After drug makers behind the lethal combination of drugs administered at state executions refused to provide the drugs anymore a series of scheduled executions have not been conducted prolonging the victim's anguish.
South Carolina Rep. Josh Putnam plans to introduce a bill that would add firing squads to the state's methods of executions. The bill was first introduced in 2015 but the legislation was not passed.
Putnam says the new bill would be nearly identical to the last one but says it's important for creating a dialogue about death penalty options. Currently, the state is unable to carry out lethal injections due to the inability to acquire the necessary drugs.
"We can’t carry out death penalties in the state and we need a solution," he said. The ability to execute inmates is causing issues for victims' families. "Many people don’t understand the problems this is causing," he continued.
Putnam says other solutions are being considered such as bringing back the electric chair but he argues the firing squad is the most viable solution.
"There is a lot of data that shows firing squad is the most effective and most humane way of putting someone to rest," Putnam explained. He also said he plans to reintroduce the bill in the Statehouse today.
13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said, "The lethal injection has been deemed appropriate. It's upheld constitutional muster as well as it seems to be the less cruel of all the options, so solving that problem is ideal. If we're unable to do that then certainly, let's bring back other options."
Wilkins also explained the current shortage of lethal injection drugs can weigh into decisions about the death penalty when it shouldn't.
"That's not fair to victims and it's not fair to the public and it's not fair to prosecutors to be put in a position where they can't really pursue something that is legally viable and is available to them in South Carolina, so it diminishes our ability to effectively prosecute."
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