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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Amelia Kashian
Amelia Kashian
Features Editor

Being passionate is one of the best parts of being human, and I am glad that writing has helped me recognize that. I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, and over...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Fire up the firing squad

The media has overwhelmingly portrayed lethal injection to be the most humane way of putting a criminal to death. However, lethal injection can turn into a slow and painful death causing a traumatic experience for the families that attend the execution. Utah and Texas are the two death penalty states that are running out of lethal injections, which means death penalty states are looking for alternatives. I believe they should remove lethal injection and replace it with a firing squad, a method that works

Many are under the impression that lethal injection is the right way to go.

However, mistakes can be made when combining chemicals. And chemicals don’t always work as planned within the human body, varying in both timing and effectiveness.

The execution of Clayton Lockett in April 2014 proves this: he died, but only after suffering through a 43-minute heart attack resulting from  a botched lethal injection dose. With a firing squad there’s much less room for error, and it’s over within seconds.

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Lethal injection was first used on Dec. 7, 1982,  as a humane  means of execution, but that has been discovered to be a lie as botched executions became common.

According to The Guardian, since 2011 the Europe-based manufacturer of the drugs that produce the right chemical for lethal injection has refused to continue selling the drugs to America bringing Utah to come to the decision to use a firing squad as their method of execution on March 23, 2015. When a firing squad is employed to execute an inmate, five men aim rifles at a small target placed over the heart of the condemned. Only one rifle contains live ammunition; one bullet is fired and the inmate dies instantaneously, as opposed to undergoing a chemical death  that can take upwards of an hour or even fail entirely.

Deborah Denno, a chemistry and engineering professor at Fordham University, has extensively studied capital punishment and believes lethal injection is the wrong way to go, that it is not humane. Some people believe it is humane because it involved doctors and medicine. But denno said the executioners who conduct the process of lethal injection do not know what they are doing. She says it is chaos.

“People think lethal injection is more humane because it is related to medicine and doctors and a peaceful way of death, but in reality it’s not,” Denno said. She spoke for ABC news in 2010 around the time Ronnie Lee Gardner was going to be executed.

Ronnie Lee chose his death to be in the hands of a firing squad, and his opinion was, “there is no mistakes.”

Some military veterans on campus Agree.

Jason Johnson, 35, a senior at NMU majoring in Outdoor Recreation fought in Iraq in 2003 as a Marine and has a strong view.

“It is a waste of taxpayers money to keep them on death row. American civilians should not be paying for three square meals a day and cots.” Johnson said. “But I would pay 50 cents for a bullet.”

Jason Markle, an English professor at NMU has experienced life in the warzones of Africa during his time in the military. said he believes the severity of the crime should match the severity of the execution.

The main point is that executions need to be humane; the criminals have already spent years on death row, never forgetting they are on death row and that they will be put to death.

It needs to be fast, not seven to 20 minutes, and certainly not an hour, but death within seconds if selected states are going to continue executions.

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