Lawmakers consider reviving old-fashioned executions
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- With lethal injection drugs in short supply and new questions surfacing about their effectiveness, lawmakers in some death-penalty states are considering bringing back relics of a gruesome past: firing squads, electrocutions and gas chambers.
Most states abandoned those methods more than a generation ago in a bid to make capital punishment more palatable to the public and to a judicial system worried about inflicting cruel and unusual punishments that violate the Constitution.
But to some elected officials, the drug shortages and legal challenges are beginning to make lethal injection seem too vulnerable to complications.
Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin has proposed making firing squads an option. The state's attorney general has suggested rebuilding the gas chamber. A Virginia lawmaker wants to make electrocution an option if drugs aren't available.
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