Utah lawmaker: Bring back firing squad executions


In the wake of a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma last month, a Utah lawmaker says he believes a firing squad is a more humane form of execution. And he plans to bring back that option for criminals sentenced to death in his state.

Rep. Paul Ray, a Republican from the northern Utah city of Clearfield, plans to introduce his proposal during Utah's next legislative session in January. Lawmakers in Wyoming and Missouri floated similar ideas this year, but both efforts stalled. Ray, however, may succeed. Utah already has a tradition of execution by firing squad, with five police officers using .30-caliber Winchester rifles to execute Ronnie Lee Gardner in 2010, the last execution by rifle to be held in the state.

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Ray argues the controversial method may seem more palatable now, especially as states struggle to maneuver lawsuits and drug shortages that have complicated lethal injections.

"It sounds like the Wild West, but it's probably the most humane way to kill somebody," Ray said.

Utah eliminated execution by firing squad in 2004, citing the excessive media attention it gave inmates. But those sentenced to death before that date still had the option of choosing it, which is how Gardner ended up standing in front of five armed Utah police officers. Gardner was sentenced to death for fatally shooting a Salt Lake City attorney in 1985 while trying to escape from a courthouse.

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  • Oops, RFB-Mod,  I didn't phrase that right. For Presidents & Congressmen charged with treason, I meant for them to hang by the neck until dead from Friday till Sunday, so America can get a good look at them for their scandals, and other politicians would surely think twice...

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  • Yes, a firing squad would be instantaneous death & should certainly be used for Congressmen & Presidents involved in Treason. The gallows should be erected right at the Capitol Building, and when executed, let it be on a Friday evening, and the body taken down on Sunday morning. Seeing Traitors "swinging-in-the-breeze" would be a powerful deterrent to those that destroy our Liberty!

  • The old Soviet Union had a method that might work for us, i.e., one pistol round to the back of the head, hose the tile down, then bill the dead guys family for the bullet.

  • Personally, I don't give a s*** if it humane or not. Just get them off the planet. Or how about we execute them in the same way they murdered their victims? Is that justice or not?

  • Friends,  Being a Disabled combat Vietnam Veteran: 68-70, it is my humble opinion that a firing squad would be the MOST HUMANE, simple, economic way, to prosecute the death penalty.   If I had to die that way, it would be most merciful !!  The KJV Bible certainly supports the death penalty, whether it be stoning, or striking off the head with a sword.  But ONLY after the word of TWO WITNESSES should a person be given that penalty, or the confessed crime of the offender.   And the God of the Bible will soon Judge us all, not  too long from now after the Anti-Christ arrives on the worldly scene, and the Rapture.  'DON'T GO TO HEAVEN ALONE....  take someone with you !'     Please visit my humble blog:  TOM'S JOURNAL.

  • I agree with that.  That way it's quick and you get more death row inmates gone.  Why house and feed them?

  • The Firing Squad is the most economical method next to Hanging.  This country has allowed itself to become to PC.  We need to go back to the Victims having more rights than the Criminals!

    That is why Evil and Corruption is so rampant in this country, we have turned our backs on God  and his laws and we have allowed Politicians who lack character and intregity to be elected and stay in office way past their time of usefulness.  We need to purge all Politicians and replace them with Statesmen and term limits.


  • Obama should be the first sentence to death by firing squad. Send he out west for a trial. More appropriate would be to hang the criminal by the neck until his neck is snapped.

  • How does one suffer when one is unconscious? And who cares if these scum bags suffer anyway?

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