The state of Utah just reinstated execution by firing squads by way of a bill signed Monday, CNN reports.
Gov. Gary R. Herbert, who signed the bill, said in a statement that lethal injection will remain the “primary method for carrying out executions in the state.” Surprisingly, firing squads were permitted in Utah until as late as 2004.
“Those who voiced opposition to this bill are primarily arguing against capital punishment in general and that decision has already been made in our state,” said Marty Carpenter, a spokesman for Herbert.
“We regret anyone ever commits the heinous crime of aggravated murder to merit the death penalty and we prefer to use our primary method of lethal injection when such a sentence is issued. However, when a jury makes the decision and a judge signs a death warrant, enforcing that lawful decision is the obligation of the executive branch,” he said.
The last execution by firing squad in the nation was in 2010, which was also the most recent for Utah. According to CNN, inmates who chose that method before the law was changed were granted a firing squad after the practice was banned.
The Huffington Post, citing a report from the Death Penalty Information Center, writes that “eight other states have the electric chair as an alternative protocol, four have the gas chamber, and three permit hanging.”
These methods, while brutal, may soon be implemented nationwide — due to the lack of lethal injection drugs nationwide, many states are considering alternative execution methods, including the practices above.