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Tags: idaho | raul labrador | prisons | firing squads

Idaho AG to Newsmax: Firing Squad Law Ends Execution Moratorium

By    |   Wednesday, 29 March 2023 05:36 PM EDT

Idaho's new law allowing fire squad executions will end the "de facto moratorium" that's been going on in the state because of the difficulties in obtaining drugs that are used in lethal injections, state Attorney General Raul Labrador said on Newsmax Wednesday. 

"The state of Idaho already has capital punishment and the only form of capital punishment in the state of Idaho has been through lethal injection," the Republican official told Newsmax's "John Bachman Now." "This is just giving us an alternative to lethal injection, and I think it's also going to encourage this state of Idaho to try a little bit harder to obtain the lethal injection protocols and chemicals that are necessary."

Republican Gov. Brad Little signed the bill into law last week after the state Legislature passed it on March 20 with a veto-proof majority. The new law allows firing squads to be used only if the state cannot obtain the drugs needed for lethal injections. 

Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly barring state executions from obtaining their drugs, saying they are meant to save lives, not end them. 

The lack of drugs has caused delays in the executions of several Idaho prisoners, including one whose execution has been postponed repeatedly. 

There has been an outcry against the use of firing squads, but Labrador told Newsmax that there have been firing squad executions since the United States began. 

Four other states have firing squad executions; and in Idaho, one inmate has requested to be put to death by shooting as he doesn't want to die by lethal injection, he added.

"We're not saying that a firing squad is the first course of action," said Labrador. "We're saying that if in the alternative, if we cannot find the lethal injection chemicals, that firing squads will be an option for the state of Idaho."

There is a national debate about whether the death penalty works as a deterrent for crime, but Raul said he thinks the sentence works for victims' families.

"I think when they know that justice has been served, when they know the person incredibly damaged their family, and abused and harmed family members, I think for them, this is why we do it," said Labrador. "Some of it is for retribution; some of it is for deterrence. I think that lethal injection or other forms of capital punishment are for retribution, so their families can feel better about what happened and they can feel that the state has looked out for their interests."

But it is not the inmate's choice about how he or she will be executed, said Labrador. 

"The bill is pretty clear that the first choice for the state of Idaho is lethal injection; and if we cannot find the chemicals, then there will be an alternative and that alternative will be firing squads," he said.

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Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Idaho's new law allowing fire squad executions will end the "de facto moratorium" that's been going on in the state because of the difficulties in obtaining drugs that are used in lethal injections, state Attorney General Raul Labrador said on Newsmax Wednesday.
idaho, raul labrador, prisons, firing squads
518
2023-36-29
Wednesday, 29 March 2023 05:36 PM
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