Florida Congressman Brad Drake Wants to Execute Criminals by Firing Squad

COMMENTARY | A Florida Republican congressman, Brad Drake, has filed a bill that would replace lethal injection with a firing squad for criminals in the state that have been given the death penalty. Drake said he is fed up with the public sympathizing with criminals, and using the excuse that lethal injection is inhumane.

While this sounds like a bad joke, it isn’t, and Drake said his idea stemmed from a conversation that he had at a local Waffle House restaurant. If you thought a firing squad was something that hasn’t been used since the early part of the 20th century, you’re wrong. In Utah, it was only recently outlawed, and the last inmate to be put to death that way was in 2010.

Ronnie Lee Gardner, 49, had a target pinned to his chest and was fired upon by five rifles. One of those guns had a blank, while the other four bullets exploded through the man’s body, ending his life.

If Drake thinks a firing squad would cause less public outcry, he is not only sadly mistaken, but a complete imbecile. The Republican congressman said for people to have “compassion and sympathy” for violent criminals is a perversion.

The comments that Drake has made make him sound like he is hell-bent on death and violence himself, and is fascinated by the various ways that the death penalty should be carried out. He remarked, “I want criminals that are sitting and waiting on death row to think that when their day comes they are going to be electrocuted or shot, they are not going to be put to sleep. I want them to think about that every morning when they get up.”

Drake has also spoken lovingly of “Old Sparky,” the electric chair, and says that lethal injection allows “Death Row” killers to get off too easily.

The congressman is clearly out of touch with reality, and is clearly fantasizing about a legal way to get away with violent acts. The argument that execution costs less to tax payers is false, for those who consider the current economy in the mix. Putting an inmate to death costs $2 million compared to $500,000 over the criminal’s lifetime.

The biggest argument against the death penalty, no matter which method is used, is that one in seven prisoners who have had their life ended by the state have been determined to be innocent after the fact. The death penalty is not a deterrent, in fact, the U.S. has six times the murder rates of Britain and Australia, two countries that don’t murder their inmates.

Killing is not a solution, and advanced societies do not take part in the practice. Drake’s bill should concern the people of the state of Florida. Should this bloodthirsty hothead be in any position of responsibility?

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