Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hello Utah? Please update your calendars to the 21st Century!


State-sanctioned murder , sometimes known quaintly as 'capital punishment', is the order of the day down in Utah.

When offered a choice of means of death, Ronnie Lee Gardner chose a firing squad over a lethal injection. (I would too, knowing the additional and unnecessary torture these injections inflict on victims at the incompetent hands of the bungling executioners). At least with 5 rifles going off at the same time, death should be instantaneous.

He has been on death row since 1985.

Michael J. Burdell's (Gardner's victim) father and girlfriend insist that Michael, a lawyer and pacifist who never held a gun, wouldn't want this outcome and if he had survived the shooting, he would have defended Gardner.

Savage and barbaric doesn't quite cover my revulsion.

16 comments:

  1. It seems at times (lots of times) that when I came here 6 years ago, and passed through immigration and customs, I stepped through a time warp.

    That report, and much other news, is repulsive, I agree, WWW. The fact that nothing we can say or do will change things is equally so.

    (Catchpa letters: INGLIZE - yes, I wish I could! I reckon this Catchpa thing is a bit like HAL in 2001 A Space Odyssey) ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. And, of course, the only reason that it is hitting the headlines is because he has chosen the firing squad over lethal injection - and he only has that choice because he was convicted before 2004 (when the choice was taken away, and it had to be lethal injection)

    25 years on death row! The mind just boggles :-(

    ReplyDelete
  3. T:
    Yes indeed, that must make it very difficult at times for you. I was appalled when I read this first. Much like when I read the Bush brothers back in the day were having a competition to see who would have the most state-authorized murders in their particular states when they were governors.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jo:
    He may have suffered enough, who knows, perhaps he is beyond rehabilation but to kill him is unconscionable - and who's to know how much more of this goes on in the Land of the Free.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  5. I do agree, I also recoil from the barbarism of capital punishment. Though I think if I'd been in jail for 25 years, perhaps I'd opt for a quick death rather than face another 25 years.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think that a firing squad might be more merciful.
    Trouble is...... by the time these death sentences are carried out, then the person might well be a reformed character.
    Quite a few people were wrongly executed in our country in the days when they used to execute people, that is.
    That is why I am totally against the death penalty.

    Nuts in May

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nick:
    And he was only in his early twenties when this happened and he was trying to escape - I don't think there was malicious intent in what he did.
    Something like this brings us pretty far down as a species.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  8. Maggie May:
    And studies over time have shown than capital punishment is not a deterrant.
    No one wants to look at the NRA and its influence that creates a culture of gun-toting maniacs.
    Civilisation has come to this?
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  9. To me the most telling comment in the piece is where the father says if the victim was alive, he would have defended Gardner. I often wonder about what is adequate punishment for murder. I don't know the answer.

    ReplyDelete
  10. VP:
    I've given it a lot of thought too.
    The best scenario I came up with is to have a community of self-sustaining prisoners - i.e. no cost to the state. They would have to feed and clothe themselves and earn enough to pay the prisonguards who guard them. Hard work on a farm and factory with monthly visits from loved ones.
    And some form of restoration/reconciliation (the First Nations' Method) with their victims or victims' families.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm not too sure about that suggestion of yours, WWW. Makes me think of Devil's Island and similar penal colonies of old. That said, I have no idea what would constitute adequate punishment for murder. But in my heart I know it is not state-sanctioned murder.

    ReplyDelete
  12. this makes my skin crawl. it is so barbaric.

    ReplyDelete
  13. savage and barbaric ? Tell that to his victims families. What is savage and barbaric is a system that keeps these people on death row for years. Swift justice is the best justice.

    ReplyDelete
  14. @Tessa:
    I think the important thing is to keep everyone's dignity as human beings intact and prisons, by their very nature are penal colonies, I think a farm environment, fresh air, reconciliation processes would go a long way to bringing closure.
    @Laurie:
    Mine too, it is unconscionable.
    @GFB:
    I don't really go for that eye for an eye stuff at all. I've seen first hand how restorative justice works and how it reduces it recidivism.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think we're all in agreement on this one. Sadly, many in the dis-United States of America are not.

    ReplyDelete
  16. RJA:
    Dis-United. For sure. I'm thinking Arizona too.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete

Some of you are having trouble, I've removed captcha and verification so we'll see how that goes. My apologies. Blogger is putting up far too many roadblocks. Thanks for the emails alerting me.
wisewebwomanatgmail.com