The US state of Utah has scrapped the use of firing squads to execute criminals sentenced to death. Supporters of the ban say it will deny convicts the right to opt for a dramatic death in a storm of gunfire.
The state's marksmen have carried out a number of high-profile executions - including that of killer Gary Gilmour in 1977.
Idaho and Oklahoma retain the firing squad on their books but have not used it in modern times.
Well. Aren't we just the little bleeding-heart liberals.
From the Death Penalty Information Center:
In the aftermath of World War II, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This 1948 doctrine proclaimed a "right to life" in an absolute fashion, any limitations being only implicit. Knowing that international abolition of the death penalty was not yet a realistic goal in the years following the Universal Declaration, the United Nations shifted its focus to limiting the scope of the death penalty to protect juveniles, pregnant women, and the elderly.
During the 1950s and 1960s subsequent international human rights treaties were drafted, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the American Convention on Human Rights. These documents also provided for the right to life, but included the death penalty as an exception that must be accompanied by strict procedural safeguards. Despite this exception, many nations throughout Western Europe stopped using capital punishment, even if they did not, technically, abolish it. As a result, this de facto abolition became the norm in Western Europe by the 1980s.
[. . .] Presently, more than half of the countries in the international community have abolished the death penalty completely, de facto, or for ordinary crimes. However, over 90 countries retain the death penalty, including China, Iran, and the United States[.]
Good company to be in, those guys. Better than those foul EUrocrats or icky UN types.
I live in Illinois.
We're more civilized than the rest of you fuckers.