April 24, 2014

State legislator discusses filing firing squad legislation

The state representative who has proposed Missouri add the use of firing squads to its methods of execution says he’s doing it for the families of victims that want justice to be served. 

Representative Rick Brattin (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Representative Rick Brattin (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Representative Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville) says he’s already been contacted by the mother of a murder victim who thanked him for filing the bill.

Missouri law currently allows the Department of Corrections to execute prisoners using lethal gas or lethal injection. The state’s gas chamber is not functional and Corrections officials have encountered much-publicized issues in recent years trying to acquire lethal injection drugs.

Brattin says he wanted to add another option.

See the legislation, HB 1470

“If we had to utilize the death penalty and we could not administer the lethal injection, what’s something we could quickly still administer the execution,” says Brattin. “I think the firing squad would … be the quickest and most effective way to do that.”

Brattin doesn’t think a death by firing squad would be cruel or unusual.

“I would almost say the lethal injection is more inhumane rather than instantanious death by firing squad,” he says, noting the execution by lethal injection of Dennis McGuire in Ohio on Thursday took more than 15 minutes.

His proposal would have the director of the department of corrections select five law enforcement officers to make up the firing squad if that is the method of execution to be used.

Listen to an interview with Rick Brattin, 8:15