In light of shortages and decreased access to the standard lethal injection drugs, Utah lawmakers passed a bill that would allow executions by firing squad. While it’s unclear whether Governor Gary Herbert will approve the law, this first attempt by a state to reenact firing squad executions ignites some healthy debate.
Proponents argue firing squads offer a more humane death for the executed than the lengthy lethal injection process, pointing to the typically quick bleed-out rate. That premise relies, though, on predictions about shot accuracy and striking a vital organ. Those for the measure contend that it’s a more reliable and accessible route than the still questionable experimental new avenues for lethal injection drugs.
This contention, though, gives opponents an opportunity to enter the dialogue. Inaccuracy still looms when a gun is fired. Furthermore, they contend that firing squads are an inhumane throwback to an uncivilized era that will be a black mark on states that adopt this measure.
Supplies of lethal injection drugs are running low since the European suppliers stopped providing the United States with the drugs previously used. Oklahoma gained the national spotlight when the tedious execution of Clayton Lockett proceeded despite recommendations to stay until the newer drugs could be further tested. The drawn out and painful death of the condemned fueled the fires for capital punishment opponents and has Oklahoma on the path to approve nitrogen gas executions.
The debate over capital punishment expands now from the fundamental question of “if” to a new consideration of how. With measures in the works to halt the use of lethal injection, states seeking to proceed with scheduled executions bring to the forefront alternatives to execution as opposed to any ban on capital punishment. Changes in method present a new challenge and point of interest in an already heated debate.
Jeff Krigel is an attorney in Tulsa who focuses his practice on criminal defense. The Jeff Krigel Law firm is a full-service Oklahoma law firm dedicated to achieving your legal goals in a competent, trusting, and result oriented manner. The firm is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and handles criminal defense, as well as other legal matters in all Oklahoma Counties. If you have been accused of a crime, it is important to seek the help of a qualified attorney. We offer free consultations and have payment plans available. There is no reason not speak with someone regarding your case. If you have questions regarding your specific criminal case, call for a free consultation. 918-994-2340