Utah’s decision to turn to the firing squad if it is unable to secure drugs for lethal injection is the latest attempt by a US state to keep alive a punishment that should have long ago been consigned to the history books, said Amnesty International today.
"Whether by shooting, lethal injection, hanging, asphyxiation or electrocution, the death penalty is a cruel, brutalizing and outdated punishment that is a symptom of violence, not a solution to it. The Utah legislature should be expending its energies on abolishing the death penalty, not trying to fix the unfixable," said Rob Freer, USA researcher Amnesty International.
On Monday 23 March, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a law allowing the use of firing squads when the drugs needed to administer the lethal injection was not available.
Amnesty International notes that the USA is the only country in the Americas currently executing prisoners and is one of the only nine countries in the world to have carried out executions every year between 2009 and 2013. The other countries were Bangladesh, China, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen.
Adapted from Amnesty International
Photo: Amnesty International