Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert took a bold step today and issued an executive order repealing the death penalty in the State of Utah. Governor Herbert stated: “It just made economic sense to repeal the death penalty considering how costly it is to execute an inmate and how the State of Utah could better use those limited government resources.” However, the Governor’s move is not without criticism. Michael Hamilton, a Utah tea party member stated: “The Governor’s repealing of the death penalty is an abomination. I can’t believe the State of Utah is even considering stopping executing its citizens. What’s next? Free lattes and muffins at the Utah State Prison.”
Due to the criticism Governor Herbert’s office issued a clarification on his executive order repealing the death penalty in Utah. The Governor stated: “What do the citizens of Utah really want? Do they want more teachers in the classroom? Lower taxes? More money to fund road projects, create jobs and keep our environment clean? Or do we want to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to support the death penalty and kill someone who will just spend the rest of his life in prison anyway?”
Governor Herbert also revealed the second component of his executive order. Instead of the death penalty, those convicted of murder and given capital punishment must now watch David Hasselhoff’s Hooked on a Feeling Video on a 24 hour loop. There is no doubt that this punishment will reduce crime in Utah.”
Ms. Ima B. Free of the Utah branch of the American Civil Liberties Union immediately bashed the Governor’s plan as Unconstitutional. “We are excited about the repeal of the death penalty in Utah, but making inmates watch a David Hasselhoff video all day and all night is certainly cruel and unusual punishment. The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “cruel and unusual punishments [shall not be] inflicted.” Ms. Free then argued that the U.S. Supreme Court clearly stated in Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238, that punishment that is “patently unnecessary” and “degrading to human dignity” would be struck down by the court. It is clear that forcing an inmate to view David Hasselhoff videos is “degrading to human diginity, unnecessary punishment and too harsh to even use on prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.” Utah Criminal Defense Attorney Clayton Simms stated that “forcing inmates to watch Hasselhoff videos is absolutely Unconstitutional, but more of an immediate concern would be the prison rioting.”
The David Hasselhoff video the Governor Herbert wants to force inmates to watch is below.