A Utah lawmaker has said he plans to introduce a bill that would allow the state to execute criminals convicted of child sex trafficking, calling it a necessary protection for defenseless children.

The hardline plan from state Rep. Paul Ray faces several legislative hurdles before it could become law, and it would test the boundaries of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the death penalty, a challenge the Clearfield Republican said he welcomes.

“I’m sure we’ll have to have that discussion with the Supreme Court,” Ray said. “I’d like to push it, absolutely.”

Ray said there’s no recent case that prompted him to announce his plan, but it’s the second time this session he’s raised a proposal to change the state’s execution laws. Ray’s bill to bring back firing squads passed a committee hearing Wednesday by one vote.

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