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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Death By Firing Squad? What Year Is This Anyway?

Death By Firing Squad? What Year Is This Anyway?

Two loud bangs end 25 years on death row for Gardner – Salt Lake Tribune.

For the nation, Gardner’s death marked what could be the final execution of its kind in the country. Utah is the only state still using a firing squad, and only four men on death row could still choose it. The state switched to lethal injection in 2004.

Some hope the attention will highlight problems meting out capital punishment in Utah. Both death penalty opponents and believers decry the nearly 25 years Gardner spent between his conviction for Burdell’s murder and the execution.

Seriously, it’s one thing to grandfather a law that allows people a freedom they’ve always had, but to grandfather the firing squad for a few guys on death row? That’s, well, absurd.

I’m sorta on the fence about the death penalty in general, as it seems to be a theoretically reasonable punishment for certain crimes but in practice has generally failed. The problems with sentencing are difficult enough on their own, while the actual execution (not meant as a pun) itself brings its own bag of problems.

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