Idaho Republican Attorney General Raul Labrador told Newsmax he supports a controversial bill to revive firing squad executions of condemned inmates when the state can't get lethal-injection drugs.
"I do support it, and just to be clear, the governor has not signed it into law yet, and I think he should sign it into law. However, it's obviously his decision to decide whether he wants to agree with the legislature or not on this very important decision," Labrador said Thursday during an appearance on "National Report." "It's a very difficult decision for people to make, but right now we have a law in the state of Idaho that requires execution in cases of the most horrible crimes that have been committed in Idaho.
"We have several people on death row that are waiting pending execution and as you know, activists around the United States have tried to make it very difficult to obtain the chemicals that are necessary to carry out these executions, so what this bill does is gives an alternative in case the state cannot use lethal injection," he added.
Idaho Republican Gov. Brad Little has voiced his support for the death penalty but generally does not comment on legislation before he signs or vetoes it.
Firing squads will be used only if the state cannot obtain the drugs needed for lethal injections — and one death row inmate has already had his scheduled execution postponed multiple times because of drug scarcity.
The move by Idaho lawmakers is in line with those by other states that in recent years have scrambled to revive older methods of execution because of difficulties obtaining drugs required for longstanding lethal injection programs. Pharmaceutical companies increasingly have barred executioners from using their drugs, saying they were meant to save lives, not take them.
Labrador said there should be an alternative method of execution: "I think we've had a debate in the state of Idaho over that there should be a method of execution and the people have, through their representatives, said that there should be, in essence, an alternative method of execution.
"What we have is a moratorium on the death penalty in Idaho, and if that's what the people of Idaho wish to have, they can have that discussion in the legislature. They can go through the legislative process, but right now we don't have one and we have a virtual or, in essence, a de facto moratorium in Idaho and I think that's not what the people of Idaho want."
"We have some very horrible criminals that have been executed that have been put on death row, they have committed just the most violent horrible crimes against people in Idaho and I think their families deserve to know that that that justice will be carried out," he said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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Solange Reyner ✉
Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.
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