If We’re Keeping the Death Penalty, Then Bring Back Firing Squads

by Diane Dimond on May 5, 2014


Should We Return to the Old Days?

It’s clearly time to bring back firing squads.

If we’re going to keep carrying out the death penalty in this country and if we are going to continue to grandly insist that they are “humane executions” then only a return to a firing squad will insure a speedy and relatively pain free death for the condemned.

You might think I’m kidding but I’m not. I say, line up six to eight sharp shooters, employ the old practice of giving one of them a blank instead of a bullet and instruct them to aim for the prisoner’s heart. I guarantee the convict will be dead before they drop to the ground.

Compare that to what we’ve been led to believe is the least barbaric option of taking a life: Lethal injection. As we recently saw in the bungled execution of Clayton Lockett at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary things can go wrong – – very wrong – – using a lethal injection.

lethal injection

Lethal Execution Drugs  Are Hard to Find

The problem is critical now because European manufacturers of lethal drugs have decided they will no longer supply the U.S. because we are the only Western county that still has death penalty. So penitentiaries across America are scrambling to find alternative “cocktails” of drugs to kill those whose death row appeals have run out.

Lockett, 38, became Oklahoma’s first prisoner to receive a new, three-drug concoction designed to do three things: First, render him unconscious and unable to feel pain. Second, to make him unable to breathe and, finally, to stop his heart. It soon became clear that this convicted kidnapper, rapist and murderer of an 18 year old girl never fell into unconsciousness even though a doctor declared he had. Four minutes later Lockett’s body twitched and he rose up from the gurney muttering, “Oh man.” A prison official quickly pulled the curtain on the spectator’s window, declared “vein failure” and the execution was interrupted. According to prison officials, forty-five minutes later Lockett died of a heart attack.

Lockett’s case is not unique. Three months ago, an Ohio man, convicted of rape and aggravated murder, became that state’s first guinea pig of an untried lethal cocktail. Witnesses to Dennis McGuire’s execution said after the injection he clenched his fists, gasped loudly for air and made choking sounds for 15 minutes before he was declared dead.

Who thinks that is more humane than a quick hail of bullets into the heart?

Albert Taylor, Executed by a Utah Firing Squad in 1996

Albert Taylor, Executed by Utah Firing Squad in 1996

I can site several more cases of bungled lethal injections – including a 265 pound man whose execution took nearly ten needle sticks over two hours because technicians couldn’t find a proper vein – but I don’t want to be accused of overlooking the final, frightening minutes of the victims.

Certainly, the victims of all condemned killers faced much more brutal and undeserved ends and we should never forget the crimes against them. That goes without saying. But that’s not the point of this column.

The Boston Globe recently took a look back at executions in the U.S. – – from 1890 to 2010 – – and found botched attempts have happened regularly no matter what the mode of death. A reminder as you read on: The U.S. Constitution guarantees none of us is to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

The Globe found that at hangings there were some convicts who, “Had to be dropped and hanged more than once when the initial fall did not kill them.” In addition, there was the problem of unwanted decapitations. Those condemned to the electric chair sometimes had to be repeatedly shocked before they died. Some caught on fire and executioners reported smelling burned flesh. Death row inmates sent to the gas chamber, “Often struggled, convulsed, gasped for breath and were asphyxiated for extended periods of time before they succumbed.”

None of these manners of death is nearly as quick or reliable as a firing squad.

What Faster, Less Painful Way is There?

What Faster, Less Painful Way is There?

Today, thirty-two states, the U.S. military and the federal government all have death penalty by lethal injection statutes on the books. (Only New Mexico, Connecticut and Maryland have voted to abolish capital punishment.)

According to the latest Gallup poll on the death penalty a full 60% of Americans still support this ultimate punishment for convicted murderers. And so my point is that, if this really is the path we want to take, there is no more fail-proof way to carry out an execution than a firing squad. Period, end of discussion.

