June 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
Just after midnight on Friday, June 18th, Ronnie Gardner, convicted of killing two people and injuring a bailiff, was executed under the death penalty. But, unlike most death penalty executions, Gardner was not put to death by lethal injection, he was gunned down by a 5 man firing squad. Gardner had chosen his execution method himself. However, many people are upset not only because the 25 year death row inmate was executed, but by the method of his execution. Despite the fact that it was his own choice but people are wondering how the state of Utah could allow such a thing.
In 2004, Utah passed legislature banning death by firing squad however since Gardner was sentenced to death before the legislature passed, he grandfathered the law and had the option to refuse lethal injection for the firing squad.
The American Civil Liberties Union called the Gardner’s execution barbaric. An NPR commenter said it was proof of Satanism. But, if it was the prisoner’s choice, was the state wrong to allow it? Is death by firing squad any more wrong than lethal injection?
With lethal injection, a person falls asleep and their body shuts down. With the firing squad, the person is shot until they are dead, and in the case of Gardner he had chosen to meet his demise by being gunned down,so he wasn’t taken by surprise like the people he himself had killed.
While capital punishment may not be the answer and it is not going to bring back his victims, was his own killing anymore barbaric than it would have been had he been injected?
Let me know what you think!