It is being reported that Utah has just announced that it will be using firing squads to carry out death sentences for three convicts. This makes Utah the second state after Oklahoma to permit the use of firing squads in the wake of a shortage of chemicals used in the administration of lethal injections.
Several of the companies that produce chemicals used in lethal injections have refused to sell their products to states on medical ethics grounds. The chemicals have non lethal medical applications as well.
Utah reinstated the use of firing squads in 2015 after several companies that produce drugs used in lethal injections began refusing to sell them to state departments of corrections on medical ethics grounds.
Taborn Dave Honie, Troy Michael Kell and Ralph Leroy Menzies will be the first three inmates put to death under the reinstated method.
All three men were allowed to choose between different methods and opted for death by firing squad over lethal injection. All three were convicted of murder, while Honie had also been convicted of rape as well. Their executions dates have not yet been determined.
The medications used in lethal injections is produced by only a handful of companies, some of which are located in countries that do not permit capital punishment. In recent years, these firms have argued that it goes against medical ethics to allow their drugs to be used in executions, and have voluntarily severely limited or halted the sale of these drugs to state corrections departments.
Oklahoma and Utah have brought back the use of firing squads to allow them to continue carrying out death sentences. Oklahoma has also produced a system by which condemned are forced to breath nitrogen gas until they succumb to asphyxiation. South Carolina and Mississippi have legislation pending to reinstate the electric chair.
Since 1992, The Innocence Project has exonerated three hundred and forty three people across the United States who were wrongfully convicted, included more than twenty who were given death sentences. Their efforts have also led to the correct identification of more than one hundred and forty actual perpetrators. READ MORE