Idaho governor signs bill to allow execution by firing squad

Idaho Governor Brad Little Saturday signed into law a bill allowing execution by firing squad. With the bill signed, Idaho now permits death by lethal injection or firing squad. The bill states the Director of the Idaho Department of Corrections shall determine whether lethal injection is available. If it is not, then a firing squad shall be used for execution.

Governor Little stated, “While I am signing this bill, it is important to point out that fulfilling justice can and must be done while minimizing the stress on corrections personnel.”

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, there has been a shortage of lethal injection drugs. As a result, states like Idaho are adopting other methods of execution. The shortage began around 2010 when pharmaceutical companies started refusing to supply the injection drugs. They either stated their opposition to the death penalty or did not want their products associated with the executions. Thus, executions by lethal injections have slowed dramatically.

Other states are implementing alternative execution methods. Utah also allows death by firing squad. Tennessee allows use of the electric chair. New Hampshire allows death by hanging if the lethal injections are not available. And most other states are turning to different kinds of drugs. Nebraska uses fentanyl for its injections. Yet other states use various forms of anesthetics and nitrogen hypoxia.