South Carolina Schedules First Execution With Firing Squad Ready

South Carolina Schedules First Execution With Firing Squad Ready
South Carolina Schedules First Execution With Firing Squad Ready (Image: Screenshot/YouTube/WLTX)

South Carolina has arranged its first execution following corrections officials’ completion of an update to the death chamber in preparation for firing squad executions.

The clerk of the State Supreme Court has scheduled Richard Bernard Moore’s execution for April 29. Moore, 57, has been on death row for more than 2 decades after being convicted of murdering convenience store employee James Mahoney in Spartanburg.

Moore may face the electric chair or the firing squad, two options provided to death row inmates last year after legislators amended the state’s capital punishment law to address a decade-long pause in executions pertaining to the corrections department’s incapability to acquire lethal injection drugs.

The new law designated the electric chair as the primary method of execution for the state, while also giving prisoners the option of death by firing squad or lethal injection, if those procedures are available.

The state corrections agency announced last month that it had completed protocol development for firing squad executions and completed $53,600 in death chamber renovation work in Columbia, including the installation of a metal chair with constraints facing a wall with a rectangular opening 15 feet (4.6 meters) away.

In the event of a firing squad execution, 3 volunteer shooters — all of whom are Corrections Department staff members — will be armed with rifles filled with live ammunition with their weapons trained on the inmate’s heart. 

A hood will be put over the inmate’s head, and he or she will be given one final opportunity to speak.

According to the Washington-based nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center, South Carolina is one of eight states that continue to use the electric chair and one of four that allow execution by firing squad.



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