Mississippi Advances Bill to Bring Back Firing Squad Executions

Death by firing squad and the gas chamber are now being considered as new execution methods in Mississippi.

Currently, the only execution method in the state is lethal injection, but a shortage of drugs has led lawmakers to propose new options.

The bill has passed the state’s House and will now move on to the Senate for further consideration.

The state currently has 47 people on death row, but a scarcity of the current execution drug means the last death by lethal injection was carried out in 2012.

There are 33 states in America with the death penalty, all of which have lethal injection as their primary method of execution.

Oklahoma and Utah also have firing squad as an option, eight states have electrocution as an option, five have gas chamber as an option, and three have hanging as an option.

“I have a constituent whose daughter was raped and killed 25 years ago and the person is still awaiting execution,” said House Judiciary B Chairman Andy Gipson, as reported by the Clarion Ledger. “If we want to have the death penalty, this bill will give us options.”

The state had a gas chamber installed in 1954 to replace the electric chair. For the next 34 years, 35 other death row inmates would meet their fate this way.

In the early 1980s, Mississippi amended the capital punishment law to include lethal injection but did not remove the gas chamber option until 1998.