By David Aaro
Published January 13, 2020
A death row inmate in Georgia has sued the state's prison system, saying he should be executed by firing squad instead of lethal injection because his veins are narrow and the latter method would cause him "excruciating pain," according to a lawsuit filed by the inmate's attorney.
Michael Wade Nance was sentenced to death in 2002 for fatally shooting a man who refused to hand over his car during a bank robbery in Lilburn, Ga., according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The lawsuit said Nance's veins are "severely compromised" and difficult to locate, adding there's a possibility they would lose their integrity and leak the pentobarbital -- the drug used in lethal injections -- into the surrounding tissue.
“Execution by firing squad is both swift and virtually painless,” the lawsuit said. “Evidence and recent experience strongly suggest that the firing squad is significantly more reliable than lethal injection.”
Nance has also been taking drugs for back pain, which the lawsuit said has altered his brain chemistry and could disrupt the effectiveness of pentobarbital, leading to even more pain, according to the outlet. It would create a “prolonged execution that will produce excruciating pain,” the lawsuit said.
Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter was notified on the request on Friday, calling it "unique."
“If he needs a firing squad, then let him have it,” Porter said.
The Georgia State Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lori Benoit said the agency does not comment on pending litigation, according to the outlet.
The firing squad is an alternate method of execution that has been employed three times since 1976, according to deathpenaltyinfo.org. Only Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah offer firing squad as a method of execution, the organization added.
Ronnie Lee Gardner, a Utah inmate convicted of murder back in 1985, was the last person to be executed by firing squad. He was executed on June 18, 2010, after choosing it over lethal injection, according to the Tennessean.
In July, Attorney General Bill Barr said the federal government would resume capital punishment and execute five inmates on death row for the first time in 15 years.