There are worse ways to go than firing squad.
A Georgia inmate scheduled for execution next week has selected his final meal. But the inmate's lawyers argued that because he has been taking a prescription drug to treat nerve pain for years, the pentobarbital won't work as intended. They cite experts who say long-term exposure to gabapentin alters brain chemistry, making pentobarbital unreliable to render him unconscious and devoid of sensation or feeling.
"There is a substantial risk that Mr Ledford will be aware and in agony as the pentobarbital attacks his respiratory system, depriving his brain, heart, and lungs of oxygen as he drowns in his own saliva", the court papers said.
His lawyers said that the use of lethal injection would violate his Eighth Amendment right to avoid "cruel or unusual punishment". So Ledford's lawyers proposed using a firing squad, which the Supreme Court has already declared constitutional.
Legal precedent only allows for inmates to offer an alternative form of execution allowed by the state - Georgia, however, only allows lethal injection.
One would assume Georgia's intimation that Ledford is making up the treatment he says he's received for the last 10 years could be easily confirmed by checking his medical records, but the logic behind the state's second statement - that he should have requested a firing squad five years ago - is negated by the fact that the gruesomeness of lethal injections has only become common knowledge in the last couple of years.
There are numerous law enforcement officers who now have the necessary training to pass a proficiency test to qualify for a firing squad, they say.
The 45-year-old has also unsuccessfully sought to be executed by a firing squad rather than lethal injection.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Utah, Mississippi and Oklahoma are the only states that have firing squad as an option.
A judge dismissed his lawsuit on Friday but the lawyers say they will appeal.
A death row inmate in Georgia scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Tuesday was hoping to get a delay so state officials can set up a firing squad, which his lawyers claim would be less painful for him.
They questioned the timing of his request. They cite experts who say exposure to gabapentin alters brain chemistry in a way that pentobarbital can not be relied upon to make him unconscious and insensate.
Ledford's lawyers are asking the parole board to spare his life, citing a rough childhood, substance abuse from an early age and intellectual disability.
The board, which is the only authority in Georgia with power to commute a death sentence, plans to meet Monday to hear arguments for and against clemency.
Ledford was convicted of malice murder, as well as two counts of armed robbery, one count of burglary and one count of kidnapping.