Florida Republican House member Brad Drake says he was sitting in Waffle House eating lunch in his North Florida district not too long ago when he heard some customers complaining about problems with the lethal injection cocktail that the state uses to execute people.
Two weeks ago the state executed Manuel Valle, who was convicted of killing a police officer 33 years ago. He became the first Florida inmate executed using the sedative pentobarbital as part of the lethal injection. The state recently changed its execution system to include the sedative, which is intended to render the inmate unconscious.
But Drake said that, after discussing the issue with his constituents, he felt like it was time to be proactive while the debate continued about the medical cocktail. He decided then and there that "We’ll just set them before a firing squad or we’ll fire up Old Sparky again," referring to the term used to describe executions in Florida before they were halted in 2000 after two different prisoners had flames shooting out of their heads while they sat on the electric chair.
So on Tuesday, Drake introduced HB 325, which would bring back either executions or firing squads as a method of executing death row prisoners.