09 May 2017 :
Firing squads to be used in upcoming Utah executions. 3 death row inmates (Taberon Dave Honie, Troy Michael Kell, and Ralph Leroy Menzies) have all elected to be killed by firing squad, a method that's still on the books as a sort of next resort if execution drugs are unable to be obtained in the appropriate amount of time. As manufacturers of propofol and other execution drugs refuse to sell to states as a stand against the death penalty, death by lethal injection becomes more difficult to pull off. Utah's execution methods are actually quite complicated: in 2004, death by firing squad was overturned, as the Utah legislature cited the amount of attention drawn as creating difficulty for the affected families. Then, in 2015, this was partially changed. Now, if execution drugs are in short supply, firing squads can be used as a backup method. Furthermore, those sentenced to death before 2004 are grandfathered and can decide their execution method, if they so choose, according to the options available at the time of sentencing. Taberon Dave Honie, Troy Michael Kell, and Ralph Leroy Menzies are all current death row inmates who have elected to die by firing squad. Although execution dates have not been set, many of them have been imprisoned for several decades. Some argue that firing squads disallow us to be detached from the real matter at hand: the taking of a human life. For this reason, some death penalty abolitionists see firing squads as the easiest way of changing public opinion. The gruesome nature of firing squads reminds us that execution isn't some sanitized, near-medical procedure done by a phlebotomist in a dimmed room, but rather the killing of a human being. Hopefully, as Utah's firing squads are examined further, people will begin to realize that our repugnant idea of justice needs to be reformed.