Speed Reads

Capital Punishment

Utah state Senate passes bill to allow firing squads for executions

On Tuesday, Utah lawmakers approved a bill that would allow executions to take place by firing squad in the event that lethal injection cocktails are unavailable.

The legislation passed in the state Senate 18-10, The Wall Street Journal reports, and is heading to Gov. Gary Herbert (R). There are eight inmates on Utah's death row, and the state does not currently have any of the lethal injection drugs in stock. Before 2004, inmates were given the option to choose the firing squad as their execution method; the last person to select the firing squad was put to death in 2010. The governor's office did not say if he plans to sign the bill. His spokesman, Marty Carpenter, told the WSJ, "This proposal would make sure that those instructed to carry out the lawful order of the court and the carefully deliberated decision of the jury can do so."