Idaho will allow firing squads to execute death row inmates amid a nationwide shortage of lethal injection drugs.
As supplies of the needed drugs dwindle, more and more drug companies are banning prisons from using the drugs to kill inmates.
Idaho now in Mississippi, Utah, Oklahoma stateand south carolina A firing squad is allowed to carry out a death sentence if other execution techniques are not available.
The South Carolina law is on hold pending a legal challenge, but the Idaho bill passed the state Legislature earlier this week and was signed by Republican Gov. Brad Little.
Mr Little said: “As I sign this bill, it is important to say that justice can and must be achieved by minimizing the stress on correctional officers.
“In the case of death row inmates, a jury finds them guilty and they are sentenced to death according to the law.”
Georgia death row inmates allowed to call for firing squad instead of lethal injection
But Senator Dan Foreman, also a Republican, called the firing squad executions “detrimental to the dignity of the nation.”
He said they would have harmed the executioner, witnesses and clean-up crews.
Jeff Tewalt, director of the state’s Department of Prisons, said he was reluctant to ask workers to participate.
The department also estimated that it would cost $750,000 (£613,000) to build or remodel the death chamber.
How does Death Squad work?
The death penalty has been an option in Utah since it was brought back to Utah in 2015.
Prisoners sit on chairs in front of a wooden plank that is placed between stacks of sandbags that keep bullets from bouncing around the room.
A target was pinned to the prisoner’s heart. The shooter targets the chest rather than the head because it is a larger target and usually results in a quicker death.
Five shooters stood about 25 feet (8 meters) from the chairs, aiming their .30-caliber Winchester rifles at a gap in the wall. Assuming they hit their target, the heart would burst and the prisoner would bled to death quickly.
The shooter is selected from a pool of volunteer officers, with preference given to those from the area where the crime occurred.
The shooters, who have been identified anonymously, loaded one of their rifles with blanks, so no one knows which officer killed the inmate.
In 2010, Ronnie Lee Gardner was pronounced dead two minutes after he was shot in a Utah state prison. He was the last person in the United States to be killed by a firing squad.
electric chair and nitrogen
Federal executions put on hold since 2021 by president’s order joe bidenAttorneys general, states can enforce.
Drug supply issues have already led some states to consider non-firing squad methods.
This includes refurbishing electric chairs, Although a judge ruled last year that they amounted to torturealthough Alabama built a system that hasn’t been tried yet Used to kill humans using nitrogen-induced hypoxia.
Mr. Biden pledged during the 2020 campaign to work toward abolishing the death penalty nationwide, but has refrained from emphasizing the issue since becoming president.