Like many Americans I struggle with being both against the death penalty and for it in certain cases. For example, another Oklahoma man was set to be executed right after Clayton Lockett but Charles Warner’s date with death has been postponed pending an investigation into the state’s practices. Warner, does not dispute that he raped and killed an 11-month-old baby girl and for fiends like that I’m hard pressed to suggest he should live another day.

Am I a gung-ho advocate for the death penalty? No. Am I vehemently against it? Well, I guess not. That’s my constitutionally protected opinion (as fluid as it is) so, please, no hate mail.

Old Sparky - Outdated and Unreliable

Old Sparky – Outdated and Unreliable

At this juncture, when U.S. prisons are hard pressed to even get the chemicals for a lethal injection maybe it’s time for each of us to search our souls and ask what we think is right.

There are evil people in the world who do horrid things. If the justice system finds they should be eliminated – – how do we want to achieve that?

Only two states currently authorize firing squads and one, Utah, is phasing out the practice. Ironically, Oklahoma – – the state that botched an execution and sparked a social conversation – – would allow firing squads but only if the courts first find both lethal injection and electrocution to be unconstitutional. That’s not on the horizon anytime soon.

So, the bottom line? The flawed system of lethal injection is here to stay unless and until we tell lawmakers we want something different.

Do you?




Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 10:02 am

ABQ Journal Reader Paul Burnett writes:

“Congrats on a great article! Firing squads are good. Or guillotines.
Executions should be swift and certain, with little or no pain.

Speaking of swift and certain … we have a real problem in our injustice system. I would suggest that real problem is us … and our reluctance to serve on juries. I deplore the delays in execution of real justice. Where do people get really fair trials these days? Plea bargains too often are forced through intimidation and threats of sentences that could be imposed. Why? Because judges and prosecutors find it hard to get reluctant citizens to sit on juries (as specified by our constitution). I know a young man who has been sitting in Albuquerque’s Metropolitan Detention Center for over five months without benefit of a pro bono attorney. Whether he is guilty or not is beside the point; he hasn’t had a fair trial. Only questionable accusations and unwarranted incarceration. There are too many delays in trying people on the basis of real evidence as lawyers do everything they can to delay presentation of evidence before real juries. Then there are the unending appeals. No wonder our police officers resort to excessive force out of frustration with our injustice system!

Back to the death penalty. It doesn’t work because executions are no longer swift and certain. It doesn’t deter because executions aren’t swift or certain. Why? Because we, the people, don’t want to take the time out of our busy lives to sit on juries and find people innocent or guilty based on real evidence.

We need a constitutional amendment that requires anyone accused to be tried and convicted or exonerated by juries within 90 days and also requires all appeals be completed and sentences carried out within six months.

That’s my two bits.

Thanks again for your great article.”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 10:04 am

ABQ Journal Reader Jack Fuller writes:

“I am totally opposed to capital punishment for one, to me, overwhelmingly convincing reason. One never can tell with an adequate degree of certainty that you have right person.

Far too many innocent people have been killed by the states of the USA already. The slippery slope of “we are sure of this one” should not be entertained. Just STOP capital punishment—- NO EXCEPTIONS.

You proposed firing squads in your Journal piece. I agree that is much more humane than the “drug cocktail” method.

My question to you is: Do you know of any discussion or proposal of breathing helium as a way to execute. Seems to me the old gas chambers could be resurrected , but instead of poison gasses, simple fill the chamber with helium and let the person breath until his brain and body are deprived of oxygen. There is no sense of suffocation breathing helium, and after a few minutes with no oxygen a person will peacefully die.”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 10:06 am

Dear Jack:

No…breathing in helium? That’s a new one on me.

But I have wondered why penitentiaries don’t use Propofol first (You know, the drug Michael Jackson used to “sleep”?) as a painless way to put the condemned to sleep.

Then, second, use a drug that stops the heartbeat. I’ve asked around and the only explanation I got was that Propofol may be “too expensive.”

