New South Carolina Law Gives 'Option' For Condemned of Execution by Firing Squad

© Sean RayfordExecutions South Carolina
Executions South Carolina - Sputnik International, 1920, 19.03.2022
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Mississippi, Utah and Oklahoma are the only other three states that currently allow firing-squad executions, but no convict has been put to death in that manner since 1976. Hanging is still technically a legal method of execution in three states, but has not been used since 1996.
The US state of South Carolina has passed a new law allowing its Department of Corrections to execute prisoners by firing squad — if they prefer that to the electric chair.
"The legislation, which became law on May 14, 2021, makes the electric chair the state’s primary means of execution while giving inmates the option of choosing death by firing squad or lethal injection if those methods are available," the department said in a press release.
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ratified the bill in May last year, which was passed after some pharmaceutical companies refused to continue selling the state drugs for execution by lethal injection, its previous main method.
The Broad River Correctional Institution capital punishment facility has been modified at a cost of $53,600 "to perform an execution by firing squad," the statement said.
The squads will be drawn from volunteers from the prison service's ranks, who must meet certain qualifications.
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South Carolina Supreme Court Halts Executions Until Firing Squad Procedures Finalised
But the prospect of a condemned man being put against the wall and shot is still far away, as no executions are currently scheduled. As of July last year, there were 37 inmates on 'death row' in the state.
Mississippi, Utah and Oklahoma are the only other three states that currently allow firing-squad executions, but no convict has been put to death in that manner since 1976.
Hanging is still technically a legal method of execution in three states, but has not been used since 1996. Delaware's supreme court ruled capital punishment unconstitutional in 2016, while Washington and New Hampshire abolished executions in 2018 and 2019.
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