Ohio prosecutor calls for firing squad as method of execution

Hamilton County (Ohio) Prosecutor Joe Deters

CINCINNATI (WTHR) - A county prosecutor in Ohio said the state should shoot execute condemned inmates with firing squad, since appeals over lethal injection drugs "take too damn long."

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters told WLWT he's frustrated by the appeals by inmates sentenced to death as he discussed a stay of execution request for convicted killer Robert Van Hook, which was later denied. Van Hook is scheduled to be executed next Wednesday for a 1985 murder.

Deters said Ohioans need to recognize capital punishment for what it is.

"This game that they constantly play is so frustrating," said Deters. "We had an electric chair that worked just fine. People need to understand, we are killing someone, OK? This is not supposed to be a pleasant experience. They are being executed."

The prosecutor pointed out critics - but not the courts - thought the electric chair was "too cruel," so the state moved to lethal injection, which is now said to be cruel, as well.

"So, as far as I'm concerned, bring back the firing squad. It's constitutional and just end it right now," Deters said in the interview.

Utah currently uses a firing squad as a method of carrying out capital punishment.

Deters told WLWT he's grown weary of arguments that the drugs used in lethal injections aren't effective enough and how difficult it is to locate and buy the right drugs to carry out the execution.

"Well, buy a rifle," he said.

He added that if citizens don't want capital punishment, they should petition state lawmakers to get rid of it.