The US Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a prisoner sentenced to death could be executed by firing squad.
Michael Nance, a 61-year-old man who was sentenced to death in 2002, had gone to court with a request to be shot. There is no execution date yet.
Nance was sentenced to death in Georgia, a state where only lethal injection is used.
The convict argued that the lethal injection could cause excessive suffering because his veins are in poor condition and “not suitable for intravenous access”, according to press reports on the case. He claimed that because he uses medicine for chronic back pain, there is a greater risk that the anesthesia will not render him unconscious while performing.
By five votes to four, the Supreme Court granted his request. which challenges the Georgia protocol based on federal civil rights law.
The US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the convict. — Photo: BBC
The high court accepted the argument that death row inmates have the right to be executed by whatever method is valid in a state other than the one in which they were sentenced. This paves the way for other death row inmates in the US to file similar lawsuits.
Nance was convicted of killing a passerby after robbing a bank in 1993.
The firing squad is a valid method of execution in only four states: South Carolina, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah. It is the primary method only in South Carolina, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
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In 2017, defendant JW “Boy” Ledford Jr., sentenced to death in Georgia, asked to be shot to death, but his request was rejected in court. He received the lethal injection.
This method is the most common in the 27 states that have the death penalty. Fifteen of them, including Georgia, use only execution by lethal injection.
This text was originally published at https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/internacional-61921533