Wyoming Firing Squad To Execute Condemned Inmates Is Rejected

Wednesday, 12 Feb 2014 08:41 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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The idea of using firing squads to execute condemned inmates lost by four votes in the state Senate in Wyoming where lethal injection is the method laid out in state law, with the gas chamber as a backup.

The sponsor of the proposed firing squad bill, Republican state Sen. Bruce Burns, said states have had trouble getting drugs for lethal injection.

Wyoming doesn't have a gas chamber and he questioned the expense of building one for infrequent executions, according to The Associated Press.

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The bill would have required approval by two-thirds of senators for introduction. It failed Tuesday on a vote of 17 in favor, 13 opposed.

Wyoming has one inmate on death row. Dale Wayne Eaton is appealing the death sentence he received in 2004 in the rape and murder of 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmell of Billings, Mont.

In 2010, a death row inmate in Utah who had used a gun to fatally shoot two men suffered the same as he was executed by a team of marksmen — the first time Utah used the firing squad to carry out a death sentence in 14 years.

He was the third man to die by firing squad since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.

The five executioners, certified police officers who volunteered for the task and remain anonymous, stood about 25 feet away, behind a wall cut with a gunport, and were armed with matching .30-caliber Winchester rifles. One was loaded with a blank so no one knows who fired the fatal shot.

Gary Gilmore famously uttered the last words "Let's do it" on Jan. 17, 1977, when a Utah firing squad executed him.

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