Criminal Justice

Florida Lawmaker Wants to Bring Back Firing Squads, Electric Chair


A Florida lawmaker who thinks death row inmates facing lethal injection are getting off too easily has filed legislation to bring back firing squads and the electric chair.

Rep. Brad Drake (R-Eucheeanna), the bill’s sponsor, says the idea came to him during a coffee house conversation with a constituent over the Sept. 28 execution of death row inmate Manuel Valle, who unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of the drug cocktail used to execute him.

Drake says a lethal injection basically allows a person to die in his sleep, while a firing squad or electrocution would force death row inmates to think about their punishment “every morning,” the Associated Press reports.

“I just don’t think they should be able to get off that easily,” he says.

Florida first began using the electric chair in 1924. Before then, most executions were carried out by hanging.

But the state switched to lethal injection in 2000, after several botched executions raised concerns about the constitutionality of the electric chair.

Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, says Drake’s bill, if passed, would be an “embarrassment” for the state.

“Given all that former members of the Florida Supreme Court and the American Bar Association have said about Florida’s broken death penalty system, including the nation’s highest number of exonerations, this would be embarrassing–if our legislature were capable of embarrassment.”

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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