Governor signs law making Utah only state with firing squad

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s governor has signed a law that makes his state the only one to allow firing squads for carrying out executions if no lethal injection drugs are available.

Gov. Gary Herbert signed the bill Monday. He has said he finds the method “a little bit gruesome,” but that it gives the state a fallback execution method.

The measure’s approval illustrates the frustration of some states over bungled executions and shortages of lethal-injection drugs. Utah is one of several seeking new forms of capital punishment after a botched Oklahoma lethal injection last year.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Paul Ray of Clearfield, touted the firing squad as a more humane form of execution.

Opponents say it’s barbaric and makes the state look bad.

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