Governor Herbert’s recent decision to bring back the firing squad as a means of execution when lethal injections cannot be procured has stirred some controversy and raised the eyebrows of numerous human rights organizations, who are concerned about what they call a step backwards and a violation of not subjecting anyone to cruel and inhumane punishment.
Sherman Barstow, PhD of Philosophy, BYU: Let’s Move Utah Forward, Not Backward
Gov. Gary Herbert’s ill-mannered and unfortunate decision to stride in lockstep with proponents of reinstating the firing squad as a viable method of execution for Utah is not only detrimental to our great state’s reputation, but represents a dastardly dangerous step backward for our country’s already archaic view on capital punishment.
Doubtless, many Utahns have dealt with the rest of the world’s outdated—or often totally errant—stereotypes regarding pioneer history, Mormon faith, and the resultant unique area culture due to the intersection of the two. The dizzied push of our execution method back into a dated—and far more brutal—time, will only further these views, and both the state’s reputation and investment potential will suffer as a result of this intractably abrasive method.
Moreover, for the myriad believing Mormons in this state, we are followers of a benevolent Savior, who has already borne the pain of God’s children. Given this, we must ask ourselves whether or not our culture and religion imminently DEMANDS that we seek to reduce suffering and better the world around us; further, whether it is necessary to have our state and local municipalities enforce such barbaric measures. If we fail in this, then what were the real fruits of labor from myself and other brethren—ambassadors of the Lord for two years who promoted His promises of eternal peace, His exhortations towards patient long-suffering, and invited all to partake of His tender mercies—really about?
Jimmy Barstow, 7th Grader, Lakeridge Junior High: Firing Squad is BADASS!
Firing squad, like… for real? This is sooo cool, man. Dude, I mean… as in a bunch of hardened gang members, all lined up against brick walls, declining their blindfold and choking down their last cigarettes while staring directly into the eyes of the equally as cool, divorce-hardened corrections officers armed with ass-kickingly cool machine guns that are about to be used as instruments of hard, steely justice? That’s like one of those movies with Jason Statham that my Sunday School teacher keeps telling me not to watch. Count me the fuck in!
I just can’t wait to tell my friend Kyle about how cool our state just got. We always complain about how boring it is to live in Utah, but I eat my words, broham. Like, what’d we have to look forward to before? California Seagulls as our state bird? Some boring-ass Father/Son camping trip to that same weak spot we went back to the year before? Nobody is gonna mess with us now! This is even cooler than that time that we found all those sweet magazines with the naked women in them in Tyler Kritchner’s dad’s garage.
And don’t any of you make the mistake of listening to my dad and his rants about “non-violence” and a “culture of Christlike compassion.” I mean, he gets me cool stuff for my birthday sometimes, but here is the thing: he’s a total pussy. You should hear it when he argues mom—what a pushover! And anyhow, now he can’t tell me that I can’t play Modern Warfare all night anymore, because it’s like, job training or some shit. This is SO. FRICKIN’. COOL.