Florida legislator wants to bring back the firing squad

Electric chairs, too: "I don't give a damn" about protecting those convicted of murder in Florida.

When CL asked about the controversy over electric chairs and firing squads, with the latter having generally been phased out as a form of capital punishment in America, the DeFuniak Springs legislator replied, "It wouldn't bother me if we took them up to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and threw them off, and if things were right with God they’re traveling in that direction anyway, but this is probably the most legal and appropriate way of handling the situation.”

But after the nationwide embarrassment that the state suffered over a decade ago with electrocutions, surely there would be little support in the Florida Legislature. And what about the mocking the state had to endure for those incidents?

"In the words of Humphrey Bogart, 'Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn' about protecting humanity for inhumane people," he replied, though we believe he was quoting Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, but whatever.

”I’m sick and tired of all this sensitivity indoctrination that citizens are having to endure or they're being forced to accept..I think that people that are that sorry, we should not feel sorry for them, they’ve done heinous things, they’ve done wrong to people, they’re here on this earth living their life in a manner that promotes evil and …I just don’t care very much for them," he says of those on death row.

On Tuesday Governor Rick Scott announced that death row inmate Oba Chandler was to be executed, with the date set by Florida State Prison Warden Steven Singer for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15. Chandler was sentenced to death in 1994.

Seventeen years is hardly the longest that a prisoner in Florida on death row has waited to be executed after being sentenced. Those delays have frustrated the families of the victims, as well as some legislators.

When Drake was asked if he felt that frustration, he told CL that it would never last so long if it were up to him.

"I would like to lead a conversation to restructure the federal judiciary so that the Constitution could be interpreted the way the Founding Fathers intended it to be, and I don’t think they had any intention of being sympathetic to evil people," Drake said.

  • Florida Representative Brad Drake

Florida Republican House member Brad Drake says he was sitting in Waffle House eating lunch in his North Florida district not too long ago when he heard some customers complaining about problems with the lethal injection cocktail that the state uses to execute people.

Two weeks ago the state executed Manuel Valle, who was convicted of killing a police officer 33 years ago. He became the first Florida inmate executed using the sedative pentobarbital as part of the lethal injection. The state recently changed its execution system to include the sedative, which is intended to render the inmate unconscious.

But Drake said that, after discussing the issue with his constituents, he felt like it was time to be proactive while the debate continued about the medical cocktail. He decided then and there that "We’ll just set them before a firing squad or we’ll fire up Old Sparky again," referring to the term used to describe executions in Florida before they were halted in 2000 after two different prisoners had flames shooting out of their heads while they sat on the electric chair.

So on Tuesday, Drake introduced HB 325, which would bring back either executions or firing squads as a method of executing death row prisoners.

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