US

Convicted Murderer Asks For Firing Squad Execution

By Paula Liu

A Georgia man who was convicted of murder back in 2002 asked to be executed by a firing squad instead of lethal injection, according to multiple reports.

Michael Wade Nance, the murderer, sued the state prison system, and in the lawsuit, he said the reason he wanted the firing squad execution was because his veins were narrow. A lethal injection could cause him intense pain, Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

According to the lawsuit filed by Nance, “execution by firing squad is both swift and virtually painless. Evidence and recent experience strongly suggest that the firing squad is significantly more reliable than lethal injection.”

The lawsuit stated that Nance’s veins were “severely compromised” and were extremely hard to find. If authorities were to execute him via lethal injection, there is a possibility that his veins will stop working, and the pentobarbital—the substance used in lethal injection executions—will leak into the surrounding tissues and cause Nance extreme pain.

The news outlet also reported that Nance had been taking drugs for many years to help with back pain, and there is a possibility that the pentobarbital will be ineffective, considering the drug that Nance took had altered his brain chemistry. This may cause Nance even more prolonged pain.

According to the news outlet, Danny Porter, the Gwinnett District Attorney, upon being notified about the lawsuit, said that it didn’t change his mind on whether or not to execute Nance.

“If he needs a firing squad, then let him have it. It’s certain a unique request,” Porter said.

As reported by Atlanta Journal-Constituion, on Dec. 18, 1993, Nance killed Gabor Balogh when he was looking for a getaway car after robbing the Tucker Federal Bank in Lilburn.

According to the news outlet, Nance escaped in a stolen car after his bank robbery attempt but had to abandon the vehicle when a packet placed with the money exploded, causing red dye and tear gas to emit. Nance then fled across Indian Trail Road, where he came across Balogh, who had just walked out of a liquor store. When confronted, Balogh refused to give up his car to Nance, who then shot him. The bullet hit Balogh in the left elbow, and then ricocheted into his chest, killing him, the news outlet reported.

Following a standoff with the police, Nance surrendered and was arrested. Nine years after the incident, in 2002, a Gwinnett jury sentenced Nance to death, according to the news outlet. His death sentence was thrown out of court later, but in 2013, it was reinstated.

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, since 1976, the firing squad execution method was used only three times, as the primary method of execution is the lethal injection, which is used in 32 states.