Executions by Firing Squad are now Legal in South Carolina

On Friday, corrections officials in South Carolina announced that firing squad executions can now be carried out in the state if death row inmates choose it, CNN report.

On Friday, the department informed Attorney General Alan Wilson that the death chamber at the Broad River Correctional Institution had been renovated and protocols had been established, making it possible to carry out these executions, according to the agency news release.

South Carolina currently does not have any executions scheduled. Since the state could not accommodate firing squad executions, executions had been halted.

A bill signed into law by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster in May 2021 made electric chairs the primary method of execution in the state but offered inmates the choice of a firing squad or lethal injection if available.

South Carolina changed its law because states across the country reported difficulty administering lethal injections, the widely preferred method in the U.S., to those on death row.

In many states, executions have been put on hold due to difficulties in finding the required drugs for lethal injection execution.

The department provided details on Friday regarding the room set up and procedures for firing squad executions, noting that an inmate would be strapped into a chair with a hood placed over their head.

It was reported that a member of the execution team would aim over the heart of the victim.

According to the Department of Corrections, the rifles used by the firing squad won’t be visible to witnesses.

According to the release, firing squad members must meet certain qualifications and be volunteers.

It cost the department $53,600 to make the necessary adjustments in order for firing squad executions could be conducted properly.

As of 2011, South Carolina executed its last inmate by lethal injection, according to the Department of Corrections website.

Currently, there are 35 men on death row in the state.

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