Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Bring back firing squads - US judge

25 July 2014, 14:09

San Francisco - An influential US appeals court judge said on Thursday that the nation's third lethal injection execution to be problematic in six months underscores his call to bring back firing squads.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said lethal injection was a "dishonest" attempt to disguise the brutal nature of capital punishment.

Kozinski first wrote of his distaste for lethal injection in a decision on Monday, even while arguing against delaying the execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood III in Arizona.

Wood gasped for breath for more than 90 minutes and took nearly two hours to die on Wednesday after receiving a lethal injection for killing his estranged girlfriend and her father.

Kozinski said properly trained firing squads are a "foolproof" way to quickly execute an inmate and avoid complications surrounding lethal injection.

In a dissent to Monday's ruling that put Wood's execution on hold, but was overturned by the Supreme Court, Kozinski wrote: "Using drugs meant for individuals with medical needs to carry out executions is a misguided effort to mask the brutality of executions by making them look serene and beautiful - like something any one of us might experience in our final moments.

But executions are, in fact, brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality. Nor should we. If we as a society want to carry out executions, we should be willing to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf."

On Thursday, Kozinski said that he never liked lethal injection, a method that has been troubled by drug shortages and legal challenges. He said firing squads would never be hampered by a shortage of guns or bullets.

"I've always thought executions should be executions," he told the AP, "not medical procedures".

Kozinski said he supports capital punishment, but states and the federal government should abandon lethal injection and adopt a different method.

He mentioned the guillotine as another "foolproof" method, but said he doubted the public would accept that form of execution.

Kozinski is a reliable conservative vote on the left-leaning 9th Circuit and is known for his well-written and often provocative opinions. He wrote about grappling with a death penalty case for The New Yorker magazine in 1997.

He was appointed to the 9th Circuit by President Ronald Reagan in 1985.

- AP

Tags us

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...