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If lethal injection is unacceptable, don't abandon the death penalty — use a firing squad

If lethal injection is unacceptable, don't abandon the death penalty — use a firing squad
Eight men had been scheduled to be executed. Top, from left: Don Davis, Stacey Johnson, Jack Jones and Ledell Lee; bottom, from left: Jason McGehee, Bruce Ward, Kenneth Williams and Marcel Williams. (Arkansas Department of Correction)

To the editor: Arkansas had the right idea in trying execute six prisoners within 11 days — before its supply of a lethal-injection drug is set to expire in May — but some judges and misguided activists got in its way. ("In flurry of rulings, Arkansas' plan to execute inmates by month's end is halted," April 15)

Instead of protesting the death penalty, concerned citizens should protest against armed robbery and murder. The punishment for capital crimes ought to be carried out within a year of sentencing, not decades. We should also stop relying on lethal-injection chemicals and instead use hanging or firing squads.

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Ours is not a civilized society, so we must treat killers the same way they treat their victims. This will have a definite impact on violent crime rates.

The only cruel and unusual punishment is what is done to the victims and their families.

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Dave Cole, Cathedral City

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To the editor: Why must executions rely solely on the availability of lethal-injection drugs?

I remember the story of the late professional golfer Payne Stewart and how the loss of pressure in his jet aircraft led to the unconscious state of everyone on board. They eventually died when the plane ran out of fuel and crashed. Also, pilots in the military are trained in pressure chambers to recognize the dangers of hypoxia in high altitude training.

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The point is that individuals can slowly loose consciousness and eventually die from lack of oxygen without pain or suffering.

Why don't prisons use hypobaric chambers instead of lethal injections to kill condemned inmates? This would resolve the issue of drug availability.

Howard Kunihiro, Garden Grove

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