Trigger Happy Justice: Instead of following Utah’s firing squads, nation should adopt Iowa’s ban on death penalty

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In The United States Of America, 32 states out of the 50 have made capital punishment a legal sentence. But, out of those 32, only one of them has instituted death by firing squad.

Utah’s Gov. Gary Herbert signed a law instituting death by firing squad only in the event of a shortage of the needed lethal injection drugs. The lethal injection drugs are imported from Europe and are then distributed to the states that need them.

As of recently the Europeans have been putting pressure on the United States to completely stop the death penalty by putting export controls on the drugs. Instead of rationalizing and taking steps to abolish killing its citizens, the state of Utah has decided to go back to shooting them. The practice was banned in 2004, but executions from firing squads continued until 2010 due to prisoners who had wished for execution by firing squad before it was banned.

Gov. Herbert did mention that he did find the method “a little bit gruesome” but still went on to sign it into law. Herbert’s actions may be echoed as time goes on by lawmakers who believe in capital punishment and see no other alternative to the European export controls.

The debate over capital punishment is one that has been discussed by presidential nominees. Even now two candidates who are making strides towards the White House — Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Ted Cruz who just announced his presidential intentions for the Republicans — both support the death penalty.

As time goes on and with no states looking to ban the death penalty in the foreseeable future, death by firing squads may start to become reinstated again and become part of the unfortunate norm.

Even in Iowa, which banned the death penalty almost 50 years ago, there was recently a bill to reinstate it in certain instances, but the bill failed to move forward; the rest of the nation should also adopt this path and abandon the trigger happy justice of the death penalty.

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