At the request of a United States federal judge, two sentenced to death in Oklahoma they asked be executed by firing squad, in order to postpone his execution by lethal injection and avoid suffering, one of the prisoners’ lawyers informed the judge.
The two prisoners, Donald Grant and Gilbert Postelle, asked Judge Stephen Friot to temporarily suspend their executions until a judgment can be made on whether the method used by Oklahoma to apply the death penalty, of inject three toxins into the prisoner, is constitutional.
A trial on the issue should begin on February 28, chaired by Friot, but the magistrate has clarified that, to consider the complaint, the complainants must offer an alternative method of execution.
A chair for execution in a US prison
Grant and Postelle had so far not proposed another method of dying. Their execution dates are January 27 and February 17, respectively.
«While it seems grotesque, we agree that it will be a quicker death », Attorney Jim Stronski told Judge Friot after a hearing in Oklahoma City.
The execution, less painful?
Almost thirty people sentenced to death Those taking part in the lawsuit had previously agreed to present options in their methods of execution, such as different combinations of drugs or by firing squad, one of the methods of execution authorized by Oklahoma law.
Friot did not issue a decision Monday, but said he hopes to issue an order by the end of the week.
Sequence of the execution of Severino Di Giovanni in Argentina (General Archive of the Nation / AGN).
«There are a lot of questions on this issue that I have to ponder,» Friot said.
Among the experts who testified was Dr. James Williams, who has more than 40,000 hours of experience as an emergency room physician in Texas and who has carefully studied the use of firing squads.
Williams, who was shot in the chest, testified that, if a prisoner is shot with four shots to the heart area, death would come so fast that the prisoner would feel no pain. He added that, unlike lethal injections, there is very little chance that an execution fails.
This is the stretcher on which the lethal injection is applied in the United States
Oklahoma has never used shooting as a method of execution, but current law allows it if other methods, such as lethal injections, are deemed unconstitutional or otherwise unenforceable.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections currently does not have protocols for any type of execution other than lethal injections.