Death Penalty Drugs v. Firing Squad

   “Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”  -Dylan Thomas

I saw on the front page of our local Victoria, TX newspaper a story about the governor of Utah approving the use of firing squads for executions after they run out of their lethal injection drugs.  Intrigued, I researched a little further.  I had a recent assignment for an online writing class that I’m taking that I was supposed to write a controversial letter to the editor of a newspaper regarding a front page news item.  Here is the letter I wrote:

Dear Editor:

In regards to the front page story from the state of Utah saying that their Governor has approved firing squads for executions when their lethal injection drugs are no longer available:  Kudos to Utah for a smart move!  Can we notify our new governor in hopes of him joining with this common sense approach?

We all know that the Pharmaceutical Powers (the evil over-charging, money hungry, greedy, self-serving purveyors of putrid excess) have had a monopoly on the medical field for so long that no amount of government meddling can overcome their callous disregard for moral ethics and over zealous greed for more money.  So, why should we allow them more control and money in the states’ utilization of the death penalty?  I propose we do away with ‘lethal injections’ entirely.  If a person is so deviant and corrupt that a court of law deems they receive the ultimate punishment of death, then kill them the most efficient and inexpensive way possible.  (One could argue this would be ‘Hanging’ but then again, the states would have to hire an expert hangman etc. so why go to that extreme when you are already paying trained law officers eager to use their skills to shoot)

It’s way past time for the government to start cleaning house on all of its excess wasteful spending of public money on ridiculous nonsense.  Cleanup has to start somewhere, why not with the death penalty?  (Don’t even get me started on the actual millions of dollars it costs to prosecute a death penalty case!)

Our society as a whole has become a little immune to violence since we see so much of it on television, in the media outlets and movie theatres.  Therefore, the Utah governor’s fear that a firing squad would be too gruesome is illogical.  Especially if you compare it to what happened to the criminal in Oklahoma who was given a new ‘cocktail’ of death because they were out of their standard execution drugs.  Their usual execution would last about 4 minutes after the needle was injected and the criminal would be unconscious by his death.  Not so for Clayton Lockett last April 2014 – witnesses to his death reported that he was “writhing, grimacing, making noises” and at the point that he was supposed to have been heavily sedated he was able to lift his head and shoulders off the gurney.  About 40 minutes after they started the injection he died of an actual heart attack (not necessarily from the ‘lethal’ injection drugs).  That was not what was supposed to happen and caused quite the uproar.  But it is proof that a lethal injection gone wrong is far more gruesome and torturous than a few accurately aimed bullets.

According to other Texas newspaper sources, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials said the cost of the lethal injection cocktail was $83.35 before all this drug shortage hoopla.  It rose to $1,286.86. (and the last source found it still rising).  Their conclusion with the new numbers has Texas spending more than $15,400 – versus $1,000 – to carry out 12 executions.

Come on Texas.  Let’s gather that ‘firing squad’ and get busy.  Maybe it will even deter some future criminals.

-signed ‘a female for the firing squad’


I did not actually send this letter to our newspaper because when I went back to find the news articles where I had found my ‘facts’ I was unable to locate the exact article a second time.  Which I found very strange because I used the exact same words in the exact same search engine.  I have a new computer so I had no clue if there was any history of my former search.  And I am not putting my name out there with possible facts that are wrong – So please take the above letter with a grain of salt and know the numbers may not be as accurate as I had first thought.

This also brings to a point how precarious any information you discover on the internet may be.  Don’t believe everything you read (and next time I will document the web address immediately, lol)

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