Death Penalty

Utah Officials OK Execution by Firing Squad

A death row inmate who wants to be executed by firing squad will get his wish, Utah officials say.

Michael Archuleta, who is scheduled to be executed April 5 for the 1988 murder of a 28-year-old college student, has chosen a firing squad over lethal injection, KSL TV reports.

And Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says the state will honor the condemned man’s request.

“The courts have held that the method of execution is the choice, if there is a choice…of the condemned man,” Shurtleff told the station.

At the time of his sentencing, Archuleta chose to be executed by lethal injection. But he changed his mind in 1994, when he still had the option, of choosing a firing squad instead. And although the state has since done away with firing squads, his request will be honored, Shurtleff says.

Archuleta is one of five death row inmates who chose to be executed by firing squad before the law was changed in 2004. The last person to face a firing squad in Utah was Ronnie Lee Gardner, who was executed in 2010.

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