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Ohio county prosecutor calls for execution by firing squad

CINCINNATI, OH (WLWT) -- A county prosecutor in Ohio says the state should bring back death by firing squad.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters says he's frustrated by death row appeals that -- in his words -- "take too damn long," NBC affiliate WLWT-TV reports. Deters lashed out at those who criticize the method of execution used in Ohio, which reinstated capital punishment 37 years ago.

Deters' comments came during an interview Thursday about a stay of execution request from convicted killer Robert Van Hook. His stay was denied, meaning Van Hook's death by lethal injection scheduled for next Wednesday will proceed.

Van Hook is on death row for the February 18, 1985, strangulation and stabbing murder of David Self, who was 25 at the time.

Deters says Ohioans need to come to grips with capital punishment and recognize it 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."

"We had an electric chair," Deters went on. "They said that was too cruel, which the courts have found is not, by the way. Then we went to the lethal injection. Now they say that's cruel."

It's clear Deters' remarks were directed at critics of capital punishment.

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

Deters said he is weary of hearing how the drugs don't work effectively or quickly, how the proper facility doesn't exist, and how difficult it is to locate and buy the right drugs.

"Well, buy a rifle," he said.

Deters believes the arguments about Ohio's method have become nonsensical and that if citizens don't want a death penalty, they should convince the state legislature to get rid of it.

"If you're going to have a death penalty," said Deters with heavy emphasis, "understand we are killing someone."


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