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South Carolina Death Row Inmate Chooses Firing Squad

Richard Bernard Moore, 57. who has been on death row for over 20 years, chose to die by firing squad instead of electric chair at his execution this month, the Wall Street Journal reports. If the April 29th execution goes as planned, the 57-year-old would be the first South Carolina prisoner to be executed since 2011 and the first executed by firing squad since it was added as an option in 2021. He wrote, “I more strongly oppose death by electrocution, I believe this election is forcing me to choose between two unconstitutional methods of execution, and I do not intend to waive any challenges to electrocution or firing squad by making an election.”

Moore's lawyers are attempting to stop the execution and are calling into question the constitutionality of the options, which allow the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. He was convicted in 2001 of killing a convenience store employee in 1999. Although death by lethal injection remains an option, the state Department of Corrections said it has not been able to obtain the necessary drugs since they expired in 2013. As a result, Moore did not receive that option and his lawyers say the department failed to show evidence that the the state tried to obtain the drugs. Companies are hesitant to provide the drugs since South Carolina does not have a law that shields the identity of lethal injection manufacturers. Chrysti Shain of the Department of Corrections said, “Companies won’t sell execution drugs to South Carolina until our state law is changed to shield their identities from anti-death penalty activists, who have been very effective in chilling the sale of drugs to departments of corrections across the country."


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