SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Corrections has released a partially redacted copy of its execution protocol, including the provisions set forth for execution by firing squad.
The firing squad was an option for capital punishment in the state until it was discontinued in 2004 by the Utah Legislature. In 2015, Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Paul Ray of Clearfield, that reinstated the firing squad as an alternative to lethal injection in the executions of inmates sentenced to death.
States are running out of the ingredients that make up a three-part “cocktail” that has been used as the default mode of execution for decades.
In 2009, a U.S. manufacturer stopped producing sodium thiopental, a fast-acting sedative previously used by most states for lethal injections. An alternative, propofol, was considered in Missouri as an alternative, but European manufacturers, in opposition to the death penalty, have refused to sell the drug for use in executions.