Utah’s Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee approved a proposal Wednesday by a 9-2 vote that would make the firing squad the primary method for carrying out capital punishment if lethal injection was not an option.
Rep. Paul Ray (R) told the Salt Lake Tribune the company that produces the drug cocktail used in lethal injections is opposed to the death penalty and will not sell them in the United States, so the state would need to use a firing squad as an alternative method.
Ray called firing squads “one of the most humane ways to execute someone.”
Three people have been killed by a firing squad in the United States since 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Utah is one of two states where it is legal, although only for inmates who selected execution by firing squad before May 3, 2004. Oklahoma also has firing squad as well as lethal injection and electrocution.
In April, an Oklahoma man died 43 minutes after his execution with lethal injection began, which President Obama called “deeply troubling.” The Utah bill comes in response to the “botched” Oklahoma case, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The bill will head to the Utah legislature for its 2015 session.