I authored an article published in the Deseret News in response to Utah’s attempt to reinstate the firing squad as a method of execution. I said,
The state of Utah is considering legislation that would reinstate the firing squad as a method of execution. The decision to expend considerable time and taxpayer funds to deliberate on such a measure is in response to one of the many issues surrounding capital punishment — the difficulty in acquiring approved death penalty drugs.
However, this legislation will only add to the legal morass creating more litigation. The bill only attempts to address a single symptom of an irrevocably broken death penalty system that is afflicted with chronic and systemic dysfunction, which is increasingly being viewed as an affront to conservative values.
The death penalty has become the proverbial ship with a thousand leaks. While the Utah Legislature considers the best method of executing people to attempt to address a single issue, conservatives are abandoning a broken death penalty system with increasing frequency. Icons including Col. Oliver North, Dr. Ron Paul, Jay Sekulow, Richard Viguerie and many others find capital punishment to be directly inconsistent with their conservative values of protecting innocent life, promoting fiscal responsibility and limiting the size and scope of government. Considering the death penalty’s hefty human and fiscal price, it produces no real tangible benefits. It’s just a failed government program.