Listen Live on  
 

KTRH

Houston's News, Weather & Traffic Station
 
 

Firing Squad Instead of Lethal Injection?

 
Firing Squad Instead of Lethal Injection?
Posted May 20th, 2014 @ 4:23am by KTRH's Nik Rajkovic

A lawmaker in Utah suggests bringing back the firing squad after last month's botched lethal injection in Oklahoma.

Clayton Lockett's vein collapsed and he died of a heart attack more than 40 minutes later.

Here in Texas, state Sen. John Whitmire who chairs the Criminal Justice Committee, asks why fix something in Huntsville that so far hasn't broken?

“If that's what Utah wants to do, go for it,” says the Houston Democrat.  “But I don't see it being discussed seriously here in Texas.”

Utah did away with the firing squad in 2004, though an inmate convicted before that decision chose the method of execution as recently as 2010.

Republican state Rep. Paul Ray believes a firing squad is a more humane form of execution.  However, Utah state records show even that was botched in 1897 when it took 27 minutes for one inmate to die.

Some death penalty proponents believe nitrogen gas is the most humane procedure.  They say the gas is lethal when breathed directly through a mask, but dissipates when released into the atmosphere.

“You're not going to convince those who are opposed to the death penalty that there's a more humane way to do it,” Whitmire tells KTRH News.  “So then it gets down to are you for the death penalty or against the death penalty?”

Whitmire says a majority of Texans are for it, and Huntsville so far has been fortunate not to have an incident like what happened in Oklahoma.  Though he says it's not entirely uncommon.

“So many inmates have used heroin or other drugs, so a vein may be hard to identify or even strong enough,” he says.

Legal experts say a firing squad would be challenged in court as cruel and unusual punishment.

 

Recommended Stories

*