Nevada Death Row Inmate Asks for Death by Firing Squad Over Lethal Injection if He Is Executed, Lawyer Says | Inside Edition

Nevada Death Row Inmate Asks for Death by Firing Squad Over Lethal Injection if He Is Executed, Lawyer Says

Nevada Death Row Inmate Zane Floyd, 45, seeks firing squad over lethal injection.
Nevada Department of Corrections

The state of Nevada once allowed firing squads in capital punishment sentences but now it uses lethal injection. Currently, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Utah and the U.S. military continue to allow capital punishment by gunfire.

A death row inmate is seeking the firing squad over lethal injection if he is executed which may come as early as June. The last time the method of capital punishment by gunfire was used was in Utah in 2010, according to CBS News.

Zane Michael Floyd, 45, was charged in the mass shooting at a Las Vegas supermarket in June 1999 when he killed four and badly injured a fifth. Floyd’s legal team is trying to challenge the three-drug lethal injection the state wants to use on Floyd, which is a combination of the sedative diazepam, the synthetic painkiller fentanyl, and a paralytic, cisatracurium. But a challenge of the state execution protocol requires the defense to provide an alternative method. They argue that it would be “cruel and unusual punishment and in violation of his constitutional rights,” the news outlet reported.

On Monday, Brad Levenson, a federal public defender representing Floyd said that Floyd does not want to die by lethal injection and argued that if he is put to death gunshots to the brain stem would be “the most humane way," CBS reported. 

"Execution by firing squad ... causes a faster and less painful death than lethal injection," the attorneys said in a court filing Friday.

The state of Nevada once allowed firing squads in capital punishment sentences but now it uses lethal injection. Currently, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Utah and the U.S. military continue to allow capital punishment by gunfire.

In the meantime, Floyd’s attorneys are asking a federal judge in Las Vegas to stop Floyd from being put to death until prison officials “devise a new procedure or procedures to carry out a lawful execution,” CBS reported. 

Last week, Assembly Bill 395, which would consider banning the death penalty, passed the Assembly and is on its way to the Nevada Senate, CBS Las Vegas affiliate KLAS-TV reported. 

Attorney David Anthony, who is part of Floyd's legal team, was involved in the case of Scott Raymond Dozier, whose execution by lethal injection was called off in both 2017 and 2018. Anthony made similar arguments on behalf of Floyd. There had been no resolution at the time since Dozier ended up taking his own life in prison in 2019. 

In November, Floyd appeared to exhaust his federal appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear his case, according to CBS.

At the upcoming June 22 meeting of the Nevada State Pardons Board, Levenson said his client wants a chance to seek clemency, according to CBS.

Floyd would be the first person put to death in Nevada in 15 years. Currently, Nevada has 72 men awaiting execution, according to a state Department of Corrections spokeswoman, CBS reported.

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