On Wednesday, the State of Arizona executed Joseph Wood.
The left wing media immediately jumped on the case, calling it a “botched execution.”
To begin with, the execution wasn’t botched. He’s dead, isn’t he?
Wood was convicted of two counts of first degree ,urder. The murders occurred in 1989. Wood was convicted and sentenced to death in 1991. He spent 23 years on death row while tax payer funded lawyers cranked out every strategy possible to stop or delay his execution.
The botching was not the execution. The botching was that it took 23 years.
There was never any doubt about Wood’s guilt. He killed the father of his ex-girlfriend and then killed his ex-girlfriend. The killed was witnessed by employees of the auto shop where the father worked.
The problem with the death penalty in America is that liberals have taken a system that worked, broke it and then claimed the system is so broken it must be abolished. This is sort of like Barack Obama’s approach to immigration.
In the ‘80s and ‘90s, the left made two major pushes against the death penalty. The first was the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which Bill Clinton signed in 1996. The left claimed there were massive numbers of death penalty cases being set aside for “ineffective assistance of counsel.” There weren’t that many, but that did not stop the left. What the Effective Death Penalty Act did was create a gravy train for anti-death penalty lawyers. Judges were trained to never turn down a request by court appointed lawyers for funds in death penalty cases. Lawyers were taught out to get everything they wanted, driving the costs of these cases up.
But the left also pushed for the abolition of other forms of execution in favor of lethal injection. They argued lethal injection was more “humane” than the other forms of execution that were being used at the time, such as the electric chair, the gas chamber, hanging or the firing squad.
By the early 2000s, most states had gone to lethal injection. Then the left made a coordinated attack on lethal injection. Anti-death penalty lawyers have gone after the sources of the drugs that are used, often forcing states to use alternative drugs or compounding pharmacies. These same lawyers demanded the identity of these pharmacies be revealed so presumably the pharmacy could then be harassed.
Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, suggested that the states should go back to firing squads for execution.
The Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishments. At the time the time the Constitution was written, being drawn and quartered or boiled in oil were punishments our founding fathers wanted to prohibit. For decades after the Constitution was ratified, flogging was still a legal punishment aboard Navy Ships.
Judge Kozinski is right.
If the left wants to make war on lethal injection, let’s go back to the old fashioned killing of condemned prisoners. Ten to 20 shooters with high powered rifles at short range firing several shots each rapidly is going to quickly kill someone.
The real outrage with executions is not that a convicted murderer like Joseph Wood may have suffered some discomfort. According to the State of Arizona he was sedated the whole time so he would not have felt anything.
The real outrage is that it takes 23 years for a sentence to be executed.
That is the outrage.