Marian DeRossett May 5, 2014 at 10:41 am

Hi Diane and I totally agree with you and a firing squad would be great and sure would reduce the prison population.These killers deserve to pay for what they have done and this guy needed to be put to death after what this poor woman went thru.

Funny how when they are faced with death,they do not want it but look what they have done without any feelings for the person or persons they kill. What gets to me is there are prisoners in jail who have killed and will not tell where the bodies are. Is it not enough they do this and put the victim’s family thru all this but refuse to tell so the families can give their loved one a decent burial and so sad.

Working with missing person’s and the families who suffer day to day not knowing what happened to their loved one and sadly some may never know. Another thing is some of these killers have actually come up for parole and why on this earth would you ever let them out and I say firing squad and get rid of them. Especially like child predators and serial killers whom most cannot be cured.

Terri Jay May 5, 2014 at 10:57 am

As a professional Medium, I know what happens to us when we die. It is amazing and wonderful and none of the negativity of our life can go with us to the other side because it is not a vibrational match to God/Source.

So, it doesn’t matter HOW we leave our physical form and whether we suffered before we died. As a spiritual being, we will not have any memory of it. Because ALL memories of pain and suffering are left behind, I do not believe in the death penalty. Criminals should serve life terms at hard labor and lead a life filled with suffering, not be released from all negativity with death.

Stephanie Kovac May 5, 2014 at 11:21 am

According to Dallas News: “On June 3, 1999, Stephanie Neiman was driving a friend home in her Chevy pickup and had the misfortune of arriving when three men were there, supposedly attempting to beat a debt out of Bobby Bornt, 23, who lived there with his 9-month-old son.

One man hit Stephanie’s friend with a shotgun and forced her to call Stephanie inside. The men then raped the friend and beat Stephanie, when she refused to give up her truck keys. They bound her with duct tape and drove her to a country road.

Still, she refused to say she wouldn’t call the police on them, so they forced her to her knees and made her watch one gunman dig a grave. When one man shot her, his gun jammed, while Stephanie screamed. The man cleared his weapon and shot her again. Even though she was still breathing, the man ordered his accomplices to bury her, which they did.

It’s not clear whether it took 43 minutes more for her to die, and we can’t ask her now if she suffered.”

That was the crime for which Clayton Lockett received the death penalty. Why in God’s name should his death have been humane? And, why doesn’t the media focus on their crimes instead of their botched executions?

Ron May 5, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Painless (I believe) and split second. Anon executor(s). But it should be federal not state by state. Might sound weird but maybe hanging is not that bad and or guitine (sp) as long as the blade is heavy, sharp and the drop is long. Sorry if I’m being primitive .

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Noozhawk Reader Anon writes:

“Kudos on the Death Penalty article. Couldn’t agree more.

But if you want 100% no pain and absolute certainty I think the guillotine is the way to go. Sounds morbid but seriously what is quicker and more certain.

Plus the larger looming issue is that we continue to add to the death row numbers. Little gang bangers have no regard for life these days. Perhaps the imposing shadow of a guillotine would make them think twice before pulling the trigger.

I would appreciate your keeping this anonymous, keep up the good work~Anon.

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Facebook Friend Pat Melchionno writes:

” I said same thing, if we have to, let’s do firing squad that way no one knows for sure who dealt the killer silver bullet and dead is dead, easy peasy, bing, bang, boom.”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 4:50 pm

Facebook Friend Ralph V. Logan writes:

“It’s crazy to think that this is the last resort to implement the death penalty, with the drug companies refusal to sell those Lethal chemicals to concerns in United States, the use of the firing squad comes into play. I believe that Utah is the last state to actually use the Firing squad, I Personally still believe in the death penalty.”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Facebook Friend Diane Haas Noble writes:
“Why not give the convicted the choice of how they want to go….lethal injection, firing squad, electric chair or at the hands of the victim’s family to decide! I am sorry, this guy got better than he gave!!! That poor precious girl!! We need to remember the victims and what they endured!!!”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 4:51 pm

