The rifleman mustering for a firing squad is honest - an icon of retribution without pretense. If we can own his violent act on our behalf, capital punishment suits us. But clinical killing is euphemism - a cowardly way for us to deceive ourselves.
If we're going to keep carrying out the death penalty in this country and if we are going to continue to grandly insist that they are "humane executions" then only a return to a firing squad will insure a speedy and relatively pain free death for the condemned.
As an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, I've been following the new death penalty developments fairly closely. It's probably safe to say that our Death Row hasn't been this shaken up since the state retired the electric chair after the electrocution of James French in 1966.
Twenty years ago on Christmas Day, the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed after a summary trial. And thanks to the marvels of modern technology, anyone can view the proceedings.