If I were governor of a state that executed prisoners I'd declare a moratorium for my entire tenure. I wish that the United States would stop imposing the death penalty. I nevertheless find myself nodding along to Sonny Bunch's case for reintroducing the guillotine, a response to the botched execution of a death-row inmate in Oklahoma.
He argues that America has made its executions bloodless to protect the sensibilities of those who support the death penalty, with less humane killings as a result. (The electric chair. The gas chamber. Lethal injections. All have had horrific problems.)
The guillotine really seems to solve everyone’s problems: It was designed to deliver an efficient, quick, and painless death. It performs that task admirably. I understand the irony of a reactionary such as myself embracing the Terror’s preferred method of execution, but one must give credit where it’s due.
If we’re going to do something—and a large number of Americans and American states are pretty committed to performing executions—we ought to do it right. And “right” in this case means a quick and painless death. I can’t really imagine any reasonable objections to a widespread adoption of the guillotine.
I can imagine one objection: that the guillotine is barbaric.