Saturday, 15 May 2021

Death row killer asks to be executed by firing squad instead of lethal injection

A death row killer in the US has asked to be executed by firing squad instead of the lethal injection.

Murderer Zane Michael Floyd is set to become the first person put to death in the state of Nevada in 15 years in June.

His attorney insists "this is not a delaying tactic" despite a number of legal challenges aimed at slowing down or halting his possible execution.

Firing squad is an execution method rarely used in the United States with only four criminals killed that way since 1960, all in the state of Utah.

Floyd has convicted of killing four people and injuring one other in a mass shooting at a supermarket in Las Vegas in June 1999.

His legal team is now challenging the state of Nevada's plan to use a proposed three-drug lethal injection to kill the mass murderer, but the challenge requires him to propose an alternative execution method.

Mr Levenson said gunshots to the brain would be "the most humane way", claiming the use of lethal injection is in violation of his client's constitutional rights.

The court filing said: "Execution by firing squad causes a faster and less painful death than lethal injection."

Nevada once allowed the use of firing squads, but state law now requires the use of the lethal injection in sentences of capital punishment.

Floyd is due to be executed using a cocktail of the drugs midazolam, cisatracurium and fentanyl.

Fentanyl kills by suppressing respiration, meaning Floyd would effectively suffocate while supposedly feeling no pain.

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But some who have survived fentanyl overdoses have described how distressing the sensation is.

The 45-year-old would be the first person executed in Nevada since 2006 when Daryl Mack asked to put to death for his conviction in a 1988 rape and murder in Reno.

In 2018, Nevada attempted to kill Scott Raymond Dozier. The planned execution was controversial because the combination of drugs to be used, the same which are set to be used on Floyd, were untested.

Dozier killed himself in prison the following year before his execution could be carried out.

The firing squad is still the preferred execution method in some countries, including Indonesia, the UAE and Somalia.

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