Two Oklahoma death row inmates facing executions offered a firing squad option as a less problematic alternative to the state's three-drug lethal injection, one of their attorneys told a federal judge on Monday, the Associated Press reports. Donald Grant and Gilbert Postelle want U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot to grant them a temporary injunction that would delay their executions until a trial can be held over whether Oklahoma's three-drug lethal injection method is constitutional. A trial is set to begin on Feb. 28, but Grant is scheduled to be put to death on Jan. 27, while Postelle is set for execution on Feb. 17. “While it may be gruesome to look at, we all agree it will be quicker," attorney Jim Stronski told Friot.
Friot hopes to rule by the end of the week. Dr. James Williams, an emergency medicine specialist from Texas who has more than 40,000 hours of emergency room experience and who has studied the use of firing squads, testified that a firing squad involving shots from at least four high-powered rifles to the “cardiac bundle" of the heart would be so quick that an inmate wouldn't feel pain. He said that unlike lethal injection, there is an extremely low likelihood that the execution would be botched. Oklahoma has never used firing squad as a method of executing prisoners, but state law does allow for its use if other methods, like lethal injection, were determined to be unconstitutional or otherwise unavailable. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections does not have execution protocols for any method other than lethal injection.