Ready, aim … firing squad!

What should the punishment be for someone who kills another person?

Not someone who kills in an accidental situation. I’m talking about someone who intentionally takes the life of another person – a innocent person – for whatever reason.

After the killer faces trial in the court system and is found to be guilty of the crime, what should happen to him or her?

What should the punishment be?

This is a quandary that has faced our court system from the very beginning. Do we lock the person up in jail for the rest of his life or should that person face what we call the “death penalty”?

Over the decades there have been a variety of means for the death penalty – hanging, firing squad, the gas chamber, the electric chair, lethal injection. All have been used, but over time, states have changed their laws – some outlawing capital punishment entirely and others limiting the methods that can be used

There are those who will argue for this method over another method. That usually boils down to a belief that the prisoner will suffer more or less, depending on the method chosen.

It’s interesting to note that while many states have adopted lethal injection as their preferred method of execution, because supposedly it is less painful, it has become harder and harder for them to carry it out. Why? Because it is almost impossible in many cases to purchase the drugs needed for the injection. Why? Because the drug companies are not making them available because they don’t want their company associated with “killing.”

Think about that!

The whole issue really boils down to politics. Generally, Democrats do not favor executining murderers, and Republicans generally do, though they might disagree as to which method is preferable.

States across the country are dealing with their decisions as to what means they’ll use in their correctional systems. California, for one, is in the midst of a temporary suspension of the use of the death penalty. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a moratorium on the death penalty in 2019. The death penalty is still legal in the state, but it cannot be carried out because of the decision by the governor. There are some 700 inmates on death row, and what will happen with them is not fully known at this point. It is known that Newsom want to empty death row.

An interesting change is going on in South Carolina as a result of a proposal by a Democratic state Sen. Dick Harpootlian, who advocates the ability for the state to execute by firing squad. As reported in The Western Journal, he said, “The death penalty is going to stay the law here for a while. If we’re going to have it, it ought to be humane.” According to Harpootlian, “It is the least painful method of execution.”

Last May in South Carolina, legislation was approved to give inmates the option of selecting firing squad as their method of execution. The Department of Corrections built the execution facility. Inmates will be seated in the state’s old electric chair, strapped in with his head covered with a hood.

The firing squad will include three people, all using live rounds. They will be volunteers from the Corrections Department.

According to the Department, there are 35 inmates on death row. It’s not known at this point how many will request the firing squad.

The morality of the death penalty is at issue, and it presents many problems for the electorate and politicians. With the increase in crime across the country, many citizens see the death penalty and the use of incarceration for criminals as necessary evils. Despite that, there are those people who want the punishment for criminals to be less harsh.

At the extreme are politicians who literally want to empty the jails. That is not an exaggeration, and it is the mindset of many, including Newsom. Unfortunately, while that may be the desired aim of the governor, he doesn’t have a public plan as to how that might be accomplished.

Newsom wants San Quentin Prison emptied. Fine. But what is to be done with the criminals who are incarcerated there for crimes they have committed against innocent people? California voters haven’t been given an answer to that question, and I suspect it will be a long time before they find out.

As for South Carolina, it will proceed with the plan to institute the firing squad. All that is needed at this point, is a go-ahead from the state Supreme Court.

It will be interesting to see how the media react when the first such execution takes place. Knowing the liberal, bleeding-heart media, I suspect they will go overboard with sympathy for the criminal and not pay too much (or any) attention to the victims of the crime that got him there.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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