Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Ronnie Gardner did a very bad thing - actually two very bad things. The Utah resident killed a bartender and then killed a lawyer trying to escape. Sentenced to death, Gardner chose to expire by firing squad rather than lethal injection, a choice only the doomed of Utah enjoy.

Unless granted a reprieve, 5 men will load up their matched rifles and shoot simultaneously this Friday, ripping Gardner's body apart, killing him quickly, but not necessarily painlessly. Why five shooters you ask? That way no single man will know for certain his shot caused the death, a very humane gesture to the hired guns.

The rest of the states could learn something from Utah. How about extending this practice to the other 49, improving on it by requiring one to the 5 shooters to be the prosecuting States Attorney who lusted for the death of a fellow human being?

If that were implemented, my Dupage County States Attorney, Joe Burkett, might just turn a little reticent over his usual practice of trumpeting the death penalty in high profile murder cases to burnish his "tough on crime" bonifides. It's a lot easier to talk tough about killing the undesirable when you manipulate the pulling of the trigger from a safe distance.

Also published in the Glen Ellyn News, June 16, 2010