The Associated Press
Idaho Governor Brad Little, a Republican, has signed into law a law allowing death row inmates to be executed by firing squad, becoming the latest state to resort to old methods of capital punishment amid shortages of lethal injection drugs. that are all over the country.
The legislature approved the measure on March 20 by a veto-proof majority.
The law provides for resorting to the squad only if the state fails to obtain the substances necessary for lethal injection.
A chair in the Utah State Prison execution chamber on June 18, 2010, after Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed by firing squad in Draper, Utah. Trent Nelson / AP
The number of pharmaceutical companies banning the use of their products for executions has been on the rise in recent years, on the grounds that their intent is to save lives.
The execution of a convict in Idaho has been repeatedly postponed due to a lack of drugs.
Other states in recent years have resorted to old methods of execution.
Mississippi, Utah, Oklahoma and South Carolina have adopted firing squad if no other methods are available, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
The South Carolina law is on hold for legal action.
Some states have retrofitted their electric chairs in case drugs are not available.
Others have studied—and in some cases used—implementation methods that had not been tried.
In 2018, Nevada executed inmate Carey Dean Moore with an unprecedented combination that included the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.
Alabama has built a device to execute people with nitrogen gas to cause hypoxia (lack of oxygen in the body), but it has not yet been used.
[A 19-year-old from Missouri will not be allowed to watch her father's execution by a judge's decision. “I am heartbroken,” she laments]
[A 19-year-old from Missouri will not be allowed to watch her father's execution by a judge's decision.
“I am heartbroken,” she laments]
“In signing this law, it is important to note that justice can and should be served by minimizing stress on prison staff,” the Idaho governor said in a letter.
“For those on death row, a jury found them guilty of crimes and legally sentenced them to death.
It is the responsibility of the state of Idaho to enforce the law and ensure that legitimate criminal convictions are carried out,” he noted.
During a historic series of 13 executions in the final months of Donald Trump's presidency, the federal government turned to the sedative pentobarbital as a replacement for the deadly drugs used in the 2000s. It then issued a protocol allowing squads firing squad for federal executions if necessary, but that method was not used.
Two inmates escape from prison by digging with a toothbrush
March 23, 202301:21
Some lawyers for federal inmates who were ultimately executed argued in court that firing squads would actually be quicker and less painful than pentobarbital, which they say causes a sensation similar to drowning.
However, in a 2019 filing, lawyers for the federal government quoted an expert as saying that someone shot can remain conscious for 10 seconds and that it would be "severely painful, especially related to bone breakage and spinal cord damage." .
President Joe Biden's attorney general, Merrick Garland, has ordered a temporary pause on federal executions in 2021 while the Justice Department reviews protocols.
Garland did not say how long the moratorium will last.