Three inmates are bound to be executed by a firing squad in Utah. The execution will be the first of its kind since the method was reinstated in 2015 by Gov. Gary Herbert.
The three inmates have been identified as Taberon Dave Honie, Troy Michael Kell, and Ralph Leroy Menzies. Unfortunately, the three of them have been opted for the firing squad instead of the more traditional lethal injection of sodium thiopental and potassium chloride.
It turns out that they are all guilty of murder, with Honie also guilty of raping his ex-girlfriend’s mother in front of her grandchildren. Their execution dates have not yet been set.
Utah has reintroduced execution by the firing squad in the middle of a national debate over the death penalty. The method was brought back in part because of a nationwide shortage of lethal injection drugs after several companies said they would stop selling them to states using them for capital punishment.
Sometime this month, Arkansas pledged to execute eight of its inmates on death row before a sedative it uses for executions expires. As of Friday, four have been killed.
Back in March, the Utah Department of Corrections released part of its technical manual for the execution process. The technical manual indicates how individuals who volunteer to be in the firing squad must first complete three rehearsals, be licensed law enforcement officers and pass a firearms proficiency test.
The states of Oklahoma and Utah are the only two states with a firing squad option for death row inmates. The Lawmakers in Oklahoma also introduced a method where the condemned wears a mask that is pumped with nitrogen gas until the inmate dies from oxygen deprivation.
Some states, like Mississippi and South Carolina, have introduced bills to bring back older, alternative methods, like the electric chair, because of drug shortages that have been in use.