The United States judicial system reinstituted the death penalty in 1977. South Carolina is one state that has continued to allow death by execution for capital crimes since. The electric chair was first used in South Carolina in 1912.
Currently, there are only two methods available for using the death penalty; the electric chair or lethal injection. However, even states that still have a death penalty in their laws, obtaining the materials for lethal injection has been very difficult.
South Carolina law allows death row inmates to choose between the available options. With no ability to lethally inject them, criminals have been able to game the system. Republican lawmakers found this unacceptable.
South Carolina explicitly provides prosecutors with the option of seeking the death penalty for heinous crimes. They believe the families of the victims have a right to justice. The death penalty is deemed justifiable in the state as retribution for capital crimes.
Well, to stop death row inmates from being able to game the system, South Carolina's lawmakers have brought back an old method of execution. By a 66-43 vote, the legislature approved death by firing squad as a third alternative.
South Carolina law now allows death row inmates to still choose death by lethal injection, but only if the injection drugs are available at the scheduled time of their execution. If not, they must select between the electric chair, or a firing squad.
A similar version of the South Carolina House bill was approved by the Senate, 32 to 11. South Carolina's governor is expected to sign the legislation into law. Supporters of the legislation insist it will now allow the families of victims to have closure.
Now legally imposed death penalty sentences can and will be carried out in the state of South Carolina. South Carolina's new law that adds execution by firing squad to their death penalty choices stops death row inmates from gaming the system.