Can any method of execution really be humane?

A killer is to be executed today in Ohio.

Robert Van Hook, condemned for fatally strangling and stabbing David Self in Cincinnati in 1985, was moved Tuesday to the death house in the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

It would be the state’s first execution since last September, when the use of lethal injection resumed. It had been suspended due to issues with an execution in 2014.

Last week, a county prosecutor suggested death-row inmates in Ohio have another option for their executions: the firing squad.

In an interview with WLWT-TV, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters — stating capital punishment “is not supposed to be a pleasant experience” — noted firing squads are constitutional.

The use of lethal injection was suspended over concerns the drugs used didn’t work effectively or efficiently. Firing squads wouldn’t have those issues.

We’re not advocating for the use of firing squads. We are questioning whether any method of execution truly could be humane. If any comes close, it would be the method most similar to that used to euthanize pets.

Or, as Deters noted last week, if Ohioans object to the death penalty, they should get their state legislators to eliminate it.

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