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Utah Lawmakers Vote to Reinstate Death by Firing Squad

FILE - The firing squad execution chamber at the Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah.

Lawmakers in the U.S. state of Utah have approved legislation that would allow a death row inmate to be killed by firing squad if the proper drugs for lethal injection are not available.

The state Senate passed the measure on Tuesday, but it must still be signed by the state governor to become law.

Proponents of the proposed law say death by firing squad is a more humane way to execute someone than lethal injection. Complicating the matter is a recent shortage of the drugs needed for lethal injections.

Recently, several inmates in other states have experienced painful execution attempts due to botched injections and new drug combinations.

But critics of the firing squad method say it is a cruel throwback to the violent days before Utah and its neighbors were states, when the land was still pioneer territory known as "the wild west."

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