24 March 2015 - Utah to resume firing squad executions
Utah to resume use of firing squad for executions
Staff (BBC News)
Utah will resume the use of firing squads to carry out the death penalty when lethal injections drugs are not available.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the measure into law on Monday.
The move makes Utah the only US state to use firing squads as a method of execution.
Some US states are considering alternative execution methods as they struggle to obtain lethal injection drugs amid a nationwide shortage.
Drug inventories dwindled after European manufacturers opposed to capital punishment refused to sell the lethal concoctions.
Kim Bellware (The Huffington Post)
The bill easily passed both chambers of the state legislature. Herbert deliberated for about a week before he signed it.
"It's not our preference, but we need to have a fallback," Herbert said during a news conference last week, according to NBC News.
Utah was the last state to execute an inmate by firing squad. On Friday, the governor's staff met with Randy Gardner, whose brother, Ronnie Lee Gardner, was the last Utah inmate executed by firing squad in 2010, The Associated Press reported. Randy Gardner reportedly told the governor's staff he opposed bringing back the firing squad and recalled the pain of seeing his brother's body "riddled with bullet holes."
Pros and cons
The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Paul Ray of Clearfield, argued that a team of trained marksmen is faster and more decent than the drawn-out deaths involved when lethal injections go awry — or even if they go as planned.
Though Utah's next execution is probably a few years away, Ray said wants to settle on a backup method now so authorities are not racing to find a solution if the drug shortage drags on. Ray didn't return messages seeking comment Monday.
Opponents of the measure say firing squads are barbaric, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah saying the bill makes the state "look backward and backwoods."
Agencies (The Guardian)
Pope Francis says nothing can justify the use of the death penalty, and there is no “right” way to humanely kill another person.
Pope Francis blasts life sentences as ‘hidden death penalty’
Francis outlined the Catholic church’s opposition to capital punishment in a letter to the International Commission against the Death Penalty, a group of former government officials, jurists and others who had an audience with him at the Vatican on Friday.
The pope wrote that the principle of legitimate personal defense isn’t adequate justification to execute someone. “When the death penalty is applied, it is not for a current act of aggression, but rather for an act committed in the past.”
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"24 March 2015 - Utah to resume firing squad executions", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), mars 2015. Consulté le 07/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/24-march-2015-utah-to-resume-firing-squad-executions