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Author`s name Michael Simpson

Busy Times for Utah's Firing Squad

Criminals chose to ridicule authorities and to make the execution as painful as possible to all involved 
The men or women who make up the firing squad in the state of Utah can start polishing their guns. Two inmates have chosen to be executed by them, instead of a lethal injection. Utah is only one of a few states who still have this kind of legal butchery on the books. Experts think that the firing squad is rooted in the Mormon believe which describes that if someone who spoils another mans blood is to be forgiven by God, his blood must be spoiled.

On schedule to die are Troy Kell and Roberto Arguelles. Arguelles will be shot June 27 and Troy next day. Both men have chosen to stop any pending appeals and to die the rough way. Arguelles is under a death sentence for four sexually motivated murders, kidnapping, raping and then killing three girls and a woman. Troy murdered a black inmate. He is a white supremacist and during a stay in prison killed a black inmate and was caught on video during the murder. Both have been given the choice how to die, by lethal injection or by a bullet. Both choose, to ridicule authorities and to make "the kill" as painful as possible to all involved, including the firing squad and prison guards.

It is not uncommon that prisoners on death row take that course. Earlier this year, Earl Bramblett was executed in the electric chair of the state Virginia. He could have chosen to drift into sleep on the execution gurney, will death be pumped in his arm by an injection needle, but went out in a blaze of electricity to state his innocence. Other motives for preferring a terrible death like hanging on the gallows, the firing squad or the electric chair are simply a call for attention, the hope that its cruelty will lead to a stop of execution or even a pardon or even to brag in public about how tough someone is. And sometimes, it can be asked, it may not be clear to the condemned was he is choosing.

Will of death row prisoners is making it sometimes hard on the executioners; the government of the states is trying their utmost to make it seem as easy as possible. Last years in almost all states the method of execution was changed to lethal injection. Dying on an execution gurney by a "medical" treatment is compared by going to sleep. No blood is flowing, no pain is felt. Human live is just extinguished, not murdered, even to an extent that witnesses come away with the feeling that no justice is done. But even this "easy" way has left a long trail of botched executions. Condemned reacting violently on the chemicals, the equipment getting unhooked or problems finding a good vein for the injection. It is clear that even this is a "cruel and unusual punishment".

Even a more serious problem is that in this way the executions will be sterile and it is an argument for more death sentences. If it is not an execution, but more a medical treatment to solve a problem to society, it will be easier to sleep for governors, members of the jury, and prison personnel and others involved. You're not harming another human being; he's only going to a long sleep. The same trend is visible in China and Thailand, also keen on the firing squad. Meanwhile, more and more questions can be asked about the death penalty in the United States. Most death row cases seemed to be troubled by bad layering, racial prejudices, witnesses who take the stand in exchange for a better deal for themselves and major problems in getting reliable evidence with several crime labs under investigation. But the system just asks for more death sentences. Getting someone on death row is just good politics. George W. Bush being the example how far a happy executioner can go

It is not the way Arguelles and Troy have chosen. They will be strapped to a chair in dark clothing. Five men or women, mostly peace officers of the district the murders occurred will take aim and fire four bullets and a blank in a human body. Death will be instant, if the aim is all right.

Richard Wagenaar
The Netherlands
Special to PRAVDA.Ru

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