- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A proposal to bring the firing squad back to Utah has only a few hurdles left before heading to the governor for approval.

In a close vote on Thursday, state senators gave preliminary approval to the proposal from Rep. Paul Ray, a Clearfield Republican. It would have the state execute prisoners by a firing squad if lethal injection drugs are unavailable.

Senators voted 15 to 12 in favor of the bill. The controversial measure has already been approved by the House and is now awaiting a final vote in the Senate.

Ray argues that the firing squad is a faster and more humane method of punishment and expressed concern about the drug cocktail’s availability in the future.

Opponents say the execution method is cruel, outdated and attracts negative media attention.

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