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Wyoming Sen. Burns: Firing squads ‘cheaper’ than gas chamber

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Executing prisoners on death row has entered the budget-cutting conversation of lawmakers in Wyoming. Republican State Sen. Bruce Burns wants to save money by using firing squads and plans to introduce legislation next month to make firing squads legal.

Burns said:

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. 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.

Alternate execution methods have become an issue for states with the death penalty because the availability of lethal injection drugs is dwindling.

Although Burns supports the death penalty for prisoners, he also supports right-to-life legislation, according to his voting record in the state legislature. Favoring death for adults but protection for the unborn raises provocative questions regarding the role of government in life and death decisions.

Death by firing squad is the least used form of execution for death row prisoners, in states that have the death penalty.

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