Facebook Friend Penny Hain writes:

“… Lockett, 38, was convicted of shooting 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman with a sawed-off shotgun and watching as two accomplices buried her alive in rural Kay County…” I am a yellow dog Democrat and don’t care if he had any pain — and I actually hope he did. Why are we not upset about the suffering of a 19 year old girl?”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm

We ARE, Penny….Many of us are. But this column focused on how to kill the killers. I write plenty of other columns about victims. I promise, I care – deeply. ~ DD

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Facebook Friend Darryl DuPont writes:

“It is very easy to say “I’m for the death penalty” because Americans are given a very sanitized version of what actually happens during an execution.

I was a last minute media witness for an execution in the 80’s in Florida of a brutal killer Johnny Witt. Witnessing makes you realize including family members of the victims that it is only falling to the killers inhumane level. You realize you are witnessing the death of a living human being, what ever they did does not supersede the basic human instinct that death goes against the natural instincts to preserve life.

Whatever a person’s feeling is on capital punishment, one has to ask themselves could I witness it if I endorse it? Does it accomplish anything, other than the eye for an eye emotion that often changes for victims families after an execution because their loss never is recovered.

I spent 20+ years with psychologists because of witnessing. It has caused untold problems emotionally and in my personal life. Sean Callebs recently wrote about the years of emotional problems he had after witnessing an execution in SC in the 80’s. I know others who gave up their careers, attempted suicide and never recovered.

If you think killing someone as payment for killing another is justified that is your opinion and I respect that but are you willing to witness what you advocate it ? it may change your opinion.”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Ralph V. Logan responds:

“@Mr. Dupont , I’ve witness an execution and what I saw was a very sanitary procedure where the inmate by appearances didn’t suffer. The victim was a young college student who was robbed and shot in the face with a shotgun for $ 3.25 …”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Facebook Friend Tony Annyschyn writes:

“People forget what he did to deserve this…we as a society should focus on the victim and their loved ones, not on those who commit horrible, unspeakable crimes.

Was this execution botched? It was. But, the creep did feel pain in the end and paid for his crime.

Firing squads are nothing new, whether they are dignified or not, is subject to debate…those who commit terrible crimes deserve more than life behind bars with zero chance of parole. Just my opinion, thanks Diane.”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Facebook Friend Alexandrea Merrell writes:

“Until we have prosecutorial integrity, the death penalty is nothing more then a murder lottery. Hundreds of people have been removed from death row and freed after they have been found innocent. Even the FBI suggests that roughly 10% of those on death row are factually innocent….not innocent based on a technicality but ACTUALLY did NOT commit a crime. Thats thousands of people….

As long as people get a job or advance in their job based on a 100% conviction rate (which is statistically impossible, but a common position nationwide) we will continue to murder innocent people.

I am all for the death penalty, but only when the right person is convicted. In thousands of instances, that is not the reality.”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 4:57 pm


Not sure its in “the thousands” – but I take your point about wrongful convictions. ~ DD

Jim Reynolds May 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm

You must have been reading my mind. I was thinking about this the other day after hearing about the lethal injection screw-up. But we don’t need humans pulling the trigger. We line up 5 or 6 assault rifles with full metal jacket rounds on fixed tripods — 3 zeroed in on the heart & 3 on the frontal lobe. The kill shots can be remotely fired. Death would be instantaneous.

