Utah Pinoys react to state’s firing squad bill

SALT LAKE CITY  –  At the Utah capitol building last week, lawmakers passed a bill that would make Utah the only state in the country to allow death penalty by firing squad if officials cannot obtain lethal-injection drugs.

Filipino American Justine Tabligan attended the bill’s public hearing and vote and said that the senate focused its discussion on the cost of lethal-injection drugs and the humaneness of execution by firing squad.

“They export drugs from outside America to America, and it costs them shipping. It costs them a lot more money to bring them here,” she said. “They brought up the point that a firing squad is just not humane.”

Gov. Gary Herbert declined to say if he will sign the legislation, and it’s unclear whether the bill will become law.

Utah’s Filipino community is split over the issue. Opponents of the measure point to Philippine history and Dr. Jose Rizal’s execution by firing squad.

“He was shot in the back by a firing squad by the government at the time for his opposition to the Spanish colonization, and so I think looking back to the historic significance of how firing squads are used, I think it’s really a turn back for Utah,” Emilio Camu said.

Others say they’re okay with it depending on the heinousness of the convict’s crime.

“If it was really terrible crimes against children, I have no problem with that because you basically took away something that you can never give back,” Jalda Hobbs said.

Gov. Herbert is expected to make a decision on the firing squad bill later this week. Right now, Utah has eight inmates on death row and no lethal-injection drugs.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • noz
    17 March 2015 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    the predominantly mormons in the state of utah are believers of firing squad as an atonement of their sins. criminals tried in the court beyond reasonable doubts, likewise given the controversial multiple appeals the law allows proving nothing but guilts, deserved the capital punishments the state lawfully passed, be it lethal injections, firing squads or whatever. the bleeding hearts forgot or ignoring the murdered victims of crimes. their focus is the welfare of the living hardcore murderers sentenced to death, that death must be without pain. did these criminals murdered their victims free of pain?.

    • Generoso Magaoay
      17 March 2015 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      noz, it’s the same reason why California Death Penalty is on hold because of the same rationale by the few liberal minded…death must be without pain…i mean the injections is/are too painful…well, at the same time, it’s too expensive and draining state budget. But check this out, it was a political strategy used by those who want to run for office that they would bring back the death penalty (as if we do not know some facts: cost?)…easier said than done but it is painful to execute any hard core criminal who would brutally (understatement) murder anyone…