State Rep. Wants to Ban Lethal Injections, Offer Inmates Choice of Firing Squad or Electrocution

Florida's method of executing death-row inmates by lethal injection is just causing too much controversy, so State Rep. Brad Drake wants to end the practice.

Drake has filed a bill to give the inmates a choice instead -- get shot or get cooked in the electric chair.

"Over the past few weeks there has been much discussion and debate regarding the effectiveness of certain medicines used as preferred method for execution," Drake says in a statement. "So, I say let's end the debate. We still have Old Sparky. And if that doesn't suit the criminal, then we will provide them a .45 caliber lead cocktail instead."


Here's Drake's explanation of why he prefers the old-school methods of killing:

Recently in Florida, doctors and legal experts were petitioning Governor Rick Scott to delay and or not use his executive authority to order execution by using Pentobarbital as one of the three drugs mixed into the lethal injection. They were fearful of extreme suffering of the 61 year old convicted murderer, Manuel Valle.

Valle, a Cuban national, had been on death row for 33 years for killing a law enforcement officer who stopped him for a traffic infringement in Miami back in 1978.

"I am sick and tired of this sensitivity movement for criminals," Drake said. "Every time there is a warranted execution that is about to take place, some man or woman is standing on a corner holding a sign, yelling and screaming for humane treatment. However, I have no desire to humanely respect those that are inhumane."

Although the electric chair has always been an option for death-row inmates in Florida, it hasn't been the biggest hit with those about to die since one man's head may or may not have caught on fire during his execution, and another man's electric chair experience drew blood -- photographs of which ended up in a Florida Supreme Court opinion.

Apparently that's why you can get a .45-caliber bullet in your heart instead.

House Bill 325 was submitted yesterday, just as Gov. Rick Scott signed the second death warrant of his governorship, for 65-year-old Oba Chandler.

The other death-penalty bill in the Florida House is Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda's HB 4051, which would repeal the state's power to impose the death penalty on anyone.

There are currently 395 Florida inmates on death row, and a handful of those people have been there for more than 35 years.

Click here to read the text of Drake's bill.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley