Missouri and Wyoming Move to Make Execution by Firing Squad Legal After Issues With Lethal Injection

January 21 2014
by GSL Staff
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Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 12.25.50 PMIf you follow the news, you’ve probably seen several high profile executions delayed in recent years. This is because the drugs that are used during lethal injection executions are getting harder and harder for states to acquire the drugs needed for lethal injection executions.

The availability is partially because pharmaceutical companies are restricting access to drugs used in the procedures because they don’t want their products associated with executions.

Also, in some cases, inmates have taken considerable time to actually succumb to the drugs and/or expressed significant pain during the execution process.

Due to the above issues, at least two states are moving to make executions by firing squad legal. Both Wyoming and Missouri have introduced legislation that would make it legal to execute death row inmates by firing squad.

Wyoming state Sen. Bruce Burns introduced a bill in his state last week that would put firing squad executions back on the table. Rep. Rick Brattin has introduced similar legislation in the state of Missouri.

The Wyoming bill would remove lethal injection as an option and make firing squad the sole method of execution for the state. The Missouri bill would leave the lethal injection option on the table, but add the ability for execution to be carried out by firing squad.

Currently only Utah allows executions by firing squad, a method they last used in 2010. According to the Christian Science Monitor, that execution was carried out as follows,

The five executioners, certified police officers who volunteered for the task and remain anonymous, stood about 25 feet away, behind a wall cut with a gunport, and were armed with matching .30-caliber Winchester rifles. One was loaded with a blank so no one knows who fired the fatal shot. Sandbags stacked behind Gardner’s chair kept the bullets from ricocheting around the cinderblock room.

The convicted murderer, Ronnie Lee Gardner, was declared dead less than two minutes after the shots were fired.

Hat tip: Guns.com

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