Faced with a nationwide shortage of lethal-injection drugs, Idaho Republican governor Brad Little signed a bill that would allow the death penalty to be enforced via firing squad. The measure was sure to become law of the land even if he hadn’t, however, because the state’s legislature passed the bill on March 20 with a veto-proof majority.
Mississippi, Utah, Oklahoma, and South Carolina already have similar laws, although South Carolina’s law is on hold pending legal challenges.
Not surprisingly, liberals are freaking out, with Abortion King Gavin Newsom tweeting after the bill passed the legislature (but before Little actually signed it into law):
The @GOP are so pro life they believe death by firing squad is “humane.” https://t.co/PxQNGumUsV
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 20, 2023
Interesting that he holds the lives of vicious criminals above those of innocent unborn babies. Tells you pretty much all you need to know about the guy.
It’s possible the law could eventually come into play against suspected murderer Bryan Kohberger, allegedly the psychopath behind the horrific stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students in 2022. Since this is an opinion site, I’ll give you my opinion: don’t miss.
Idaho's move to resurrect firing squad ‘makes sense’ as ‘quickest, surest’ death penalty option, expert says https://t.co/CHeJM9N7FC
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 23, 2023
Governor Little explained his thoughts behind signing the bill in a letter to the Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives, noting that he has always been a supporter of the death penalty:
Throughout my life in public service, I have supported capital punishment when our justice system determines death is the only appropriate sentence for a person who committed a heinous crime. The families of the victims deserve justice for their loved ones and the death penalty is a way to bring them peace.
He further explained that it’s the state’s duty to carry out the wishes of the jury:
While I am signing this bill, it is important to point out that fulfilling justice can and must be done by minimizing stress on corrections personnel.
For the people on death row, a jury convicted them of their crimes, and they were lawfully sentenced to death. It is the responsibility of the State of Idaho to follow the law and ensure that lawful criminal sentences are carried out.
The use of lethal injection drugs has long been controversial and has even been considered inhumane. There have been several notorious cases where the condemned refused to die quickly, or whose executions were botched. The 2022 death of convicted murderer Joe Nathan James Jr., for instance, took over three and half hours and James likely suffered “pain and suffering” the entire time. He probably would have welcomed a firing squad.
The shortage of lethal injection drugs has been exacerbated in recent years as some pharmaceutical companies have banned states from using their products for executions, saying that their products were for “saving lives,” not ending them.
The last firing squad execution in the United States occurred in 2010 as murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner met his fate in Utah.
It’s ironic that in the quest to find more humane ways to execute criminals who deserve the death penalty, do-gooders have actually made the process often far more painful and horrific. Lethal injections have proven to be particularly problematic and subject to botched efforts.
While a firing squad may seem backward and cruel to some, in my view it would actually be far preferable to some of the more “modern” methods that regularly seem to backfire today.
If you’re going to do the job, get the job done.
(The opinions expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.)
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