The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Splatter From an Execution’

Posted on | July 25, 2014 | 119 Comments

Yesterday, reacting to the botched lethal-injection execution of an Arizona murderer, I said: “Bring Back the Firing Squad. . . . It was good enough for Gary Gilmore.” And most people probably thought, “Hahaha. Stacy’s just being sarcastic again.” Well, guess what? A federal appeals court judge had made basically the same argument:

“Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and beautiful — like something any one of us might experience in our final moments,” U.S. 9th Circuit Court Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in a dissent in the Arizona death penalty case of Joseph Rudolph Wood III.
“But executions are, in fact, brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality. Nor should we. If we as a society want to carry out executions, we should be willing to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf.” . . .
His dissent could be read as much as an indictment of capital punishment as a call for harsher methods, however. He cited California’s inability to execute anyone since 2006 because of legal challenges.
“Old age, not execution, is the most serious risk factor for inmates at the San Quentin death row,” he wrote.
In calling for firing squads, Kozinski said, “Eight or 10 large-caliber rifle bullets fired at close range can inflict massive damage, causing instant death every time.”
He said the public should not shield itself “from the reality we are shedding human blood.”
“If we as a society cannot stomach the splatter from an execution carried out by a firing squad, then we shouldn’t be carrying out executions at all.”
Kozinski, a Ronald Reagan appointee, is known for writing audacious, thought-provoking rulings, and legal scholars have been poring over his dissent.

Read the whole thing. My attitude about the death penalty is basically the same as my attitude about war: Git ‘er done.

A hard war makes for a long peace. War by half-measures, hemmed in by political concerns and fears of offending delicate sensibilities, can never accomplish war’s purpose, i.e., to defeat the enemy and force his submission. We ought not deceive ourselves about what war is.

Like the man said, “Talk thus to the marines.”

If we are not prepared to destroy the enemy — to devastate him with the utmost in lethal force — we ought never go to war. If our cause is so just that we will risk the blood of our bravest sons to conquer a foe, it does not behoove us to be too sensitive about the blood of our enemies. A nation that is afraid of war is a decadent nation, and will ultimately be conquered by others.

Similarly, we must not deceive ourselves about the death penalty. It is “humane” only in the sense that it is necessary to protect the innocent from the depredations of savages. Joseph Woods shot to death 55-year-old Gene Dietz, the father of his ex-girlfriend. As Debbie Dietz frantically tried to telephone for help, Woods grabbed her by the neck and said: “I told you I was going to do it. . . . I have to kill you, bitch.” And then he shot her to death, too.

You want to tell me Joseph Woods deserved a humane death? You want to tell me that a firing squad — or the noose, the gas chamber or the electric chair — would be a violation of the killer’s “rights”? You are siding with savages against the innocent.



119 Responses to “‘Splatter From an Execution’”

  1. Quartermaster
    July 25th, 2014 @ 6:22 pm

    Heh! The public doesn’t have to be “dragged” out to see. They could sell tickets and still get a lot of people out there for it.

  2. Quartermaster
    July 25th, 2014 @ 6:23 pm

    What you are saying isn’t showing on my screen.

  3. Quartermaster
    July 25th, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

    Not kill, murder. The KJV mistranslates that. I don’t expect consistency, or knowledge, from a progRat.

  4. Quartermaster
    July 25th, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

    EXCELLENT STYLE IN THAT DENUNCIATION!!! We need a continuing education thread on denunciation and you can do the first presentation. I doubt, however, it would count for your CE on your CPA, however.

  5. Quartermaster
    July 25th, 2014 @ 6:31 pm

    Moral absolutes? That’s a religious statement right there.

  6. Zohydro
    July 25th, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

    Whew! I was getting the feeling recently that the denunciations around here recently were going beyond just good fun…

  7. Zohydro
    July 25th, 2014 @ 7:40 pm

    Capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia, birth control, war… I’m not a big fan of any of these, and all for pretty much the same reason…

  8. YukonXL
    July 25th, 2014 @ 10:31 pm

    Sorry, I don’t want to live in that society. If you want to live in one like that try Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan. We’re much better than that. I don’t object to the death penalty on moral grounds on some cases and truly believe the bastards deserve it, but I’m not willing to support giving the state that right especially when you have over zealous prosecution hitting epidemic levels, and innocent people being locked up, and on death row. The death penalty serves no practical purpose, and those that usually get it would commit heinous crimes regardless.

  9. Matt_SE
    July 25th, 2014 @ 10:44 pm

    Either I was hallucinating, which I doubt, or Disqus was mis-labelling your posts under “Enough’s” screen name.
    I apologize, Art Deco.

  10. Matt_SE
    July 25th, 2014 @ 10:48 pm

    Once again, I apologize. What I described was showing on my screen. The computer was in error.
    Unfortunately, I had to go to work before I could see your response.

  11. Mike G.
    July 25th, 2014 @ 10:53 pm

    I don’t object to the death penalty on moral grounds on some cases and
    truly believe the bastards deserve it, but I’m not willing to support
    giving the state that right

    So then, you support the death penalty in some cases but you don’t want the state to carry it out.

    Who then?

    Should we have a public lottery to see who gets to be executioner? Or do we ask for volunteers?

    By the way, I didn’t say I agree with public executions, I was just explaining the difference between executions in third world hell holes and civilized society.

  12. Dana
    July 26th, 2014 @ 9:09 am

    The price of one rope is less than the cost of four bullets plus one blank.

    And you can reuse the rope.

  13. TotallyPeeved
    July 26th, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

    Ropes can break. The drop can be miscalculated. A firing squad is better.

  14. ThePaganTemple
    July 26th, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

    Yeah, you’re definitely right about that. Abortion is definitely not the same thing as criminal execution. An execution is not murder.

  15. ThePaganTemple
    July 26th, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

    People who say “we’re better than that” are almost always arrogant asholes who think they’re better than everybody else.

  16. ThePaganTemple
    July 26th, 2014 @ 3:07 pm

    The constitution, precisely the Bill of Rights, forbids “cruel and unusual punishment”. But some people like the idea of making a criminal suffer. Well, if you want him to suffer, put him in prison and make him stay there for the rest of hiis natural life, knowing he will never again experience the feeling of being free to live his life as he chooses, because he once abused that right and fucked it up. He will live the rest of his days as a miserable cur, filled with despair and anguish.

    Conversely, you can put him to death and, after a few minutes at most of some pain and terror, which he also deserves to experience, he will be dead and gone. More to the point, his own suffering will be over done with, permanently. And he will have had plenty of time to make his peace with his God and take his new-found peace with him into eternity.

    Nothing cruel or unusual about it.

  17. Quartermaster
    July 26th, 2014 @ 9:44 pm

    We’re undergoing a bit of consolidation of skill and learning. Wombat has absorbed the lessons and is responding very well.. Dana, OTOH has been removed from my pantheon of proper denunciators for the Bing whinging.

  18. Quartermaster
    July 26th, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

    Who needs a squad? A 9mm brain hemorrhage requires but one round.

  19. Neil Thompson
    July 26th, 2014 @ 11:06 pm

    I would think after 2 more seasons of “Game of Thrones” then Americans would be cool with beheadings, but I would settle for a firing squad.