Mississippi considers firing squad execution method in response to lawsuits by 'liberal, left-wing radicals'

Politicians in Mississippi are advancing a proposal to add firing squad, electrocution and gas chamber as execution methods in case a court blocks the use of lethal injection drugs.

Republican representative Andy Gipson said House Bill 638 is a response to lawsuits by "liberal, left-wing radicals".

The bill passed the House amid opposition on Wednesday, and moves to the senate.

Lethal injection is Mississippi's only execution method.

The state faces lawsuits claiming the drugs it plans to use would violate constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment.

Mississippi has not been able to acquire the execution drugs it once used, and it last carried out an execution in 2012.

The Death Penalty Information Centre said of the 33 US states with the death penalty, only Oklahoma and Utah have firing squad as an option.

- AP

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