Idaho is poised to allow firing squads to execute condemned inmates when the state can’t get lethal-injection drugs, under a bill the Legislature passed with a veto-proof majority, reported The Associated Press.
Firing squads will be used only if the state cannot obtain the drugs needed for lethal injections — and one death row inmate has already had his scheduled execution postponed multiple times because of drug scarcity.
The move by Idaho lawmakers is in line with those by other states that in recent years have scrambled to revive older methods of execution because of difficulties obtaining drugs required for longstanding lethal injection programs. Pharmaceutical companies increasingly have barred executioners from using their drugs, saying they were meant to save lives, not take them.
Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little has voiced his support for the death penalty but generally does not comment on legislation before he signs or vetoes it.Only Mississippi, Utah, Oklahoma and South Carolina currently have laws allowing firing squads if other execution methods are unavailable, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. South Carolina’s law is on hold pending the outcome of a legal challenge.