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Firing Squad Bill To Be Introduced In The Wyoming Legislature


The Senate Judiciary Committee will introduce a new bill to the Wyoming Legislature this January that would offer death by firing squad as an execution alternative.

Five legal execution methods exist in the United States: lethal injection, electric chair, hanging, gas chamber, and firing squad. Currently, no one is on Wyoming’s Death Row. But if an inmate were to be executed, the state would use lethal injection with the gas chamber as a backup.

Senator Bruce Burns of Sheridan was the bill’s initial sponsor. He says lethal injection drugs are difficult to get ahold of nationwide, and that Wyoming’s gas chamber is broken and could take millions of dollars to fix. This bill would give the option of using firing squads in place of the gas chamber.

In addition to implementing the firing squad as the secondary form of execution, Burns says the bill would allow executives to be carried out more efficiently.

“It also allows the secondary form of execution to be used if the first form cannot be carried out in a timely fashion.”

Despite the outcome of his bill, Burns says it’s already initiated some conversation. “It has also provoked a debate on the death penalty, and Wyoming using the death penalty, in the first place,” Burns says. “And I welcome the debate."

Senator Burns says the firing squad is cheaper and more reliable than most of the other methods.

Erin Jones is Wyoming Public Radio's cultural affairs producer, as well as the host and senior producer of HumaNature. She began her audio career as an intern in the Wyoming Public Radio newsroom, and has reported on issues ranging from wild horse euthanization programs to the future of liberal arts in universities. Her audio work has been featured on WHYY Philadelphia’s The Pulse and the podcast Out There.
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