Utah To Reinstate Firing Squad

The death penalty needs to be abolished in order for our country to harbor a positive environment.


The death penalty needs to be abolished in order for our country to harbor a positive environment.

Hilda Delgado, Staff Writer

The movement to abolish the death penalty in America has been gaining momentum across the nation, as legislators have been encouraging elimination of this punishment. However, the nation has encountered an obstacle; Utah is considering reinstating capital punishment by firing squad. The Republican-controlled state legislature gave final approval on the proposal on Tuesday, March 17 as a back up due to shortages of drugs used for lethal injections. Restoring the firing squad would negatively affect Utah, considering the fact that it is both inhumane and immoral, as well as costly.

“I think killing people is a horrible thing to do, and even though a lot of the criminals have killed, I don’t think we should take away their lives,” freshman Amalie Moreno said.

Our country’s Bill of Rights prohibits the federal government from imposing cruel and unusual punishment. The reinstatement of death penalty violate this amendment; capital punishment is an outdated memento that was first used centuries ago. Capital punishment is simply a modernized version of the Code of Hammurabi, a law code that dates back to ancient Mesopotamia which enforced the ideas of ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’ and has no place in this day and age. Applying these policies to the 21st century would completely contradict our claim of being an independent democratic country by undermining our moral stance in the world. We should be focusing on finding ways to prevent these crimes from happening by providing treatment for mental health patients, which statistics show form a large portion of inmates on death row.

“I think that the death penalty completely disregards all that America has said about being fair,” freshman Ambar Calle said.

The cost of administering the death penalty is far too much for the limited benefits of the practice. Even in states where the death penalty is seldom used, the pricing of executions ranges from $2.5 million to $5 million per case. A common misunderstanding is that abolishing the death penalty is unfair for the taxpayer because execution is cheaper than incarcerating criminals for life. However, the death penalty is much more expensive than life in prison without parole, mostly because the judicial process ensures that no one is wrongfully convicted. The burden of these costs is borne by local governments, which causes funds to be diverted from resources such as healthcare, infrastructure, and education. The taxes paid should instead be used toward the vital elements that make up a community which will substantially help reduce crime.

Ultimately, it is imperative that Utah discontinues the death penalty so that it can progress to more humane forms of discipline. With the money that would be saved from implementing the practice, we would be able to allocate the money that makes tangible differences in our communities and that is more effective at decreasing violent crime.