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South Carolina to Begin Carrying Out Firing Squad Executions for Some Death Row Inmates

South Carolina Department of Corrections said that it will now be able to carry out firing squad executions inside the state.

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In a statement released Friday, the South Carolina Department of Corrections said that it will now be able to carry out firing squad executions inside the state if death row convicts want to do so.

According to a press release, the department told state Attorney General Alan Wilson on Friday that it had finished renovations to the death chamber at the Broad River Correctional Institution and had devised procedures that would allow it to carry out firing squad executions.

There are no planned executions in South Carolina at the present time. Executions had been halted in the state until the state was able to accommodate the firing squad method of death.

Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, signed legislation into law in May 2021 that made the electric chair the state’s principal method of execution while also giving convicts the choice to select a firing squad or lethal injection if those methods were available.

The amendment to South Carolina legislation came about when states around the nation had difficulties in executing inmates on death row owing to difficulties giving lethal injections, which is the method of choice in the United States. In many places, the inability to get the necessary medications has effectively put an end to the execution process, or at least, put on hold. 

A prisoner would be secured into a chair, with a hood put over his or her head, according to the department’s description of the room layout and rules for how a firing squad execution would be carried out.

According to the press release, a member of the execution crew would set a tiny target over the person’s heart. According to the department, the guns used by the three-member shooting squad would not be visible to onlookers throughout the operation.

According to the Department of Corrections website, there are 35 individuals on death row in South Carolina, and the state’s latest lethal injection execution took place in 2011.

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