WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A law to reinstate firing squad executions in the US state of Utah is a shameful proposal that goes beyond cruel and unusual punishment, Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission member Christopher Wharton told Sputnik.
“As a defense attorney, I think that execution by firing squad is cruel and unusual. But as a citizen of Utah, I find it barbaric and embarrassing,” Wharton said on Thursday.
The legislature’s passage of the firing squad law represents “a step backward for the state of Utah,” Wharton added.
The last execution by firing squad in Utah took place in 2010.
On Tuesday, Utah lawmakers passed a bill that would allow executions to be carried out by firing squads if lethal injection chemicals are unavailable. Utah’s governor must sign the bill for it to become a law.
A lack of supply of lethal injection chemicals in the marketplace is being driven by pharmaceutical companies who are fearful of selling the chemicals because of potential legal liabilities.