Utah Lawmaker Wants To Bring Back Firing Squads

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By KMVT News

Salt Lake City, Utah (CNN) A state legislator in Utah is planning to propose legislation to bring back firing squads as an execution method.

Republican Representative Paul Ray says the firing squad is a more humane way of executing criminals.

His comments come on the heels of a botched lethal injection execution in Oklahoma in April.

Ray tells CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield that the firing squad would also give the state a way to deal with other issues surrounding lethal injection drugs.

"In Utah, our last execution was actually in 2010, which was a firing squad. So, it's something that we've used here in Utah in the past. And it's been upheld by the Supreme Court as a means to do this, and with the problems that we're having currently with the drug cocktail and lethal injection and the access to it, it makes sense to have a back up. And that's what this would be. Just a back up. We're going to try lethal injection. If we're challenged in court, if we can't get the drug cocktail, if something doesn't work, then we can move right over to the firing squad and have that as an option just in case," Ray explains.

Firing squads were outlawed in the state in 2004, but inmates sentenced before then still had the option of choosing the execution method.

Opponents of firing squads say they don't believe they are a more humane way to execute criminals and say bringing them back would be a step backward.


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