South Carolina Senate adds firing squad to execution methods

South Carolina News

This March 2019 photo provided by the South Carolina Department of Corrections shows the state’s electric chair, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina is trying to restart executions in the state by dusting off the electric chair after going nearly 10 years without putting a condemned inmate to death. A House Committee voted 14-7 on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, to make electrocution the default for an execution. (Kinard Lisbon/South Carolina Department of Corrections via AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina senators have added a firing squad to the electric chair as alternatives if the state can’t execute condemned inmates via lethal injection.

The Senate then approved the bill Tuesday on a key 32-11 vote with several Democrats joining Republicans in the proposal which would allow South Carolina to restart executions after nearly 10 years.

South Carolina Sen. Greg Hembree, R-Little River, speaks in favor of a bill that would add the firing squad to the electric chair and lethal injection as execution methods in the state on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. The state hasn’t had the chemicals to do lethal injection for years. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

The state can’t put anyone to death now because its supply of lethal injection drugs expired and it hasn’t been able to buy more.

Currently, eight other states can use electric chairs and Utah, Oklahoma and Mississippi allow firing squads.

The House is considering a similar bill without the firing squad option, but could consider the Senate version after a procedural vote by senators finalizes the bill later this week.

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