Miscellany:Using the firing squad as an execution method

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The state seems to have a lot of difficulty finding an execution method that they can use without botching it. The most widely-used method in the U.S. is to strap someone to a gurney and inject him with a three-drug cocktail. The problem is, the people poking them with the needles usually aren't medical professionals, and they may turn the condemned into a pin cushion before they find a vein. This is very gruesome and torturous, with blood and/or execution drugs sometimes spraying everywhere.

The firing squad is probably one of the better methods. Justice Sonia Sotomayer writes, "In addition to being near instant, death by shooting may also be comparatively painless. . . . . And historically, the firing squad has yielded significantly fewer botched executions."[1]

I think that we may as well offer the condemned a plethora of different execution methods to choose from, much as they have traditionally been offered whatever last meal they wanted.


  1. Arthur v. Dunn (Supreme Court of the United States 21 February 2017). Text