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Facebook Friend Marian DeRossett writes:

“A great article as always and I agree with this. We need to stand behind the families not the killers.”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Facebook Friend Victoria Traube writes:

” I am opposed to the death penalty. There’s too much chance (any chance would be too much) of executing the innocent. However, if we have to have a death penalty, I agree with you about the firing squad.”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Facebook Friend Ken Minyard writes:

“If we must continue to follow the lead of N. Korea, Iran, China and Saudi Arabia and continue to engage in this medieval practice then I think the Guillotine is the way to go. Painless, sure fire, quick. A little messy..but you can’t have everything.”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Facebook Friend Sharon Calcaterra Ellebrecht writes:

” If they are ‘smoking gun’ guilty….NO doubt…I think they should they should be put down within 6 months of their crime. We taxpayers pay WAY too much to house these monsters. And, if you think I’m insensitive and sound like I’m talking about an animal, indeed I am. After all, if a dog is deemed ‘vicious’ after biting someone, they are put down swiftly. Murderers (especially those who murder a child while committing atrocities on the child) ARE animals!”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Facebook (and Lifetime) Friend Lillie Vaden writes:

“Diane Dimond, read your home page, very informative! if we’re keeping the death penalty, the firing squad would be a way of instant killing. what they’ve been doing is so inhumane! however, I do not believe in capital punishment! if just one person gets killed, then found innocent, that’s too much! and, that has happened! opps is not going to get it! happy day, sweet girl, love, Lil”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Facebook Friend Susan Alloggio writes:

” If murderers understood the commandment “thou shall not kill” they would not be sitting on death row.// Change it to “An eye for an eye” and see how fast people think before they act.~Great read Diane!!”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Facebook Friend Jan Knepper writes:

“Why do we have to have “humane” capital punishment? Usually the crimes these criminals are convicted of were not exactly “humane”…”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 6:57 pm

Renee Ellen Dale responds :

“I know we ask for more humane treatment of those being sentenced to death but the crimes that lead them there were they thinking about treating the victims humane?”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Facebook Friend Roy Merritt writes:

“I hate that there are people who commit crimes which makes them worthy of death. But they do and should be put to death.

The problem with the death penalty in the US is lawyers are making too much money off of the appeals process. So they drag it out for decades instead of a few years. And if inmates weren’t given to lying about their exploits; to other inmates they brag about their crime, telling in horrific detail what they did to their victim. But to the media, their attorney and the rest of the bleeding hearts; they’re innocent.

I don’t care if they suffer when they die. I don’t care if their vein collapsed. Or if they suffocate. They kill without mercy. God is merciful. Me, to them, not so much. “

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm

Facebook Friend Maggie Or Margie King writes:

“I say….lets just put them up against the wall and shoot!”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Facebook Friend Kurt G. Kaner writes:

” Hanging also works. I’m not to broken up about the mishap. Read his crime.
And PLEASE tell if an actually case of the death penalty killing an innocent person. Just one.”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Kathie Brown McDavid responds:

” @Kurt Larry Griffin (MO); David Wayne Spence (TX); Leo Jones (FL); Gary Graham (TX); Cameron Todd Willingham (TX); Lena Baker (GA); Claude Jones (TX)…and many others. Just Google exonerated after execution.”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Facebook friend Burl Barer resonds:

“Kurt- you are on the internet — easy to get a disturbing list of innocent people put to death in the USA for crimes they did not commit…”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Facebook Friend Kevin M. Sullivan writes:

“Nothing wrong with old Sparky, or the guillotine for that matter. But I don’t see the headless thing catching on, LOL!”

Diane Dimond May 5, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Facebook Friend Dennis O’Brien writes:

“Life without parole is the only punishment that makes sense to me. It qualifies as capital punishment only because life – as the prisoner once knew it – will be forever ended.”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 8:53 am

ABQ Journal Reader Russell Bell writes:

” Ms Dimond:

Thanks for your article. How about bringing back stoning?
Wouldn’t it be an outlet for those who have an appetite for execution and a lesson for the rest of us? Put it on pay-per-view and make a profit.
Thanks for your attention.”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 8:54 am

Facebook Friend Mark Huestis writes:

“The Commandment Thou Shalt Not Kill should apply to the state as well.
America is the only Western democracy which still has this archaic penalty. Here in Canada the last execution was in 1962 and since then several convicted murderers were later exonerated and able to be released.
It is not a deterrent since our homicide rate has actually declined since it was abolished. I am not a Bible thumper but Jesus said You have heard an eye for an eye but I give you a new law. The only reason to have it is vengeance and vengeance is mine alone says the Lord.
I am 60 miles from the Maine border which does not have it. There are very few homicides in Maine per capita.”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 8:56 am

Kevin M. Sullivan responds:

“Hi Mark Huestis. I’m an ordained minister (30 years this November), and the King James translation of that scripture from the Hebrew did a number on it. It does not say ‘Thou shalt not kill” It says (in Kings James speak) Thou shall do no murder..

