIVE DOPE, FOLKS.  From the AP:

A Utah man set to die by firing squad next week makes his final appeal for clemency Friday, with his attorneys asking the state pardons and parole board to change his sentence to life in prison.

Ronnie Lee Gardner’s two-day commutation hearing comes to an end a week before he is set to die for fatally shooting an attorney during a botched escape attempt at a Salt Lake City courthouse in 1985.

This guy Ronnie Lee Gardner killed an attorney while trying to flee a courthouse.  Why was he at the courthouse?  On charges that he killed a bartender.  The guy says he’s reformed and wants to open an organic garden for at risk youth.  Let him farm a few hours a day, then put him back in jail, I think.

Now, I’m against all forms of Capital Punishment because I’m not a barbaric sociopath, but even if you’re in favor of Capital Punishment, certainly death by firing squad must strike you as cruel and unusual.

And why is Ronnie to be killed by a firing squad?  Because he asked for it, because he’s probably out of his fucking mind.

Utah law allowed him to chose a firing squad rather than lethal injection because he was sentenced before 2004, when lethal injection became the state’s default execution method.

HMMMMMMM, how do I want to die?  Firing squad, please.  Oh me?  Yes, I’m completely out of my goddamn mind, why do you ask?

And to any Tough Conservatives who would argue, “he just asked for the firing squad so pansy liberal bloggers like you would be outraged and he could get his sentence commuted,” well, fine.  Then this man is a criminal mastermind and we should keep him alive to hunt down other criminals.  Also, that would be one hell of a bluff, especially in Utah.

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6 Responses to Utah, the state where nothing is too crazy, might kill man by firing squad

  1. deskpoet says:

    Perhaps ALL capital punishment is “cruel and unusual” (I tend to agree, but likely for entirely different reasons than you), but I don’t understand why you single out a bullet to the head as being more crazy than a lethal injection. Injections take longer to work, apparently are quite painful and frightening when applied, and in more than a few cases FAIL due to incompetent administration. All things being equal, in a crazy world where people ruminate over the types of execution available on websites while flying death machines murder brown people from the skies, I’d say the “choice” of death by firing squad is a fairly sane one.

  2. glois8 says:

    If you think the firing squad thing is unbelievable, then you’ll really love the commemorative coin.


  3. mozza says:

    There are still millions of people, when asked, will say, “He killed someone so he deserves to be killed himself”.

    Who are exactly the same folks who call what happens in Saudi Arabia, after prayers on Fridays, barbaric, backwards and oh-so-14th-century.

    But the heart of the matter is: killing a convicted criminal is barbaric, even though most of us can identify with the anguish experienced by the victim’s family. An educated, progressive society should never fall for the eye-for-an-eye trick as we know that’s merely another hangover from Bronze Age religious text(s).

  4. Roy Brander says:

    “Then this man is a criminal mastermind and we should keep him alive to hunt down other criminals. ”

    Just when I thought all the most repulsive ideas for reality TV had been tried, you have to come up with the next one.

    If you get rich and famous on this idea, I am going to Aspen to throw a rock through the window of your chalet.

  5. leonkelly says:

    Here’s an idea: Auction off the position in the firing squad (or sell lottery tickets). This way some serious cash can be raised to bequeath to the victim’s family. One of the shooters will get the legendary phantom empty cartridge to instill some doubt in the mind of the squad as to whether or not they individually sent a bullet into the condemned. This way something appreciable good will come from the killing. The condemned will not have died in vain, and will be given the opportunity to atone financially for the horrible pain he/she so ruthlessly afflicted on his victim and the victim’s family. Call it death with dignified reparation.

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