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Idaho lawmakers approve bill that would allow execution by firing squad


Idaho lawmakers approved a bill Monday that would allow execution by firing squad, according to the legislature’s website.

State Rep. Bruce D. Skaug confirmed the move in a statement to CNN.

“H186 has now passed the Idaho Senate and House with a veto proof majority,” Skaug wrote in an email to CNN. “Upon signature of the Governor, the state may now more likely carry out justice, as determined by our judicial system, against those who have committed first degree murder.”

A total of 24 officials voted for the bill, while 11 voted against it.

House Bill 186 will move to Republican Gov. Brad Little’s desk next. CNN has not yet received a comment on the bill from Little.

The bill stipulates that firing squads will be used only if the state cannot obtain the drugs needed for lethal injections. Several states have struggled to source the drugs required for lethal injection, causing them to pause executions and triggering lawsuits from inmates who argue the injections are inhumane.

Additionally, the bill permits Idaho to use firing squads if lethal injections are deemed unconstitutional by a court.

A fiscal note tied to the bill explains that refurbishing the Department of Correction to meet “safety and execution requirements for the firing squad” will cost around $750,000.

If the bill is signed into law, Idaho will follow South Carolina, which approved the usage of firing squads in March 2022. Three other states permit firing squads, according to the Death Penalty Information Center: Mississippi, Utah and Oklahoma.

A firing squad was last used in the US in 2010 to execute convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner in Utah.

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