State Rep. Paul Ray (R) sponsored the bill, which keeps lethal injections as the primary means of execution, as is the case nationwide. However, this bill now allows condemned inmates will be killed by a firing squad if “the state is unable to lawfully obtain the substance or substances necessary” for a lethal injection at least 30 days before the execution date.
Utah had the firing squad until 2004, when it banned the practice for all inmates except those who picked the method before it was outlawed. It was also the last state to execute somebody that way, killing Ronnie Lee Gardner with a firing squad in 2010.
So far, the only state to make an official change has been Tennessee. Last year, that state did a version of what Utah may do, only with the electric chair. While the electric chair was an option for inmates convicted before 2000, it is now the backup if lethal injection is not available.