If you kill someone in South Carolina, they now stand ready to kill you back. With difficulties in obtaining the drugs needed for lethal injections, the Palmetto State once again has accommodations for firing squad executions in addition to Ol’ Sparky, the electric chair for carrying out death sentences.
Yes, for those who don’t want to ride the lightning, thanks to improvements made to the execution chamber at Broad River Correctional Institute in Columbia, death row inmates now can opt for a firing squad.
After a ten-year long pause in carrying out executions, there’s a line 35 inmates deep ready for execution of their death sentences, including two who would have died last June, but the firing squad hadn’t yet been reauthorized.
The Greenville News has the story . . .
South Carolina is now prepared to carry out executions by firing squad, the state Department of Corrections told the state Attorney General’s office on Friday.
Once approval comes from the state Supreme Court, the death sentences facing the state’s 35 death-row inmates can follow.
Law passed in May 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.
While a lack of lethal-injection drugs has made that alternative unavailable, the state now has procedures and facilities in place for firing squads, the Department of Corrections announced Friday afternoon…
Apparently they can’t just put the death row inmates against a wall or in a folding chair in front of a berm.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections spent about $53,600 to establish a firing squad and renovate its execution facility, according to Department of Corrections spokesperson Chrysti Shain. That includes a number of rifles — exactly how many was redacted in a response to a records request by The Greenville News — and it includes renovations to the capital-punishment facility, stainless steel sheeting, ammunition and ballistic partitions, according to invoices obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. …
Unlike Utah, which uses a five-member firing squad, South Carolina will have three law-enforcement officers in its firing squad, and all three will have live rounds, while in Utah at least one rifle fires non-lethal bullets.
Members of South Carolina’s firing squad are volunteers from within the state Department of Corrections who meet certain qualifications, according to the department.