Utah Seeks Firing Squad Marksmen For Two Convicts

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Utah is seeking marksmen to execute two death row prisoners who have asked to be executed by firing squad. The New York Times reports that Utah, Iaho and Oklahoma are the only three states where execution by a team of riflemen is available as an alternative to lethal injection.

The Utah Corrections Department has appealed to law enforcement agencies near the state prison in the town of Draper and in areas where the two men committed their crimes. Two of the six prisoners executed in Utah since the Supreme Court allowed reinstatement of capital punishment in 1976 have chosen to die in a hail of bullets from a team of state-sanctioned riflemen: Gary Mark Gilmore in 1977 and John Albert Taylor in 1996.

Now the state, one of 38 that allow capital punishment, has received the same request from Troy Michael Kell, a white supremacist who stabbed a black prison inmate to death in 1994, and Roberto Arguelles, who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and killing three teenage girls and a 42-year-old woman in 1992. Arguelles may be executed on June 28.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/29/national/29UTAH.html

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