“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

If we're going to have cap. punishment, let's do it correctly

So this isn't a debate for or against capitol punishment, but if we're going to do it, what's the best way?

Electrocution, gas chamber, and lethal injection are all criticized as either too barbaric as it is sometimes painful and takes guys hours to die, too unreliable if performed incorrectly, too expensive, or all three.

Mississippi is thinking of bringing back the firing squad, like Utah has used up until recently as 2010.

Basically you give 5 proven marksmen rifles, four with live rounds and one with a blank. (The one blank provides what's known as the "diffusion of responsibility" and let's each marksman reasonably believe that he might not have fired the killing shot.)

You give the condemned person, restrained in a chair so he can't move, a hood and white shawl featuring a bright red heart over where his heart is as a high-visibility target. Then the shooters fire on command from 25 feet, or "can't miss", range. Death is immediate but it takes the doctor 30 seconds to walk in and confirm it so legally death takes 30 seconds.

There are insane citizens that support public hangings or the guillotine, and both do result in reliable, instantaneous death, but I doubt we'll be seeing those spectator events anywhere except Game of Thrones, which leaves us with the firing squad as the most humane, reliable, and cheap way to dispatch a dude who needs dispatching. IMHO.


Bill said...

The blank bit is silly. Anyone can tell from the felt recoil whether or not their rifle fired a projectile or just gas. It also assumes the rifles are handled with a round chambered before the shooters get them - an unsafe practice.

I don't see why simple asphyxiation with an inert gas like nitrogen wouldn't be the simplest and most pain free manner.

Ed said...

Actually they give the one guy a wax round so that he does feel recoil but his "round" doesn't kill anybody. And as far as safety, I think they use actual police officers not trained civilians and I'm sure the handling of the weapons is fairly routine.

We euthanize rats with CO2, and they just go peacefully to sleep, why not that?

Bill said...

CO2 would work as well as N2, I imagine.

Didn't know about the wax. Still seems silly, since they are all clearly willing to fire a live round into the condemned.

Ed said...

According to Wiki, the thinking is that the "diffusion of responsibility" alleviates any guilt that may come when one actually has to kill and unarmed man rather than just talk about it. I gather that sometimes people hesitate to pull the trigger when everybody else does and obviously you can't have that. So the chance that you aren't THE one who killed him is enough psychologically, to have everybody pull their triggers at the same time.

At least that's my understanding of it.

Bill said...

I would ask relatives of the victim(s) if there are any volunteers. But, that's just me.