Death Penalty State Round-up: UT and OK legislatures adopt “new” DP methods

In the last month, 2 states legislatures have passed “new” methods of capital punishment, and they will before the governors of those 2 states :

  • “Lawmakers in Utah voted on Tuesday to bring back executions by firing squad if lethal injections are unavailable, which would make it the only state in the country to permit the practice…

    Republican state Representative Paul Ray of Clearfield, the bill’s sponsor, said someone executed by gunfire typically dies in three to five seconds. “It’s a quick bleed-out,” he said…The last person to be executed in Utah by firing squad was Ronnie Lee Gardner in 2010. Gardner was convicted of murdering a lawyer inside a Salt Lake City courthouse in 1985.”

    Utah to bring back firing squad if lethal injections unavailable, Reuters, 3/10/2015

  • “The Oklahoma Senate has passed SB 794 making nitrogen asphyxiation an authorized method of execution in the event that the primary method, lethal injection, “is held unconstitutional … or is otherwise unavailable ….”

    The [Senate] vote was 45-0…. The House passed the same bill as HB 1879 [by a vote of 85-10].”

    Oklahoma Senate Unanimously Passes Nitrogen Bill,, 3/11/15
    Apparently, nitrogen hypoxia is similar to what pilots at high altitudes can encounter when oxygen supplies diminish, and it has been described as humane, painless and easy to administer.

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