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March 30, 2016

Mississippi Gov supporting state legislative effort to use firing squads as back-up execution method

A helpful reader alerted me to this local article from Mississippi headlined "Governor Bryant supports firing squad bill."  Here are the details:

The Mississippi House wants to allow the state prisons to execute prisoners using a firing squad if officials decide lethal injection is too expensive or unavailable.

Governor Phil Bryant voiced his support of the bill. “If the senate passes a firing squad bill, I’ll certainly sign it. My belief is we need to carry out a capital punishment that when the courts say that it’s necessary; and if it takes a firing squad we’ll do exactly that,” said Governor Bryant.

The house amended the bill Friday before passing it. It will now go back to the senate for more work. Attorney General Jim Hood has asked lawmakers to approve alternate execution methods such as electrocution, the use of nitrogen gas as well as the firing squad.

As long time readers surely know, I have been urging states to seriously explore alternatives to lethal injection for the better part of a decade: in this December 2006 post, for example, I flagged an discussion of various new and old execution procedures that might be explored suggested that "states interested in continuing to employ the death penalty should start exploring alternatives to lethal injection." I suppose I am pleased to hear leaders in Mississippi have come around, but there sure seems to have been a whole lot of capital justice delayed in that state and many others because of a failure of states to seriously explore alternative execution methods.

Just a few prior related posts on firing squads and other alternatives over the last decade:

March 30, 2016 at 03:07 PM | Permalink

Comments

Guillotine much more effective; and you get to hold the head up to the crowd!

Posted by: Madame De Farge | Mar 30, 2016 8:00:53 PM

Hang em high! Electrocution is torture. Firing squad makes more sense. It is more manly. Poison through needles in the arm is the meanest and phony way. But killing someone gets you in trouble with Saint Peter when your time comes and you get the interview at the Pearly Gates.
Saint Peter justs asks: "What state you lived in all your life. Texas? You killed a lot."
"But wait Saint Pete. I was just a resident. It was some court that did that execution and some Governor who did not pardon Ray."
"Yeah", the response is, as he pulls the lever to send you to hell. "There ain't no Y'all can exception to the Sixth Commandment. Citizen of a state is a killer if the state kills."

Posted by: Barkin Dog | Mar 31, 2016 9:39:29 AM

Some argue the firing squad would be the best choice on 8A grounds:

https://www.vanderbiltlawreview.org/2016/03/no-clean-hands-in-a-dirty-business-firing-squads-and-the-euphemism-of-evolving-standards-of-decency/

Posted by: Joe | Mar 31, 2016 10:03:12 AM

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