Crime

Mississippi Wants To Bring Back Old Ways Of Execution

| by Ray Brown

Mississippi lawmakers are advancing a proposal to execute people in ways other than lethal injection to get around restrictions imposed on lethal injection drugs.

House Bill 638 would allow the state to execute people by firing squad, electrocution, and the gas chamber. And according to Republican House Judiciary B Committee Chairman Andy Gipson, it's a response to "liberal, left-wing radicals," reported The Associated Press.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, 33 states with the death penalty all use lethal injection as the primary method of execution.

But anti-death penalty activists have sought to restrict the use of lethal injection drugs through an array of lawsuits around the country.

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Even pharmaceutical giant Pfizer prohibited use of its drugs for lethal injections.

"Pfizer makes its products to enhance and save the lives of the patients we serve," the company said in a May 2016 statement. "Consistent with these values, Pfizer strongly objects to the use of its products as lethal injections for capital punishment."

Mississippi, meanwhile, hasn't been able to execute any of its 47 death row inmates since 2012 because of legal entanglements over lethal injection drugs.

"I have a constituent whose daughter was raped and killed by a serial killer over 25 years ago and that person's still waiting for the death penalty. The family is still waiting for justice," said Gipson.

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But Jim Craig, an attorney who is suing Mississippi over lethal injection drugs, told the AP on that each of the new execution proposals will be challenged in court.

"Every single one, in essence, just injects a whole new series of issues in the existing case," Craig said. 

Sources: Associated Press, Pfizer / Photo credit: Nesnad/Wikimedia Commons

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