Report No. 187
(g) Firing Squad
There is no fixed procedure when it comes to execution by firing squad. Usually the convict is tied to the pole, with hands and is blind folded and a cloth patch is put on his heart, or he is tied to a chair. In most cases, a team of five executioners is used to aim at the convict's heart. In some countries few of the rifles are loaded with blank bullets and the shooters are not told about it so that the true killer is unknown. Several countries like Russia and eastern countries like China, Thailand use this method.
It is significant to note that shooting by firing squad is also permitted in India when a death sentence is given by Court Martial (This is discussed in detail subsequently). In some states in United States like Utah and Oklahoma, choice is given to the convict whether he should be shot to death by firing squad or by lethal injection. Gary Gilmore in 1977, and John Taylor in 1996 were executed by firing squad in Utah,
It is significant to note that the leaders of the third Reich of Germany, who were given death punishment by hanging at the Nuremberg trials, asked for execution of death punishment by the firing squad as the former was degrading and they wanted a military death. This reflects that death by hanging is not a dignified method of execution.