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Common Dreams

In Wake of Botched Execution, Lawmaker Says 'Bring Back Firing Squads'

Rep. Paul Ray said that death by firing squad is "probably the most humane way to kill somebody."

Photo: codepinkphoenix/cc/flickr

The botched execution last month of an Oklahoma inmate prompted widespread outrage over the secrecy of drugs used and the brutality of lethal injection.

A United Nations human rights official also cited the "apparent cruelty" in the executions of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett and Ohio inmate Dennis McGuire as "reinforc[ing] the argument that authorities across the United States should impose an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty and work for abolition of this cruel and inhuman practice."

For one Utah Republican lawmaker, however, it's a sign the nation should not abolish the practice but turn towards a more "humane" way of state-sanctioned killing: firing squads.


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The Associated Press reported that Rep. Paul Ray said that death by firing squad is "probably the most humane way to kill somebody."

"It sounds draconian. It sounds really bad, but the minute the bullet hits your heart, you're dead. There's no suffering," Ray said.

He's putting forth the proposal in the state's next legislative session in January, and, according to AP, it "may succeed."

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