Utah Governor Signs Into Law The Use Of Firing Squads For Executions
On Monday, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a new law which allows the state to use firing squads for executions. Under the new law, the state could use this method for executions when no lethal-injection drugs are available.
The governor said that Utah is a capital punishment state and they need a backup plan in case there is a shortage of the drugs. Gov. Herbert did say that the firing squad concept was “a little gruesome“, but they are taking the steps needed to ensure executions would go on as planned. There appears to be a drug shortage out there, as European manufacturers that are opposed to lethal injections are refusing to sell the drugs needed to U.S. prisons. Because of this, states are trying to come up with new plans to make sure the executions are still done in a timely manner.
Gov. Herbert spokesman Marty Carpenter said: “We regret anyone ever commits the heinous crime of aggravated murder to merit the death penalty, and we prefer to use our primary method of lethal injection when such a sentence is issued. However, when a jury makes the decision and a judge signs a death warrant, enforcing that lawful decision is the obligation of the executive branch.”
Utah has used the firing squad method in the past, but they stopped making it an option to inmates back in 2004 because it seemed to draw up too much media attention. They are the only state to use a firing squad in an execution in the past 40 years.
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