South Carolina is prepared to perform executions by firing squad, the state's Department of Corrections announced. The state spent $53,600 in renovations to the Capital Punishment Facility at Broad River Correctional Institution to perform these executions as required by a law passed last year, NPR reports. It remains an rare method of execution. Only Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah offer firing squad as an option to death row inmates. Since 1976, three people have been executed by firing squad. In 2021, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill requiring death row inmates to choose the manner of their execution: either by firing squad or electric chair if the drugs to provide a lethal injection are unavailable.
Lethal injection is still the preferred, and primary, method of execution in states with the death penalty. In recent years, state officials have had difficulty obtaining lethal injection drugs. This has pushed some states into offering alternatives to inmates — including lethal gas, electrocution, hanging, and firing squad.
Executions are at historic lows nationwide, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.