House Bill 186, signed by Republican Gov. Brad Little, authorizes state prison officials to use a method not used in the country for more than a decade if they are unable to access lethal injections.
People on death row have been convicted of crimes by a jury and legally sentenced to death, Little said in a letter after signing the proposed rule, adding that it is the responsibility of the state of Idaho to follow the law and ensure they are executed.
The territory’s American Civil Liberties Union called the signing of the legislation, which will take effect on July 1, ‘extremely disappointing.’
The association, quoted by the Public Broadcasting Service (NPR), added that while it opposes all forms of capital punishment, firing squads are ‘especially appalling’.
Idaho will become the fifth state to allow firing squads for executions after Mississippi, Oklahoma, Utah and South Carolina, which also authorize the method as an alternative to lethal injection.
The last person to die by firing squad in the United States was convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner, the entity reported, who was executed in a Utah prison in 2010.
Idaho has eight inmates on death row, according to the state Department of Corrections.