Skip to main content

See also:

Wyoming firing squad: Substitute for lethal injection? Firing bill fails to pass

A Wyoming firing squad legislation has failed to pass this week despite a majority voting in favor of the controversial bill. Formally sponsored by U.S. Senator Bruce Burns, the firing squad bill would effectively act as a substitute form of the death penalty due to recent issues in acquiring drugs necessary for lethal injection. The Inquisitr reveals this Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, that although the contentious form of legislation did not pass in a vote, it nonetheless points to the important realization that death by gunfire is once again being considered here in the U.S. nation.

A sample firing squad photo image
Twitter Photo File, The Inquisitr

The Wyoming firing squad bill was officially voted down upon this Tuesday afternoon by senators, ultimately losing with a final vote of 17 political figures in favor and 13 against it. The fatal legislation has been put forward by Senator Bruce Burns because several states in the U.S. have had difficulty this 2014 procuring the necessary drugs to create a legal cocktail mix used in approved lethal injections. Because a majority of these drugs are purchased in Europe — and European suppliers being against the death penalty — states are having a hard time finding the mix needed for the fatal procedure. As such, gas chambers and firing squads are seen as "substitutes" for the injection.

According to Wyoming state law, a gas chamber is to be used as a backup form of the death penalty in the chance that a lethal injection is not available for use in the case of a condemned death row inmate. However, the reasoning behind the firing squad legislation is that the state of Wyoming does not have an already established gas chamber. Officials are against building a specific gas chamber due to the infrequent number of executions, so a firing squad was thought to be the logical choice.

As stated by U.S. Senate Burns in his recent statement on the death penalty and the potential execution method by gunfire:

“The state of Wyoming doesn’t have a gas chamber currently, an operating gas chamber, so the procedure and expense to build one would be impractical to me. I consider frankly the gas chamber to be cruel and unusual, so I went with firing squad because they also have it in Utah.”

According to the press release on the Wyoming firing squad, the bill is thus put forward with the thinking that the state of Wyoming should have the right to death by firing squad because Utah allows it. However, it raises the question: can a firing squad be taken as a permissible and even moral form of death in U.S. society today?

There are varying opinions, and convincing arguments on both sides. While a firing squad may seem brutal and bloody, it can be a very quick death. Death by lethal injection may appear more humane, but with the lack of prescribed drug cocktail mixes currently being available, it is possible that other drugs would lead to a longer, more painful way of dying for the convicted death row inmate.

“For the Wyoming firing squad bill to have passed official legal approval, it required a minimum of two-thirds’ acceptance from the local senators. However, the bill failed to pass on a still close vote of 17 in favor and 13 opposed.”

What are your thoughts on this controversial matter? Is a firing squad an acceptable substitute means of accomplishing the death penalty?