The Mississippi Senate voted in favor of adding more ways to carry out the death penalty, reported Jurist. House Bill 638 , which passed in the Mississippi House of Representatives on February 8, would expand Mississippi's methods of execution to include firing squad, gas chamber and electrocution in case the courts rule lethal injection unconstitutional. The Senate rejected the firing squad option but retained the options of gas chamber and electrocution. The amended bill has been sent back to the House.
The death penalty has been a pressing issue across the country. Last month the Supreme Court denied review in a death penalty case. A week earlier the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a death row inmate over racial bias. Also in February a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio refused to lift a preliminary injunction that delays executions in Ohio. In January Judge Michael Merz rejected Ohio's lethal injection protocol by deeming it unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment. Also in January the US Supreme Court refused to consider a challenge to Alabama's death penalty system. In December a report by the Death Penalty Information Center found that the use of capital punishment in the US is at a 20-year low.
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