Some legislation is “shoot from the hip” . . . not carefully thought out, but obviously echoing a not-uncommon sentiment, if not common sense itself.
Florida’s Representative Brad Drake (R-Eucheeanna) has concocted a fine example, HB 325. He got the idea from an overheard conversation. He was in a Waffle House, and one of his constituents was chatting about the Manuel Valle case in the Supreme Court. The convicted murderer had appealed many times, and what the Supreme Court was mulling over was the Valle’s objection to the manner of capital punishment, particularly the drug used in the lethal injection, to which he had been sentenced.
“You know, they ought to just put them in the electric chair or line them up in front of a firing squad,” said the Floridian.
So Drake wrote up a bill to junk lethal injection, offering, instead, the electric chair as the standard method, with a “firing squad” option.
“There shouldn’t be anything controversial about a .45-caliber bullet,” Drake insists.
None of this addresses my big problem with capital punishment — our American states’ actual, sorry record on the issue. There have been far too many wrongfully convicted innocents.
I freely confess: If I had to be executed, I might prefer a firing squad.
But since I’d almost certainly be innocent, I’d rather not have to make any decision regarding my unjust killing.
Shoot-from-the-hip legislating is not the proper response to the death penalty controversy.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.