Mississippi lawmakers propose bill allowing execution by firing squad

[JURIST] Mississippi lawmakers [official website] on Saturday reintroduced a bill [text] that would allow for execution by firing squad as an alternative to lethal injection. Attorney General Jim Hood [official website] stated [press release] earlier this year that he planned on pursuing alternatives to lethal injection for the death penalty in the state. He stated in earlier March [press release] that he supports the bill's reconsideration and passage through the senate. According to the Death Penalty Information Center [advocacy website], Utah [fact sheet] is the only state that has executed someone by firing squad since the resumption of the death penalty.

Capital punishment [JURIST op-ed] remains a controversial issue in the US. This week a Missouri state judge ordered [JURIST report] the Missouri Department of Corrections to disclose the source of the execution drug used by the state in order to comply with the Missouri sunshine law. Last week the Supreme Court of Ohio ruled [JURIST report] that the state can execute a man whose execution was halted in 2009 after a failed attempt to administer lethal injection drugs. Earlier in March Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a bill [JURIST report] revamping the state's death penalty law. The changes are in response to the US Supreme Court ruling in January that the state's previous sentencing scheme was unconstitutional [JURIST report]. In February the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rejected [JURIST report] a Georgia death row inmate's legal challenge to the death penalty. In January Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood stated that he plans to ask lawmakers to approve the firing squad, electrocution or nitrogen gas as alternate methods of execution if the state prohibits lethal injection [JURIST report].

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