State Considers Execution By Firing Squad

One day after a controversial lethal injection case in Ohio put the death penalty in crosshairs, another set of state lawmakers have proposed legislation that would allow execution by firing squad.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported Friday that Missouri's HB 1470 puts that option on the table. State Rep. Paul Fitzwater (R-Potosi) told the paper that he cosponsored the legislation with the victims in mind.

“People look at inmates who will be executed as victims,” Fitzwater said. “But the real victims have no voice because they are gone.”

The Missouri bill arrives alongside that Ohio execution, which saw Dennis McGuire suffer through a 26-minute infusion of chemicals into his body. According to the AP, that was the longest of 53 executions in Ohio since the state reinstated capital punishment in 1999.

McGuire's son, also named Dennis, told the AP that the death process was torture, adding that "nobody deserves to go through that."

Back on Monday, a Wyoming lawmaker also came out in support of execution by firing squad. Sen. Bruce Burns (R-Sheridan) said that choice should be available in cases where constitutional problems or other issues would prevent lethal injection from being an option.

"One of the reasons I chose firing squad as opposed to any other form of execution is because frankly it's one of the cheapest for the state," Burns said. "The expense of building a gas chamber I think would be prohibitive when you consider how many people would be executed by it, and even the cost of gallows."



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