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Saturday, October 31, 2015
Fire Squad: Utah Inmate To Be Executed By Firing Squad
Cold world. Inmate Ron Lafferty is approaching a death sentence and how he chose he wanted to go out is…different. Hit the jump.
Yikes. When Utah inmate Ron Lafferty was arrested and received the death penalty thirty years ago for murdering his sister-in-law, Brenda Lafferty and her baby daughter, he checked the box that said “death by fire squad”. Lafferty claimed the killings were orders from God because of the resistance Brenda was showing to his beliefs in polygamy. Utah is the only state in the country who offers this option, but is only sought after if lethal injections drugs are unavailable.
Lawmakers state the use of a firing squad for execution is only a back-up plan for lethal injection drugs that have come under severe scrutiny. Lafferty, now 74, is going back on his decision and is trying to appeal to the court to not get lit up on his way out of this world. He is stating that the execution would be “cruel and unusual punishment”, and would cause a lingering/unnecessarily painful death. No argument there.
Lafferty’s lawyers are now busy with trying to convince the court that their client was not legally competent to make such a decision back in 1984. U.S. District Judge Dee Benson penned in his ruling that the U.S. Supreme Court has never overturned a state’s chosen method of execution as cruel and unusual. Although he did state Lafferty is still able to press his claims in Utah state court.
Lafferty is actually the longest serving death row inmate in Utah and is the closest one to getting an execution date. Ron Lafferty’s firing squad topic came in a federal court motion appealing to a judge to put his case on the back burner, while he pursues complaints about evidence handling and testimony. Arguments against capital punishment are common in death penalty appeals. But if Utah reintroduces it as a backup plan, it could put the idea under a magnifying glass even more so.