No, the Firing Squad is Not Better Than Lethal Injection: A Response to Stephanie Moran’s A Modest Proposal

16 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2020

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

In the article A Modest Proposal: The Federal Government Should Use Firing Squads to Execute Federal Death Row Inmates, Stephanie Moran argues that firing squads are the only execution method that meets the requirements of the Eighth Amendment. In order to make her case, Moran unjustifiably overstates the negative aspects of lethal injection while understating the negative aspects of firing squads. The entire piece is predicated upon assumptions that are not only unsupported by the evidence but often directly refuted by the evidence. This essay critically analyzes Moran’s claims regarding the alleged advantages of the firing squad over lethal injection. Topics covered include the alleged burning sensation from lethal injection, length of lethal injection pain, constitutionality of administering an intravenous injection (IV), inmate preferences in method of execution, constitutionality of firing squads, overlooked firing squad safety measures, and deceptive botch rate statistics. Additionally, potential motivations for why one would want to promote the firing squad over lethal injection are examined.

Keywords: Lethal injection, Firing squad, A Modest Proposal, Eighth Amendment, Botched executions, Cruel and unusual punishment, Death penalty, Capital punishment, Abolition

Suggested Citation

Conklin, Michael, No, the Firing Squad is Not Better Than Lethal Injection: A Response to Stephanie Moran’s A Modest Proposal (2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3609073 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3609073

Michael Conklin (Contact Author)

Angelo State University ( email )

2601 W. Avenue N
San Angelo, TX 76909
United States

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