Wyoming Firing Squad Bill: A Moral Alternative To Lethal Injection?

A Wyoming firing squad bill, which was sponsored by senator Bruce Burns, was voted down by the Wyoming Senate on Tuesday.

The controversial bill was put forward by the senator mainly due to the fact that states are finding it increasingly harder to obtain the right mix of drugs required for the lethal injection from suppliers.

State law in Wyoming requires the use of legal injections, and the gas chamber as a backup, for inmates on death row. The thinking behind the bill is that Wyoming doesn’t have a gas chamber and as the cost of building one for infrequent executions is high, a firing squad would be wiser.

Burns said: “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.”

So, because they have a firing squad in Utah, senator Burns thinks that Wyoming needs to have one. But is a firing squad moral and acceptable in this day and age?

On the one hand it seems like a pretty primitive and gruesome way to meet your creator, but then again, the wrong lethal injection which may take many minutes to take effect, would also not be a pleasant death.

For the Wyoming firing squad bill to have passed, approval by at least two-thirds of the senators was required. The bill failed on a vote of 17 in favor and 13 opposed.

Senator Burns explained more on Monday about the thinking behind the Wyoming firing squad bill:

“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.”

Do you think the Wyoming firing squad bill is a good one? A moral one? Share your thoughts in the comments feed below.