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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida lawmaker wants firing squads for executions



This story from the Florida Current might have it all: a tough-talkin' Southern legislator, a cop-killer, and the final touch: A chat in the local Waffle House that leads to a call to reinstate firing squads (something Utah still does, I think).

A bill filed Tuesday by Rep. Brad Drake, R-Eucheeanna, would allow for executions by firing squad. HB 325 would eliminate Florida's standard method of execution, lethal injection, and allow for executions only by electrocution or firing squad. 

He said he filed the bill after overhearing a conversation in his district this past month while U.S. Supreme Court deliberated over the fate of Manuel Valle, convicted in the 1978 murder of a Coral Gables police officer. Valle's lawyers filed numerous appeals, the last few of which centered around the use of a drug used in lethal injections. 

In a Waffle House in DeFuniak Springs, Drake said he heard a constituent say, "'You know, they ought to just put them in the electric chair or line them up in front of a firing squad.'" After a conversation with the person, Drake, 36, said he decided to file the bill.

"There shouldn't be anything controversial about a .45-caliber bullet. If it were up to me we would just throw them off the Sunshine Skyway bridge and be done with it," Drake said.

-- Marc Caputo, Miami Herald

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 10:03am]


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