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Death-row inmate sues prison so he can be killed by firing squad

Murderer on Georgia’s death row says he wants to be executed by firing squad because his veins are hard to find and lethal injection would be ‘excruciating’

  • Michael Wade Nance submitted his lawsuit to Gwinnett County, claiming that death by a firing squad would be ‘both swift and virtually painless’ 
  • Nance was sentenced to death in 2002 for fatally shooting 43-year-old Gabor Balogh after he refused to turn his car over to him 
  • The Gwinnett County man had just robbed the Tucker Federal Savings and Loan in Lilburn
  • Lawsuit states that Nance’s veins are ‘severely compromised’ and extremely difficult to locate, which could cause the pentobarbital used in injections to leak
  • Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter said: ‘If he needs a firing squad, then let him have it. It’s certainly a unique request’ 

Michael Wade Nance submitted his lawsuit to Gwinnett County, asserting that death by a firing squad would be ‘both swift and virtually painless’

A killer sentenced to the death in Georgia is suing the state’s prison system, advocating for a firing squad to take his life since his veins are allegedly too hard to find and a lethal injection would cause him too much pain. 

Death-row inmate Michael Wade Nance submitted his lawsuit to Gwinnett County, asserting that death by a firing squad would be ‘both swift and virtually painless.’ 

‘Evidence and recent experience strongly suggest that the firing squad is significantly more reliable than lethal injection,’ he added in the lawsuit, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Nance was sentenced to death in 2002 for fatally shooting 43-year-old Gabor Balogh after he refused to turn his car over to the man. The Gwinnett County man had just robbed the Tucker Federal Savings and Loan in Lilburn. 

His appeals are in their final stages and he must submit his filings to the US Supreme Court by February 12. 

The lawsuit states that Nance’s veins are ‘severely compromised’ and extremely difficult to locate. 


When notified about the Nance’s lawusit 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’

In the event that lethal injection is attempted, there would be a substantial risk that his veins would lose their integrity. This would cause the pentobarbital used in lethal injection to leak into surrounding tissue. 

The suit states that the experience would result in a ‘prolonged execution that will produce excruciating pain.’ 

In 2017, Georgia death-row inmate JW Ledford Jr asked for a firing squad to be used on him as he was using the same drug as Nance for his back. His request was denied

Nance has also, for several years, been taking increased dosages of a drug to relieve his chronic back pain. 

The drug has altered his brain chemistry in a way that would compromise the effectiveness of the drug used in lethal injection. The suit states that this would cause Nance to experience more pain. 

When notified about the lawusit 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.’ 

Georgia stopped using firing squads by 1924, when the state started using electric chairs. When that method was ruled unconstitutional in 2001, lethal injection became the method used in the state. 

In 2017, Georgia death-row inmate JW Ledford Jr asked for a firing squad to be used on him as he was using the same drug as Nance for his back. 

His request was denied and he was put to death by lethal injection. 

The last execution by firing squad occurred in 2010 in Utah.     

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