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Legislative Committee to Consider Firing Squad Bill

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Amy Richards/Townsquare Media

The Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Judciary Interim Committee will consider a draft bill that would allow the state to use firing squad as a method of execution during their next meeting later this month. Current law requires Wyoming to use lethal injection as a primary method of execution, but allows use of the gas chamber as a backup. But the state doesn’t have a gas chamber to use. Officials told the committee there is a nationwide shortage of the drugs used in lethal injections.

The bill draft states that a firing squad would only be used if the execution of the sentence of death by lethal injections is held unconstitutional or if the “sentencing court finds execution by lethal injection cannot be performed within the time prescribed by law.”

The national shortage of drugs used in lethal injections stems from the European drug manufacturers who produce ingredients for the three-drug cocktail most states use. The European Union, which opposes the death penalty, had threatened to limit exports of one drug if it was to be used in executions.

The committee is scheduled to meet July 17-18 in Newcastle.

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