South Carolina Inmate Chooses Firing Squad For Execution
A South Carolina prisoner is scheduled to be the first man executed in the state in more than a decade and has decided to die by firing squad rather than the electric chair.
According to ABC News, court documents reveal that 57-year-old Richard Bernard Moore is also the first state prisoner to make a choice about how he will be executed. The decision comes after a law went into effect last year making electrocution the default while also giving inmates the option to face three prison workers with rifles if they so choose.
Moore was convicted and placed on death row after being convicted of the 1999 killing of James Mahoney, a convenience store clerk, in Spartanburg. If executed as scheduled on April 29, he would be the first person put to death in South Carolina since 2011 and the fourth person in the country to die by firing squad in nearly 50 years.
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South Carolina is one of eight states to still use the electric chair and one of just four that employs a firing squad.
“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,” Moore said in the statement, while also noting that he only chose a firing squad because he was forced to make a decision.
The state’s new law came about after corrections officials weren’t able to procure the drugs needed to carry out lethal injections. Moore’s attorneys have asked the state Supreme Court to delay his execution while another court determines if the current methods available are cruel and unusual punishment.