Prisons can't get life ending drugs. That leaves firing squad or electric chair?
What the hell's wrong with you! Why are you reading this morbid sick sheet?
South Carolina Death-Row Inmate Chooses Firing Squad Over Electric Chair
Prisoner, whose execution is scheduled for April 29, says neither option is constitutional
By Jennifer Calfas, WSJ
Apr. 16, 2022 8:30 am ET
A South Carolina death-row inmate has chosen to die by firing squad rather than electric chair at his scheduled execution later this month.
Richard Bernard Moore, who has remained on death row for more than two decades, was asked to decide between the two methods two weeks ahead of his scheduled execution on April 29. If the plans proceed, the 57-year-old would be the first prisoner to be executed in the state since 2011 and the first to be executed by firing squad since the state added the option in 2021.
Mr. Moore’s lawyers are seeking to halt the execution. They said in a motion last week that litigation is continuing in a separate case in South Carolina over the constitutionality of the two death penalty options—death by firing squad or electric chair. They also said a stay on his execution would allow Mr. Moore to ask for a review from the U.S. Supreme Court over whether the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for his crimes.
A jury convicted Mr. Moore of murder and several other counts over the killing of a convenience store employee in 1999. He was sentenced to death in 2001.
In a court filing Friday, Mr. Moore said he didn’t concede to the execution options he was offered, and found them both unconstitutional.
“I more strongly oppose death by electrocution,” Mr. Moore wrote. “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.”
A lawyer for Mr. Moore declined to comment beyond Mr. Moore’s statement Friday.
Mr. Moore is one of 35 inmates on death row in South Carolina, according to the state Department of Corrections.
South Carolina lawmakers added the option of execution by firing squad in 2021. The legislation also changed the default option for death-row inmates from lethal injection to electrocution.
While lethal injection remains an option, the Department of Corrections hasn’t been able to acquire the necessary drugs since its last drugs expired in 2013, a spokesperson said.
Mr. Moore didn’t have the option of lethal injection Friday. His lawyers say the department has failed to show evidence that it has attempted to acquire the drugs.
Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling said the agency hasn’t been able to obtain the drugs for lethal injection “despite diligent efforts,” according to an affidavit to the state Supreme Court last week. Mr. Stirling’s affidavit said the department has tried and failed to obtain the drugs from manufacturers and pharmacists.
South Carolina doesn’t have a law that would shield a company’s identity if it is involved in carrying out a death sentence, said Chrysti Shain, a spokeswoman for the department.
“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,” she said.
The state Supreme Court previously stayed Mr. Moore’s execution in November 2020. The court cited the Department of Corrections’ inability to procure the drugs needed for lethal injection, which, at the time, was the default option for death-row inmates before the law changed in 2021.
On Thursday, lawyers for Mr. Moore echoed their request for a stay on Mr. Moore’s execution after new developments in the separate, consolidated case over the constitutionality of death by firing squad or electrocution. Their letter to the state Supreme Court said the judge in that case had ordered it to move forward.
Write to Jennifer Calfas at firstname.lastname@example.org