Utah, the state with the lowest per student spending and that just voted down funding for teachers and schools but allows concealed carry without a permit, has reinstated the firing squad as a means of execution in the event that legal drugs are unavailable.
There are several methods of lethal injections. Utah implements the three-drug method which includes Sodium Thiopental or Pentobarbital (anesthetics), Pancuronium Bromide or Pavulon (to induce muscle paralysis and respiratory arrest) and Potassium Chloride (to induce cardiac arrest). According to the Death Penalty Information Center, there has indeed been shortages of some of these drugs and other methods (like lethal dose of anesthesia) have been implemented–but not firing squad.
Utah now joins Oklahoma as the only two states in the country that allow death by firing squad. A similar proposal died in the Wyoming Legislature earlier this month. Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the bill into law admitting that it is “a little bit gruesome” but insisted that since Utah is a capital punishment state that there needs to be a backup in place in case there is a shortage of drugs for lethal injections.
Fox13, Salt Lake City, reports that Governor Herbert states:
We regret anyone ever commits the heinous crime of aggravated murder to merit the death penalty and we prefer to use our primary method of lethal injection when such a sentence is issued. However, when a jury makes the decision and a judge signs a death warrant, enforcing the lawful decision is the obligation of the executive branch.
Utah Department of corrections says that they currently do not have any drugs to perform lethal injections and that firing squad is only a backup method.
The State of Utah has 13 death row inmates. If they do not choose a method of execution, lethal injection is chosen for them. 3 of the inmates chose firing squad. 2 have been waiting since 1996 and 1 since 1988.
WATCH a debate about firing squads here, courtesy of Fox News:
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