Utah Lawmaker Calls for Bringing Back Firing Squads as Method of Execution

May 18 2014
by GSL Staff
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Firing SquadIt’s no secret that lethal injection executions have been less than effective in recent incidents.

Most recently, convicted killer Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma was the subject of a botched lethal injection attempt and ended up dying of a heart attack 40 minutes after being administered the lethal drugs.

One Utah lawmaker is calling for a lower tech method of executing prisoners on death row – bringing back the firing squad.

According to Fox News,

Rep. Paul Ray, a Republican from the northern Utah city of Clearfield, plans to introduce his proposal during Utah’s next legislative session in January. Lawmakers in Wyoming and Missouri floated similar ideas this year, but both efforts stalled. Ray, however, may succeed. Utah already has a tradition of execution by firing squad, with five police officers using .30-caliber Winchester rifles to execute Ronnie Lee Gardner in 2010, the last execution by rifle to be held in the state.

Ray argues the controversial method may seem more palatable now, especially as states struggle to maneuver lawsuits and drug shortages that have complicated lethal injections.

“It sounds like the Wild West, but it’s probably the most humane way to kill somebody,” Ray said.

Pharmaceutical companies are becoming less and less willing to supply states with the drugs that are currently being used in lethal injections.

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