If you haven’t heard, the Utah State Senate passed a law this week that will allow execution by firing squad if there’s a shortage of lethal injection supplies. This is rather disappointing news, and not because of the obvious inhumane and unethical implications. It’s disappointing because so many opportunities were missed. If we’re going to go backwards in time, why not go all the way? There are countless primitive execution methods that are far more exciting than firing squads. Here are just a few that Utah totally should have passed instead:
The French have given us a lot of great things, and we always seem to forget about them in our scorn for their scorn for us. I can’t imagine a better way to improve our diplomatic relations than bringing back the execution method they loved so much back in the day. Who doesn’t miss the ol’ “off with his head?” We could even expand this to other states. Imagine how much of a hit it would be in Louisiana or Maine.
2. Aztec ritual sacrifice
Picture this: The convicted felon is laid on a stone slab, his abdomen is cut open, his still-beating heart is removed, and then his body is kicked down a huge flight of stairs. How’s that for “getting what you deserved?” Rep. Paul Ray can even have some fun by screaming “KALI MAAA!” right before he removes the heart and lights it on fire.
3. Blood Eagle
This is an old Viking method of execution that not everyone agrees was real. Real or not, it’s the right amount of brutal that Utah lawmakers would just love. The perpetrator is placed on his stomach. His ribs are cut from his spine, then bent in a way to resemble the wings of an eagle. Wait, there’s more! The lungs are then removed through the wounds, and salt may or may not be applied for extra suffering. If we want to really celebrate Utah, we can call it “The Utah Gull” after the state’s official bird. (Utah’s state bird is the California gull, but that’s confusing as fuck.)
Death by firing squad has its own Wild West feel to it, but public hanging takes the cake as the best way to murder someone and relive the cowboy days. Salt Lake City can set up gallows smack-dab in the middle of Washington Square outside of City Hall. Every Friday, people can gather to watch a hanging and then be off on their merry little skiing trips. Boosted tourism sales and capital punishment!
5. Death by elephant
Invented in Southeast Asia and perfected by the Romans, this is pretty self-explanatory: largest land mammal on earth mauls and crushes you to death. The interesting part is that elephants can be trained to kill slowly or instantly, which we can decide based on the severity of the crime. Cool! The Republicans will obviously love the political metaphor, and there are probably tons of recently freed Ringling Bros. elephants looking for employment and/or sweet, sweet revenge.
6. Blowing from gun
It’s the sexiest term for one of the least sexy things ever. A person is tied to the front of a loaded cannon and…you can guess the rest. The sheer force of a cannon shot basically annihilates the body, drastically saving on cleanup and taxpayer money. Body parts that aren’t reduced to smithereens will fly insane distances, so Utah can hold a kind of state-sponsored Easter egg hunt for the kids.
Quartering is an aptly named form of execution that requires the person’s respective limbs be tied to four respective horses. The horses are then whipped and run in different directions, tearing the person into four parts (er, quarters). People can take bets on which horse will pull the biggest chunk, allowing Utah to finally compete with Nevada in legalized gambling. But since we’re an obviously humane and progressive society, we probably shouldn’t whip horses. Tanks, for instance, could be used instead. ‘Murica!
If you haven’t lost your appetite yet, then imagine boiling some water to prep for your tasty pasta meal tonight. Only instead of pasta, you put a human being into the water while he’s screaming and flailing. The trick is to apparently let the water boil them gradually, starting off at a low heat and eventually making its way to “lava.” This maximizes the sheer pants-shitting terror and agony of the whole experience before the victim is reduced to a disgusting broth. Something, something, joke about Mormon charity and soup kitchens. Ugh.
9. Colombian Necktie
Brutal yet effective, this method was probably invented in Colombia. Basically, you cut someone’s throat—fuck, never mind. Look this shit up yourself. I’ll be vomiting.
It’s as clear as day: America is a nation founded on Christian values. What better way to celebrate those values in a largely Mormon state than bringing back crucifixion as the official form of capital punishment? Just like the thief next to Jesus on Calvary, criminals obviously deserve no forgiveness. Utah can set up a nice crucifixion site on top of a school, put the 10 Commandments out front, and just as a reminder make Thou Shalt Not Kill stand out in really big bold letters so everyone who isn’t a state politician gets the idea. See what a little imagination could accomplish, Utah?