The method of execution by a firing squad has been said to date back to the year 1608. Gary Gilmore was the first to be killed, in 1976, after the moratorium by a firing squad in Utah. The only other recent execution done in this matter was that of John Albert Taylor in 1996, also in Utah. In Idaho, Utah, and Oklahoma, execution by a firing squad is still offered but as secondary method.

When a condemned is executed by a firing squad, he is usually placed on a chair with a strap across his waist and head. A hood is placed over his head and a doctor locates the heart. The heart is then marked as a target for the shooters. The five shooters aim at the target, one having a blank round. All five shoot at the victim at the same time, so no one truly knows who had the blanked round. When the target is hit, the heart ruptures causing the body to react and eventually leading to death.

Head, Tom. “Execution by Firing Squad- “Ready, aim…”