Death Penalty


Governor Gary Herbert shifted much of the blame for Utah’s Medicaid expansion stalemate on inherent flaws in the Affordable Care Act.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for Death Row prisoners to continue being executed by lethal injection. It’s a case that’s been watched in Utah, where the use of firing squads is a backup method of execution.

Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, is drafting legislation that, if passed, would punish child traffickers with the death penalty.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Death penalty opponent and Roman Catholic nun Helen Prejean was in Salt Lake City for a public lecture Tuesday evening at Westminster College. The author of “Dead Man Walking” also met with students for a luncheon.

Lawmakers in Utah Senate passed a bill Tuesday night that would allow execution by firing squad if lethal injection drugs are not available. It now heads to Governor Gary Herbert for his approval. 

Brian Grimmett

A bill that would bring back the firing squad as an execution option for inmates on death row moved through its first hurdle in the Utah Senate Thursday.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr Creative Commons

  House lawmakers narrowly passed a bill Friday to expand the state’s authority to use firing squads for executions.

Brian Grimmett

A legislative committee has given its approval to a bill that would bring back the firing squad as an option for inmates on death row.

The drugs used in the lethal injection cocktail are manufactured by a European company that is refusing to sell it to Utah and other states. Rep. Paul Ray, R - Clearfield, says his proposed bill making the firing squad a fall back option is a preventative measure in case the state does not have or cannot buy the drugs the next time they need them.

Bryan William Jones |

A Utah legislator plans to run a bill that would bring back the firing squad as an option for Utah inmates sentenced to death. Since 2004 Utah inmates sentenced to death have had only one option for their execution: death by lethal injection. But Republican Representative Paul Ray says that could soon pose an issue for the state as it is becoming harder to obtain the specific drugs needed to create the injection and any new formula could be challenged in court.