The willful killing of an innocent person is murder. The putting to death of a murderer is not murder, but it is killing. In today’s language we would call it justifiable homicide. It was always sanctioned by God for evil doers of this nature. But the eye for an eye scripture (which many misquote, thinking it comes from a vengeful God) has to do with not allowing folks to give out a greater punishment than was the act of the criminal. If a person gouged out an eye, then the most one could do to him is gouge out the perp’s eye.
Remember the Godfather movie, when the funeral director wanted some young men killed who had attempted to rape his daughter, and when she resisted, they beat her? Well the guy wanted them killed, but the Godfather said no, as his daughter was still alive. So he sent men to break their legs, LOL!”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 8:58 am

Mark Huestis replies to the reply:

“Kevin Sullivan God tells us in the Book of Exodus how to treat slaves. Some of the punishments are quite severe. Paul admonishes women not to wear adornments in Timothy nor to have a voice in the assembly. Are you comfortable with this. Does it bother you that innocent people have been executed? As a Catholic Jesus said in John Chapter 6 that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man….yet most non Catholic Christians don’t believe in transubstantiation. Please don’t say it was a metaphor. One of your jurists once said Better to allow a thousand guilty men escape the death penalty then let one innocent man be executed.”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 8:57 am

Facebook Friend Tony Leocha writes:

“How about CO! Go to sleep happy and ya don’t wake up !!!!”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 8:57 am

Facebook Friend Cheryl Kassner Brill writes:

” I prefer hanging ……”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 9:02 am

Facebook Friend Robert B. Reno writes:

“I agree with firing squads but as a paramedic I can tell you even they aren’t a sure thing. I once ran a shooting where the the victim, a gangbanger, had a GSW to the head from an AK47. Half of his head was completely gone. But he had enough of his brain stem left to maintain a heartbeat and respirations so we had to work him and transport to the hospital. He lasted several hours but I doubt he was aware of anything since most of his brain was missing.”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 9:09 am

Facebook Friend Paul R. Blakemore writes;

” I think that nationally televised, High Definition close up beheadings followed by a pack of hungry wolves attacking the carcass and lapping up the pools of blood is the best solution. Or maybe an explosive belt which would instantly blow the condemned into a million smithereens – also televised nationally in HD. Come on, let’s really embrace our blood thirsty animal cravings for REVENGE! Executions like these would really satisfy our great civilized and religious society’s desires for justice! Republicans could be rewarded with front row seats. Afterwards, they could all get down on their knees and praise Jesus that justice had been served.”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 9:44 am

Twitter Pal richsull232 writes:

“@DiDimond no one survives the gallows or the guillotine…. I’m just sayin'”…”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 9:45 am

Twitter Pal MattyMailMan writes:

“@DiDimond if you REALLY believe in the “eye for an eye” mentality shouldn’t they expire the way they caused their victem(s) to?”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 9:45 am

Twitter Pal tess46 writes:

“@DiDimond we all get death in the end.Solitary confinement til death. its worst punishment. 1 hour daily in the yard…alone. meals alone.”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 9:46 am

Twitter Pal Emmett_dog writes:

” @DiDimond let the families decide.”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 9:47 am

Twitter Pal dannyantwi1 writes:

“@DiDimond didn’t that guy bury his victim alive? whatever happened to him looks like karma, so lets relax he wasn’t taken from church to die.”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 9:48 am

