US state of Idaho is bringing back firing squads for death row inmates
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Idaho has voted to reintroduce execution by firing squad as the US state struggles to get its hands on the drugs required to administer lethal injections.
The move has been given the green light by the State Legislature, with the bill passed in the Senate on Monday (March 20) with a 24-11 vote.
The move comes as pharmaceutical companies continue to block the US government from obtaining their products for executions on the grounds that their drugs were designed to save lives, not take them.
One prisoner, AP reports, has already had his execution rescheduled multiple times as Idaho struggled to come up with the drugs needed to perform the deadly procedure.
Now, thanks to the new bill, prisoners in such circumstances could wind up facing the barrel of multiple guns to meet their maker instead.
The bill may have passed though the State Legislature with a majority vote, but that doesn't mean there aren't voices opposing it.
In a 2019 filing, American lawyers cited an expert that detailed just how inhumane death by firing squad can be.
The expert revealed a person can remain conscious for up to 10 seconds.
A death like that would be 'severely painful, especially related to shattering of bone and damage to the spinal cord'.
But according to Republican senator Doug Ricks, who co-sponsored the bill, finding the drugs needed for the green dream may continue 'indefinitely'.
Oh, and he added death by firing squad is a 'humane' way to die, in his view.
"This is a rule of law issue — our criminal system should work and penalties should be exacted," Ricks said as per East Idaho News.
"This is not talking about the merits of whether we should have the death penalty or not."
He added: "This is about justice. I do think this is a humane way to do it."
However fellow Republican senator Dan Foreman wasn't so sure.
"I’ve seen the aftermath of shootings, and it’s psychologically damaging to anybody who witnesses it," he said, as per AP.
"The use of the firing squad is, in my opinion, beneath the dignity of the state of Idaho."
Oklahoma, Utah, Mississippi and South Carolina already have secured death by firing squad as an alternative method of execution.
Utah was the last US state to carry out an execution by firing squad in 2010.