Georgia Death Row Inmate Requests Execution by Firing Squad
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
January 13, 2020
A Georgia man who has been convicted of murder and given the death penalty has requested his execution be conducted by a firing squad, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported.
Michael Wade Nance was convicted of murder and sentenced to death for killing Garbor Balogh after Nance robbed the Tucker Federal Bank in Lilburn in 1993. On Wednesday, Nance's attorney's filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Atlanta arguing that the state's preferred method of execution - lethal injection - would cause Nance "excruciating pain" because of the condition of his veins.
According to the complaint, Nance's veins are "unsuitable" for injection because they are difficult to see, "heavily scarred" and have "thin walls." Due to this, Nance's attorney argues that the prisoner's veins could lose their "structural integrity" which could lead to the "leakage of the lethal injection drug into the surrounding tissue."
The lawsuit further states that Nance uses a prescription drug to treat chronic back pain and due to that drug, his brain's chemistry has been altered to the point where the pentobarbital used in the lethal injection mix, may not render him unconscious. Because of Nance's conditions, a lethal injection execution would cause Nance "excruciating pain," which his attorney argues violates Nance's rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments against cruel and unusual punishments.
"There is an alternative method of execution that is feasible and readily implemented which will significantly reduce or eliminate the substantial risk of severe pain to Mr. Nance," with the lawsuit suggesting a firing squad be used instead, because that method is "swift and virtually painless."
Since 1960, there have only been three executions by a firing squad, with the last one occurring in 2010 when Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed in Utah after he was convicted of fatally killing a man during a robbery in 1984.
Execution by firing squad is banned in most states with only three states allowing the method to be used. Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah are the sole remaining states in the union who utilize the method as a secondary method.
Photo: Georgia Department of Corrections