Twitter Pal ellenmrose writes:

“@DiDimond I could not agree with you more in so many ways, including executing those that are unequivocally guilty of a heinous crime.”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 9:49 am

Facebook Friend Christopher Dukas writes:

” Great idea. However, let’s make sure we really a guilty person and not some over zealous District Attorney looking for a quick conviction.”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Facebook Friend Linda Rabe writes:

“Well I think if people are so concerned about the convict then over dose them on nitrous oxide and everyone’s happy! LOL”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Facebook Friend Sam Jurgensen writes:

“Isn’t it odd how Jack Kevorkian ended the lives of many terminally ill people, by using intravenous drugs right in the person’t living room? As I recall, he never had the problems encountered by the State of OK. Strange…”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Facebook Friend Jack West replies:

“That’s because Dr. Kevorkian knew what he was doing. All Docs don’t.”

Diane Dimond May 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Huffington Post reader Larry Brickey (Larry_Brickey) writes:

“Hanging can still be effective and fairly quick….”

Diane Dimond May 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm

LinkedIn Innovative Journalism pal nicholas whiteley writes:

“Hanging and firing squad are probably the most reliable means of execution. But let’s remember that their innocent victims were not given the option of a humane death.”

Diane Dimond May 7, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Huffington Post Reader Roy D. (Drdarrin)

“Any execution can be botched. Firing squad, hanging, lethal injection, guillotine, you name it.

Perhaps, in all this angst over method we should be asking ourselves, is it less painful than it was for the original victim or victims?

I am an advocate for the death penalty. I don’t think it’s a deterrent. That said, once successfully carried out, regardless of how painful it is for the criminal, I am 100% certain they will never re offend.”

Diane Dimond May 7, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Huffington Post Reader William Peper (xBigwillystylex) writes:

“I feel the head would be much more effective. Your brain isn’t going that cease activity as soon as your heart is shredded. meaning the condemned would most likely still be conscious for a few moments.”

Diane Dimond May 9, 2014 at 1:59 pm

ABQ Journal Reader Jeanne Hurford writes:

“Hi Diane,
I was surprised to see the above headline on our Albuquerque Journal Op-Ed page on 05/03/14.
My immediate response was “Indeed — Bring back the firing squad”.
So you can imagine that I was even more surprised when I began reading your article to find that you expressed the same sentiment. I so completely agree with everything you said that I could have written the article, word-for-word! I am also in alignment with your statement “Like many Americans, I struggle with being both against the death penalty and for it in certain cases.” My thoughts exactly because I am pro-life. I can’t quite get my head around the concept of worrying about ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ for a man who rapes and murders a completely helpless 11-month old infant. It’s beyond my comprehension what that tiny baby must have suffered. I am surprised the murderer was not killed by other inmates long before this! Why should my tax dollar give this murderer a roof over his head, three ‘squares’ a day, clothes, shower, exercise time, probably books, drawing materials, and TV, etc., when we have so many people (men, women, and children) who have become homeless through no fault of their own and have none of these amenities on a regular basis?
Perhaps the concept of Alcatraz should be resurrected! I toured the island/facility in the ’70s — I think that many of the crimes committed today are much more cruel, violent, horriffic, … than those of the men incarcerated at Alcatraz in its day.
Thank you for letting me ‘sound off’ a bit. I realize that probably very little will be done to change the system because there is too much evil (in so many forms) in our world. As the dominating species on this planet — the only one with free will, our sense of humanity is way off balance. “Love thy neighbor as you love yourself” has gone by the wayside for so many. In the meantime, the rest of us struggle to restore sanity and balance to our broken world because, in a sense, we are our “Brothers’ Keepers”. “

Diane Dimond May 28, 2014 at 11:19 pm

Reader Gregg Gielser writes:


You recently wrote a commentary about the problem with the drugs used for executions. I have a simple, cheap solution. Use a heroin overdose. Every day, at least one someone proves it effectiveness.


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