Utah Looks At Bringing Back Firing Squads

World War 1 Firing Squad – Serbia

Wouldn’t it make sense just to eliminate the death penalty altogether?

Utah Representative Paul Ray, a Republican, sponsored a bill passed this week by the Utah Legislature that would reinstate firing squads if the state cannot track down lethal injection drugs.

Lethal injection drugs have been hard to come by, since European nations have banned their sale to the U.S. The E.U. has abolished the death penalty.

The Chicago Tribune says that Pharmaceutical companies such as Lake Forest-based Hospira have been pushed by activists and overseas regulators to move to keep their drugs from being co-opted in the executioners’ cocktails. “The well is running dry,” states the Tribune.

According to The Tribune, just in the last week:

•Texas’ pantry is quite nearly bare. The state reportedly is left with a single dose of pentobarbital because European manufacturers of the anesthetic are prohibited from allowing it to be used by prisons.

•Georgia postponed its first execution of a woman in 70 years because the blend to be injected appeared unusually cloudy.

•And, of course, Utah’s legislature sent the governor a bill that would authorize the return of firing squads when the state can’t get its hands on the requisite toxins.

A woman who was married to a bailiff who was injured during a courthouse shooting three decades ago in Utah says she supports Utah’s efforts to bring back the firing squad, writes fox2now.com.

VelDean Kirk witnessed the 2010 firing squad execution of Ronnie Lee Gardner. He was convicted of killing two men and wounding Kirk’s husband, Nick Kirk, during a courthouse escape attempt in 1985 in Salt Lake City.

VelDean Kirk says the firing squad wasn’t inhumane at all.

She shares the opinion of state Representative Ray, who introduced the bill.

Obviously, there are no shortage of ways to end a life and there are various drug cocktails that that can be administered to do so.

But according to the Chicago Tribune, American executions must meet certain standards or run afoul of the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

More here

(Updated post)

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