posted on May, 23 2003 @ 08:29 PM
The only state that dispatches condemned inmates by firing squad is assembling gunmen for back-to-back executions next month. The Utah Corrections
Department is recruiting law enforcement officers for two five-person firing squads, asking the police departments in the communities where the crimes
were committed to nominate volunteers. The nation's last execution by firing squad was in 1996.
Exercising their right under Utah law, serial killer Roberto Arguelles and Troy Michael Kell, a white supremacist who stabbed a fellow inmate to
death, have chosen the firing squad over lethal injection and are set to die at 12:01 a.m. on June 27 and 28, respectively. Utah's use of firing
squads predates statehood in 1896 and is a remnant of the early Mormon belief that bloodshed is a required punishment for taking a life, said Richard
Dieter, director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which says it is neutral about the death penalty but critical of its application.
"Certainly no other state has continued its use or allowed people to choose it. It's the one thing that stands out," Dieter said. "It's part of
the history, so there's a reluctance to change."
CBS News Report