South Carolina Death Row Inmate Chooses Firing Squad Execution Over Electric Chair

    As his death date draws near, a South Carolina death row inmate has chosen to be executed by firing squad.

    Richard Bernard Moore became the first prisoner in the state forced to choose how he wanted to die. The electric chair is South Carolina’s default, but inmates may also choose to be shot to death. Moore has spent over two decades on death row for the murder of James Mahoney, a Spartanburg store clerk, in 1999. Moore’s attorney’s argued that he entered the store unarmed with only the intent to rob it. However, during a scuffle with Mahoney, he took hold of the clerk’s gun and shot him with it. Moore was convicted in 2001 and sentenced to die for the slaying.

    Moore says that he is being forced to choose between “two unconstitutional methods” of execution. South Carolina has not carried out an execution in over a decade. However, the state has been forced to use only the two means of capital punishment, as they have not been able to secure the appropriate drugs used for lethal injection.

    On Thursday, a Richland County judge agreed to investigate why lethal injection medications have not been available, leaving the electric chair and the firing squad as the only choices for death sentences.

    Moore is scheduled to be shot to death by three prison workers on April 29th. He will become the fourth American to be executed by a firing squad since 1976.

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