The death penalty is only slightly less popular than it was last year, despite three very public botched executions and concerns over "cruel and unusual" punishment. That's because with many death penalty supporters, their belief in capital punishment is unshaken by the inadequacies of the lethal injection.
This week a federal appeals court judge argued that, to prevent executions from being "cruel and unusual," we should just move to a more efficient form of execution, like firing squads. And the family of Wood's victims echoed an opinion shared by 60 percent of Americans: people sentenced to death "deserve it." As the polls show, people's sense of justice goes beyond Eighth Amendment rights.
On Monday a federal appeals court judge argued that executions are "brutal, savage events," we should return to firing squads this week, days before Joseph Rudolph Wood took over 90 minutes to die by lethal injection. Alex Kozinski, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court Chief Judge, argued for shooting squads on Monday in his dissent against a 9th Circuit panel's decision to grant Wood an injunction on July 19. The panel concluded that Wood had "raised serious questions as to the merits of his First Amendment claim" and granted him a temporary stay until the state told him what drugs would be used to kill him.