Live-Tweeting A Firing Squad, Ctd


A reader writes:

The first respondent you posted is a little confused about the differences between people now and people in history. As recently as a century ago, and certainly throughout most of human history, death was a constant companion for people of all stripes. Infant mortality, maternal death in childbirth, horrific wasting diseases, hand-to-hand combat - all these and more combined to ensure that most people, if not everyone, was well acquainted with death by the time they reached adolescence.

Now I'm not saying that a public execution wouldn't attract gawkers; it undoubtedly would. But I imagine there are a lot of people who support the death penalty whose minds would be changed if they had any experience of actual death.

(Photo: The last public execution in the US, carried out in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1936 after Rainey Bethea was convicted for the rape and murder of a 70-year-old woman.)