Mississippi could sidestep lawsuits with other execution methods

Published: Jan. 26, 2017 at 11:30 AM CST
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Mississippi, facing repeated court challenges to lethal injection and the difficulty of finding drugs for executions, could start looking at alternative ways to carry out the death penalty.

A state House committee Thursday approved legislation to explicitly legalize the current drugs Mississippi plans to use to execute death row inmates.

The bill also calls for other methods of execution, including the gas chamber, the firing squad and the electric chair, as backup methods of execution.

Lethal injection is currently the sole method of execution in Mississippi. But the state has been tripped up by lawsuits that claim the drugs violate the constitutional prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment. No executions have been carried out since 2012.

The bill moves to the House for more debate.