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The Firing Squad

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Utah is the only state in the nation that allows condemned killers to choose death by lethal injection or firing squad. In KSL's view, the right to choose the means of execution should be eliminated. And the firing squad option should be abandoned altogether.

Inmates seem to choose the firing squad for one reason: it gives them one last chance to grandstand. And it works. Past executions have attracted worldwide attention. Some would use "media circus" or "spectacle" to describe the occasions.

It shouldn't be! It need not be!

What sense does it make to allow someone who has taken another person's life to be given the opportunity to choose how they will die? The state tries and a jury convicts the killer. A sentence is handed down. It is only logical for the means of carrying out the sentence to be decreed, as well.

As for the firing squad option, corrections officials say it's needed because death by lethal injection may be difficult to accomplish among heavy drug users with collapsed veins. It seems a curious argument since lethal injection is the sole means of execution in most other states.

Should the firing squad be retained, the option belongs to the state and not the prisoner. KSL believes there is no valid argument for allowing convicted murderers to choose their form of execution. Lawmakers should enact a change.

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