With the current issues states seem to be having acquiring the proper drugs for lethal injection based executions we’ve seen several bills introduced over the last couple of years to bring back the firing squad as a form of capital punishment. However, until now those bills haven’t really moved too much.
Last week, the Utah State House voted to approve a bill that would allow state executions to be carried out by firing squad.
According to Fox News:
A hotly contested proposal that resurrects Utah’s use of firing squads to carry out executions narrowly passed a key vote Friday in the state’s Legislature after three missing lawmakers were summoned to break a tie vote.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 39-34 Friday morning to approve the measure, sending it to an uncertain fate in the state’s GOP-controlled Senate. Leaders in that chamber have thus far declined to say if they’ll support it, and Utah’s Republican Gov. Gary Herbert won’t say if he’ll sign it.
Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, a Republican from Sandy, again declined to tell reporters on Friday if he’d support it.
Supporters of the bill point out that this bill merely gives the state more options to carry out existing law. “This bill, first of all, is not a debate on whether or not to have the death penalty,” bill sponsor Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, said in the beginning of the floor debate. “The state of Utah has adopted the death penalty, and in doing so we have to have a means of carrying it out.”
The bill would only allow the use of the firing squad if drugs were unavailable for lethal injection at the time of a scheduled execution.