As TFTP reported, the Justice Department quietly amended its execution protocols in December 2020, no longer requiring federal death sentences to be carried out by lethal injection and clearing the way to use other methods like firing squads and poisonous gas. The following year Arizona followed suit and began preparing to execute death row inmates with the same gas used by the Nazis at Auschwitz — Zyklon B. This month, South Carolina raised their hand at the execution table and asked for firing squads and have approved just that.
According to a report from Reuters, the state Department of Corrections said it alerted the Attorney General’s office that it has developed protocols and completed renovations at a correctional facility in Columbia, the capital city, which allows for the execution of inmates via a three-man firing squad. According to the report:
A state law passed in May 2021 authorized the death penalty policy changes, giving condemned persons the option to choose death by rifles or lethal injection when available. It also made the electric chair the state’s primary mode of execution.
South Carolina joins Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah in allowing firing squad executions. Those states use lethal injection as their primary method. Three executions, all in Utah, have been carried out by firing squad since 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
Ronnie Lee Gardner, a 49-year-old convicted killer, was the last person in the United States to be executed by firing squad in 2010.
The move is touted by officials as a good thing because it now gives inmates a choice of three different ways to die but they are missing the elephant in the room.
While the various methods of death are certainly shocking, the idea of capital punishment seems to be taking a back seat to all of this. For the state to claim the responsibility of justly ending life, it means that the state must never be wrong. Even the most ardent of statists will have to concede that an infallible state is but a terribly written fiction.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with the backing of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, declared that all opposition parties would be suspended indefinitely until martial law is declared over.
In a statement issued yesterday evening, President Zelenskyy announced the following decree: political parties who his party, “Servants of the People,” has identified as being pro-Russian would be suspended until the nation-wide martial law is lifted. The list essentially includes every opposition party.
With millions of their constituents now stripped of any political infrastructure, it’s safe to say that this is not the sort of action taken by a ‘democracy.’
In an effort to lower crime rates, American law enforcement is pushing to combine facial recognition with expanded video surveillance. Politicians worried about their re-election chances due to a perceived crime wave see the expansion as necessary. It’s a sharp swing from 2019 and 2020, when cities like San Francisco and New Orleans were banning or at least enacting limits on facial recognition technology due to privacy concerns.
Now, New Orleans plans to roll back its facial recognition prohibition. The Virginia State Senate gave law enforcement a late Valentine’s Day gift by passing a facial recognition expansion bill on February 15 — the Democrats who unanimously approved a ban on facial recognition last year suddenly changed their minds, as did five Republicans. New York City wants to expand its facial recognition program to fight gun violence.
Law enforcement has a long history of pining for any tool that might give it some sort of edge, citizen due process be damned. Supporters avow that the technology will help investigators find violent crime suspects, including those involved in the January 6 storming of the US Capitol. OneZero reported in 2020 that Wolfcom promoted its real-time face tracking software as perfect for police organizations looking to quickly identify suspects with outstanding warrants.