Lethal Injection Unavailable As Prisoner Chooses Firing Squad In SC

Richard Moore chose death by firing squad Friday as his execution date approaches. Moore. a death row inmate. was given the choice by the South Carolina Department of Corrections between that and the electric chair. This will be the first firing squad execution in the state since lawmakers passed legislation in 2021 on executions. It will also be the first South Carolina execution since 2011. Moore’s legal team said only 3 executions by firing squad have taken place in the United States since 1973.

The Notice of Election said. “A person convicted of a capital crime and sentenced to death by electrocution prior to the effective date of this section must be administered death by electrocution unless the person elects death by firing squad or lethal injection. if it is available. in writing fourteen days before the execution date.” On Thursday. Moore’s legal team launched a challenge to the constitutionality of making him choose these types of execution. The Director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Bryan Stirling issued an affidavit on the case. In it he explained why the department is unable to lethally inject Moore.

“The Department’s efforts have included contacting manufacturers. all of which have refused to sell the drugs to the Department. The Department has also contacted various compounding pharmacists regarding compounding the drugs for the Department. but those efforts also have been unsuccessful. Additionally. the Department has attempted to purchase the bulk components for the drugs and have them compounded. and those efforts have likewise proven unsuccessful.”

Moore wrote a statement on his choice. “I do not believe or concede that either the firing squad or electrocution is legal or constitutional. I do not believe the Department should be allowed to certify that a statutorily prescribed method. such as lethal injection. is unavailable without demonstrating a good faith effort to make it available. However. I more strongly oppose death by electrocution. Because the Department says I must choose between firing squad or electrocution or be executed by electrocution I will elect firing squad.”

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