Fla. lawmaker wants return of firing squad

Oct. 13, 2011 at 10:37 AM
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A Florida legislator says he wants to include the electric chair and firing squads in the state's options for capital punishment.

Rep. Brad Drake, a Republican from Eucheeanna, wants death row inmates to choose among methods of execution, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

Drake introduced his bill following the execution by lethal injection last month of Manuel Valle with a cocktail of drugs never before used in a Florida execution and arguments by activists and doctors that the first drug fails to adequately sedate inmates.

In a statement, Drake said he was tired of the controversy over the proper way to execute someone on death row.

"I say let's end the debate," he said. "We still have Old Sparky. And if that doesn't suit the criminal, then we will provide them a .45 caliber lead cocktail instead."

Anti-death penalty groups have come out against Drake's bill.

"The act of killing a captive prisoner is inhumane no matter how it's carried out," said Mark Elliot of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, based in Tampa.

Drake responded he has grown tired of protests supporting convicted criminals.

"Don't tell me I have to be sympathetic and humane to people who do something so heinous that a judge orders them to be executed," he said.

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