A state House member has posted an ode to the electric chair on his Facebook page, along with the suggestion that North Carolina start using it again.
Rep. Justin Burr, an Albemarle Republican, posted a picture of an electric chair with leather straps draped around it.
“The chair has been in the possession of our state history museum since 2000,” he wrote. “I think it’s time to put it back to work.”
He concluded with the hashtagged slogan, #MakeTheChairGreatAgain, a play on President Donald Trump’s theme Make America Great Again.
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Burr said in an interview he wants the state to restart executions of convicted murders.
The state hasn’t executed anyone in more than a decade. The last was Samuel Flippen in August 2006.
A series of lawsuits have created a de facto moratorium on executions.
Burr said he’s been working in the legislature to get the death penalty “back on track and stop the delays.”
“I want the death penalty to be used again in North Carolina, to stop the attempts to delay justice for victims and their families,” he said.
Burr is chairman of one of the state House’s four Judiciary committees. He is a bail bondsman and is serving his fifth term in the legislature.
The state began the switch to lethal injection in 1983, but that method has been challenged as cruel and unusual.
Convicts should be give a choice of execution method, Burr said. They would choose between a firing squad, electrocution, hanging, gas or lethal injection.
“I think we should bring them all back,” he said.
According to a history of the death penalty in North Carolina by the state Department of Public Safety, the state began phasing out death by electrocution before 1938, although the electric chair was still being used. Lethal gas was first used in an execution in the state in 1936.
Burr received dozens of comments on his post, some cheering the idea and others calling it disgusting.