The South Carolina Department of Corrections announced their first execution since announcing plans to transition from lethal injection to execution by firing squad.
Death row inmate Richard Moore, 57, is scheduled to be executed on April 29 and must decide after 14 days whether he wants to be executed by firing squad or by electric chair. Richard was convicted in 2001 of armed robbery and murder of a convenience store employee in Spartanburg County in 1999.
Associate Justice Kaye Hearn wrote a 14-page dispute regarding Richard’s execution.
Hearn wrote: “The death penalty should be given to those who commit the most heinous crimes in our society, and I do not believe Moore’s crimes have increased to that extent.
Justice Hearn is not the only one to speak up. Many advocates also argued that Richard’s crimes did not rise to the level of heinousness seen in other death penalty cases in the state. His appeals attorneys have said that because Moore was not carrying a gun, he could not have intended to kill someone when he entered.
If Richard decides to carry out a shootout, the three volunteer gunmen – all staff of the Department of Corrections – will have rifles loaded with live ammunition, and their weapons aimed at the prisoner’s heart. A hood is then placed over the prisoner’s head, who will have the opportunity to make a final statement.
South Carolina is one of eight states that still use electric chairs and one of four that allow executions, according to the Washington-based nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center.
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