Welcome To Utah–And Firing Squads
Firing squads are back in Utah, but only if they can’t get the right lethal drugs.
[su_right_ad]Utah became the only state to allow firing squads for executions when Gov. Gary Herbert signed a law Monday approving the method for use when no lethal injection drugs are available, even though he has called it “a little bit gruesome.”
…The governor’s office, in a statement announcing the new law, noted that other states allow execution methods other than lethal injection. In Washington state, inmates can request hanging. In New Hampshire, hangings are fallback if lethal injections can’t be given. And an Oklahoma law would allow the state to use firing squads if lethal injections and electrocutions are ever declared unconstitutional.
Utah’s new approval of firing squads carries no such legal caveat and represents the latest example of frustration over botched executions and the difficulty of obtaining lethal injection drugs as manufacturers opposed to capital punishment have made them off-limits to prisons.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Paul Ray of Clearfield, argued that a team of trained marksmen is faster and more decent than the drawn-out deaths involved when lethal injections go awry — or even if they go as planned.