South Carolina Will Hold Its First Execution Since Firing Squads Were Legalized
The South Carolina Department of Corrections has announced their first execution since they said they were going to stop using lethal injections and start using firing squads instead.
Richard Moore, a 57-year-old death row inmate, is set to be executed on April 29 and has 14 days to determine whether he wants to be executed by firing squad or electric chair. In 2001, Richard was found guilty of armed robbery and the 1999 murder of a convenience store worker in Spartanburg County.
Richard’s execution prompted a 14-page dissent by Associate Justice Kaye Hearn.
“The death sentence should be reserved for the most terrible acts in our society,” Hearn wrote, “and I do not feel Moore’s crimes rise to that level.”
Justice Hearn isn’t the only one who has taken a stand. Many supporters have also suggested that Richard’s crime isn’t as heinous as some of the state’s other death sentence cases. Moore’s attorneys argue that because he didn’t bring a gun inside the business, he couldn’t have intended to kill anyone when he entered.
If Richard opts for a firing squad, three volunteer shooters – all Corrections Department workers – will be equipped with rifles loaded with live ammo and aimed at the inmate’s heart.
After that, a hood will be placed over the inmate’s head, and he or she will be given the opportunity to make a final remark.
According to the Washington-based death penalty information center, South Carolina is one of eight states that still uses the electric chair and one of four that allows a firing squad.