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Wyoming firing squad? No, says state senate. (+video)

Wyoming firing squad bill: Wyoming currently uses lethal injection to execute criminals, with a gas chamber as a backup. But logistical problems – like Wyoming not having any gas chambers – prompted a bill to consider death by firing squad. 

By Associated Press / February 11, 2014


CHEYENNE, Wyo.

The Wyoming Senate has voted not to consider a bill to allow the use of firing squads to execute condemned inmates.

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Lethal injection is the method laid out in state law, with the gas chamber as a backup.

The bill's sponsor, Republican state Sen. Bruce Burns, says 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.

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.

But Wyoming isn't alone in considering firing squads. The issue was brought up in Missouri, too.

"This isn't an attempt to time-warp back into the 1850s or the wild, wild West or anything like that," said Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin, who this month proposed making firing squads an option for executions. "It's just that I foresee a problem, and I'm trying to come up with a solution that will be the most humane yet most economical for our state."

Brattin, a Republican, said questions about the injection drugs are sure to end up in court, delaying executions and forcing states to examine alternatives. It's not fair, he said, for relatives of murder victims to wait years, even decades, to see justice served while lawmakers and judges debate execution methods

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