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    A watch tower is seen at the Wasatch facility during a media tour Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, at the Utah State Correctional Facility in Draper, Utah. Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday that he's opposed to the idea of allowing a state commission to pick a location to build a new prison instead of leaving the decision with the Legislature.

    Utah ‘Missed Opportunity’ for Dialogue on Death Penalty - Catholic Diocese

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    Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed the Utah Firing Squad Bill into law on Monday. The law stipulates the Utah authorities can execute convicted individuals by firing squads if there are no lethal chemicals available for execution by lethal injection.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US state of Utah Governor Gary Herbert and the state's legislature missed a golden opportunity to have a conversation on whether the death penalty should remain a part of the US criminal justice system, Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City Government Liaison Jean Hill told Sputnik.

    This file photo shows the firing squad execution chamber at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah. Utah's Gov. Gary Herbert will not say if he'll sign a bill to bring back the firing squad but does say the method would give Utah a backup execution method.
    © AP Photo / Trent Nelson, Pool, File
    “[G]overnor Herbert and our legislature missed an opportunity to have the much more important conversation about whether we should even maintain the death penalty as part of our criminal justice system,” Hill said on Tuesday. “The method is barbaric, but the entire concept of state-sanctioned executions as a form of official punishment is even more primitive.”

    Governor Herbert signed the Utah Firing Squad Bill into law on Monday. The law stipulates the Utah authorities can execute convicted individuals by firing squads if there are no lethal chemicals available for execution by lethal injection.

    Hill said the death penalty is about revenge, and Utah should be protecting human life and public safety while not seeking vengeance.

    She also said the new law is not needed anyway, because the next lethal injection execution in Utah is several years away.

    “The time spent debating methods [of execution] could have been much better spent discussing whether a modern state should execute its citizens,” Hill stated.

    Hill expressed hope that instead of sentencing more individuals to die and permitting more firing squads, the Utah government leaders to place a moratorium on future death sentences until US lawmakers are able to completely erode the death penalty away.



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    execution, human rights, death penalty, Utah, United States
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