A nationwide shortage of sodium thiopental, a key drug in the legal injection cocktail, is causing problems in many states. When drug manufacturer Hospira announced it would no longer sell the drug to prison hospitals it sent states scrambling. Some states delayed executions while others created their own lethal injection cocktail and botched executions as a result. Wyoming legislators have a different plan: death by firing squad.
Rep.Stephen Watt (R), a former Highway Patrol Officer, posed a question about cruel and unusual punishment to Steve Lindly, deputy director of the Wyoming Department of Corrections. It was a question Lindly could not answer.
“We’re all operating under the assumption that this is going to be an instantaneous death. What if everybody misses?” [Source]
The death penalty is not a black and white issue. It’s not a red and blue issue either. A great deal of politicians cross the invisible party line on this topic.
What if they miss? Our Constitution protects every single person in this country from cruel and unusual punishment. Being shot multiple times and not dying is definitely cruel and most certainly an Eighth Amendment violation.
As the daughter of a murder victim I understand the desire for revenge. I understand what it’s like to want the person who smashed your father’s skull in, to be put to death. However, although the desire is there, I know that our justice system is not a means to exact revenge.
If we start shooting our citizens to death, we start to look a lot like the countries we condemn. Do we really want to be ranked up there with North Korea and Syria?