Published January 27, 2014
Has the left’s attempt to use the lethal-injection process to ban the death penalty backfired?
Consideration of firing squads for implementing the death penalty is not a fringe issue and would bring back the humaneness the left claims it wants in the process.
As often as I can, I laud the importance, value and decency of the death penalty.
As a feminist, I’ve spent a great deal of my adult life as an advocate for women, educating on violence against women and agitating for justice for women in a system that far too often forgets the victims on the receiving end of a beast’s rage.
Wiping monsters from the face of the earth is a good thing, and the death penalty provides the ultimate statement from society that we refuse to pamper the heinous and cold-blooded among us.
Victims’ families also deserve the closure and respect of a society that takes decisive action against those who dared to rip their worlds apart.
Now, with the use of DNA evidence to confirm guilt, the argument of mistakenly executing an innocent man is also off the table. We all want to eliminate doubt, and modern science now allows us to do just that.
So last week I was especially pleased to see lawmakers in Missouri and Wyoming arguing for the use of the ultimate in fast and humane executions — the firing squad.
Finally, common sense is prevailing after years of trying to placate the left by doing everything possible to make an execution seem like a visit to the spa. The only thing we aren’t doing while “putting to sleep” the most craven among us was reading them a bedtime story and surrounding them with puppies.
This renewed call for firing squads hasn’t come out of the blue. A shortage of the drugs (owing to the one U.S. drug manufacturer responding to pressure from anti-death penalty activists) used in the three-drug execution cocktail has forced states to determine exactly how they can carry out the process while making sure the condemned doesn’t get too uncomfortable.
Me? I’d feed the jerks more than a few cocktails (martinis to be exact), put them behind the wheel of a Pinto and let them loose in one of those crash-dummy test ranges. I’d enjoy telling them freedom is just past that brick wall over there and invite them to hit the gas. Next.
A case in point just last week: Dennis Maguire was finally put to death after being found guilty of the torturous and sadistic murder of Joy Stewart in 1989.
Joy was seven months pregnant when Maguire raped and sodomized her, slit her throat and stabbed her to death. Her body was then dumped in the woods.
The coroner thinks her unborn baby possibly survived the initial assault and could have lived hours more in his dead mother’s womb. Carl would have been his name.
Joy’s husband, Kenny, unable to cope with the atrocity of what happened to his family, killed himself a week before Maguire’s trial.
Finally last week, Ohio got on with the business of execution a quarter of a century after Maguire had been sentenced to die.
Yet the media and anti-death-penalty trolls were beside themselves when Ohio opted to execute Maguire with a two-drug cocktail instead of the usual three. The hand-wringing over the possibility that rapist-murderer-child-killer Maguire wouldn’t see kittens in his dreams before dying in his sleep was pathetic.
It took Maguire 26 minutes to die, 11 minutes longer than the average execution. According to observers, the jerk also gasped and snorted a few times during the process.
Well, cry me a river.
The odds are Maguire had no idea what was happening to him, yet we know that Joy lived through every moment of the torture Maguire inflicted upon her. What he experienced was a gift, considering what he did to his victim, and the hopelessness and pain that compelled Joy’s husband to kill himself in the aftermath of Maguire’s sadism.
The lethal-injection system, by its very process, gives credence to the notion that executing someone is a bad thing and, therefore, needs to be made “nice.”
Executing the evil among us is a necessary thing, but for those who insist it be compassionate, the firing squad is the answer. Quick, painless and inexpensive, it is, in fact, the ultimate in humane dispatching.
I can hear those, some of whom are well-meaning, who worry about the lives of monsters, appalled about the imagined cruelty and inhumanity of my argument. I’ll tell you what’s inhumane — forcing the innocent to watch society herald the murderers in our midst.
The inhumanity is ignoring the innocent whose worlds were destroyed by craven savages like Maguire, condemning their families to lives devoid of closure and whatever peace might be possible. The death penalty provides justice to those who deserve it.
It’s time we take that seriously, end the atrocious delays in executions and bring back the humaneness of the firing squad.
Editor's note: This op-ed originally appeared on the WashingtonTimes.com.