Georgia death row inmate demands execution by firing squad as lethal injection would cause 'excruciating pain'
Michael Wade Nance filed a lawsuit against Gwinnett County noting how death by a firing squad would be 'both swift and virtually painless'
GWINNETT COUNTY, GEORGIA: A death row inmate is now suing the state's prison system in an attempt to get a firing squad for his execution as his veins are allegedly too hard to find and death by lethal injection would result in excruciating pain.
The prisoner, Michael Wade Nance, submitted the lawsuit to Gwinnett County, addressing how for him death by a firing squad would be 'both swift and virtually painless.'
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, his lawsuit said: "Evidence and recent experience strongly suggest that the firing squad is significantly more reliable than lethal injection."
In 2002, Nance was sentenced to death for killing 43-year-old Gabor Balogh by fatally shooting him after he refused to turn his car over to Nance, who had at the time just robbed the Tucker Federal Savings and Loan in Lilburn.
Nance's appeals are reportedly in their final stages, with the filings' submission to the US Supreme Court under a deadline of February 12.
According to the lawsuit, Nance's veins are 'severely compromised' and also significantly difficult to locate. If a lethal injected is administered on him, that poses a substantial risk that the veins would lose its hold, causing the pentobarbital used in lethal injection to leak into surrounding tissue. It explains that this entire experience would lead to a 'prolonged execution that will produce excruciating pain.'
For several years now, Nance has also been on increased dosages of a drug for relief from his chronic back pain. That drug is also believed to have altered his brain chemistry, which could lead to the lethal injection-drug's effectiveness to be compromised, which would lead to more pain for Nance.
At the time of the lawsuit being notified on Friday, Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter said: "If he needs a firing squad, then let him have it. It's certainly a unique request."
Execution by firing squads was stopped in the state of Georgia by 1924; that was the time they started using electric chairs. When the latter was also ruled unconstitutional in 2001, lethal injection became the legal method in Georgia.
In 2017, another Georgia death-row inmate called JW Ledford Jr had requested a firing squad to be used on him as well, and he too was using the same drug that Nance has been for his back pain. His request was however not granted and he was put to death via lethal injection.
The last firing squad execution took place back in 2010 in Utah.