Utah Governor Signs Law Authorizing Firing Squads


Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a law making firing squads the state’s back-up method of execution whenever the state is unable to obtain drugs needed to perform lethal injections, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. The Republican signed the firing-squad bill despite international attention on the state as it becomes alone in allowing that method of execution. (Oklahoma authorizes execution by firing squad only if lethal injection and electrocution are found unconstitutional.) “Those who voiced opposition to this bill are primarily arguing against capital punishment in general and that decision has already been made in our state,” said Herbert spokesman Marty Carpenter. Utah is one of 32 states with the death penalty.

Foreign manufacturers of drugs used in lethal injections have tried to block their use for executions in the United States. Some states that tried their own deadly cocktails instead have botched executions, with inmates sometimes taking hours to die. Utah had nine inmates on death row as of last fall.

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