Our "Political Insiders" are split down partisan lines on the issue of restoring the firing squad as a method of execution in Utah.
Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, is sponsoring HB 11, which allows the state to use the firing squad for executions if the chemicals used in lethal injections are not available.
More than half of the Republicans on our panel favor the idea while more than 3/4ths of Democrats are opposed. Just about 2/3rds of our readers also oppose the legislation.
Selected anonymous comments:
"The firing squad is a very humane method of execution once you have accepted that it is just for society to levy the death penalty in the case of heinous crimes. However, the PR may be bad enough to make it not worth doing."
"Just another opportunity to make the state look peculiar."
"The use of the firing squad takes what is already a very solemn, somber, experience and makes it into a circus. Rep. Ray is trying to take that circus and use it as a tool to dissuade criminals when we know after decades of data that this doesn't work."
"It should be the only option."
"I do not believe there should be a death penalty in Utah. The risk of killing an innocent person is too great. We should focus on mental health care and treatment for drug addiction; then we can afford lifetime imprisonment for those few criminals who are truly not treatable"
"Absolutely not! Barbaric."
"Eliminate capital punishment altogether. A life term with no possibility of parole should be the required punishment."
"I oppose the death penalty, but if Utah chooses to have one, the firing squad seems to me a better method than lethal injection. By a long shot."
"Why not? The Legislature has made guns legal for just about every other purpose."
"Welcome to Utah where we have the firing squad. Enjoy the Sundance Film Festival, Mormon Tabernacle choir and skiing knowing that we have the find squad in place."
"Absolutely not. The firing squad, much like the death penalty itself, is archaic, immoral, and belongs in the history books, not modern society."
"Instead of trying to find better ways to kill each other we should stop killing people. The state's interest is in public safety, not vengeance."