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Firing squads not bad idea
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The surreal national debate over the death penalty reached a climax of sorts July 23 in a prison execution chamber in Florence, Ariz. Double murderer Joseph Wood was put to death by lethal injection shortly after his lawyers went to the Supreme Court raising questions about the drugs that would be used to kill him.The justices turned Wood down, but his attorneys were right to raise concerns. It turned out Wood's execution took two hours, as he lay unconscious on a gurney, gasping and waiting for the drugs to work.Coming after other botched lethal injections in Oklahoma and Ohio, the Wood execution gave renewed energy to activists calling for an end not only to executions by lethal injection but by all other means as well."The death penalty simply has no place in this country," said Brian Stull, an attorney for the ACLU's Capital Punishment Project.