Atlanta — Anti-capital punishment activists are using the prolonged execution of Joseph Wood in Florence, Ariz., Wednesday as a clarion call to end the death penalty. A federal judge who adjudicated Mr. Wood’s case has emphasized another alternative: bring back the firing squad.
“Eight or ten large-caliber rifle bullets fired at close range can inflict massive damage, causing instant death every time,” Alex Kozinski, chief justice of Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals, wrote in a decision that would have stayed Wood’s execution by lethal injection if the US Supreme Court hadn’t overridden that ruling.
“If we, as a society, cannot stomach the splatter from an execution carried out by firing squad, then we shouldn’t be carrying out executions at all,” Judge Kozinski reiterated Thursday to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York. In his earlier ruling, Kozinski said using drugs to carry out executions is “a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and peaceful.”