As South Carolina execution looms, firing squad debated

South Carolina News

FILE – This March 2019, file photo, provided by the South Carolina Department of Corrections shows the state’s electric chair in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina House members may soon debate whether to restart the state’s stalled death penalty with the electric chair and whether to add a firing squad to the execution methods. The state’s House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Tuesday, April 27, 2021, that would let condemned inmates choose death by being shot in the heart by several sharpshooters. (Kinard Lisbon/South Carolina Department of Corrections via AP, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Death penalty opponents have been making stops in South Carolina to speak out about why they feel the firing squad shouldn’t be used here.

Death Penalty Action has been hosting conversations on the issue Friday and Saturday in Columbia and Greenville.

Earlier this month, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law a bill forcing inmates to choose death by firing squad or electric chair, if lethal injection drugs aren’t available.

The state hasn’t held an execution in a decade, due to lack of injection drugs.

Executive director Abe Bonowitz says he feels South Carolina’s inability to execute inmates in the past decade hasn’t weakened the state’s capacity to punish criminals.

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