Utah Is Apparently Trying To Bring Back Firing Squads

PHOTO: REX USA/ITV/POIROT


Utah is one step closer to bringing back firing squads as a means of execution, The Associated Press reportS.

The controversial proposal passed on Friday in the state's House of Representatives with a vote of 39-34, and will next go to the Senate.

But, it almost didn't happen. The original vote was a tie, and three missing lawmakers were called in to cinch the win. GOP Rep. Paul Ray is behind the measure, and he argues that death by firing squad is faster and more humane than lethal injections, according to the AP.

It's a controversial topic with recent news of botched injections that leave inmates suffering.

But, critics say a firing squad is gruesome and archaic way to die. One of the plan's protesters is Randy Gardner of Salt Lake City, whose brother Ronnie Lee Gardner was the last prisoner to be killed by firing squad in 2010. The option of execution by firing squad was eliminated in 2004, but prisoners convicted and sentenced to death prior to that date are allowed to choose firing squad or lethal injection. 

What does the rest of the country think? Last year, an NBC News poll showed that two-thirds of Americans would support an alternative to lethal injections, including 12 percent who said they would back firing squads.

This Forbes piece
breaks down how much cash is spent on the death penalty, pointing out the price of lethal drugs and that just housing death row inmates costs more than housing regular prisoners. Food for thought.
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