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Prosecutor: Bring back firing squads for executions

CINCINNATI -- A county prosecutor in Ohio who is frustrated by death row appeals says he wants the state to bring back death by firing squad amid complaints about lethal injection. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said in an interview Thursday that capital punishment "is not supposed to be a pleasant experience."

WLWT-TV reports the comments were made during an interview about a denied stay of execution request for convicted murderer Robert Van Hook.

Van Hook is scheduled to be executed July 18.

Deters says he's annoyed about hearing that lethal injection drugs don't work effectively or quickly and says firing squads are "constitutional."

He says if Ohioans don't want the death penalty, they should persuade the Legislature to get rid of it.

Utah still uses firing squads for executions.

Ohio's Supreme Court denied Van Hook's motion on July 5 without additional comment. He was sentenced to die for fatally strangling and stabbing David Self in Cincinnati in 1985.

Van Hook had filed a motion seeking the execution delay while he pursues a challenge in a lower court to Ohio's adoption of its lethal injection protocol.

Prosecutors argued Van Hook knew of the legal challenge over the lethal injection policy as early as 2009 but waited until last month to seek the stay. They argued delaying the execution this late in the process would "constitute an abuse of the justice system."