Executions in South Carolina can now be carried out by firing squad after senators decide to address a deadly injection drug shortage.
Caroline from the southThe state senate approved Decision 32-11 on Tuesday, with a number of Democrats join their Republican colleagues during the vote.
This means that executions in the state can now resume after a delay of almost 10 years, with death row inmates having been able to exploit a sinister politeness that allows them to choose how they die.
Inmates were allowed to choose between the electric chair and lethal injection – and inmates opted for the latter knowing that it is not available, thus delaying their execution.
Voting to approve the use of firing squads is effectively a workaround for the supply issues and bureaucracy surrounding executions.
The passed bill still allows prison officials to use lethal injection when it is available, but when it is not, prisoners will now have the choice of an electric chair or a squad. execution.
South Carolina has used the electric chair since 1912 and is one of nine states in the United States that still uses this method to execute prisoners.
It is only the fourth state to use a firing squad in its executions, behind Utah, Oklahoma and Mississippi.
South Carolina Gov. Republican Henry McMaster had asked state politicians to allow him to resume executions after a number of inmates exhausted their appeals but remained on death row due to lack of lethal injections.
The firing squad option was added to the bill with cross-party consensus, with Democratic Senator Dick Harpootlian admitting: “The death penalty will remain the law here for a while. If it is to stay, it must. be human. “
However, Democrats questioned the rationale for Republicans for not wanting to discuss the ethics of the death penalty, when they passed a law last week that essentially made abortion illegal in the state.
The last execution in South Carolina was in May 2011 and since then the number of death row inmates has increased from around 60 to 37 inmates following successful appeals or natural deaths.
Only three new inmates have been sentenced to death in South Carolina in the past decade.