Make the firing squad popular again?
That’s been a heavily debated topic in the state of South Carolina lately.
Officials have reportedly been exploring the option of adding a firing squad as an additional way of enacting the death penalty.
And it’s gaining popularity.
Officials noted that adding the less common practice as an alternative to the lethal injection is out of necessity. They simply don’t have the tools necessary to carry out the standard death penalty.
Fox 29 reported that the House Criminal Laws subcommittee also approved a Senate proposal that would make the electric chair the default execution method in the state.
Prison officials are reportedly not in possession of the necessary chemicals for the lethal injection method, and they don’t know when they will get them back in-house.
There are currently 29 prisoners sitting on death row throughout the state, according to Don Zelenka, South Carolina’s deputy attorney general.
— ABC Columbia (@abc_columbia) April 26, 2019
The last prisoner to be executed in South Carolina was in 2011.
The last recorded state execution by firing squad in the United States was in October of 2010, when Ronnie Lee Gardner was put to death. Gardner had been convicted of murder from a 1985 killing in Utah.
Typically the firing squad is made up of a group of military personnel. Normally, all members of the group are instructed to fire at the same time, preventing both disruption of the process by a single member and helps to hide the identification of the member who fired the lethal shot.
The electric chair only currently used in nine states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
The gas chamber is used in seven states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wyoming.
Believe it or not, hanging is allowed as an alternative method of execution in two states: New Hampshire and Washington, though the last time hanging was used to execute a prisoner was in 1996 in Delaware.
The firing squad is an alternate for execution in three states: Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah, and it looks like South Carolina will join that list as well.