The South Carolina Department of Corrections has announced their first execution since announcing plans to transition away from lethal injection and carry out executions by firing squad.
Death row inmate Richard Moore, 57, is scheduled to be executed on April 29 and must decide in 14 days whether he wants to be executed by firing squad or electric chair. Richard was convicted in 2001 of armed robbery and the murder of a convenience store clerk in Spartanburg County in 1999.
Associate Justice Kaye Hearn wrote a 14 page dispute regarding the execution of Richard.
“The death penalty should be reserved for those who commit the most heinous crimes in our society, and I do not believe Moore’s crimes rise to that level,” Hearn wrote.
Justice Hearn isn’t the only person to speak out. Many supporters have also argued that Richard’s crime doesn’t rise to the level of heinousness in other death penalty cases in the state. His appeals lawyers have said that because Moore didn’t bring a gun into store, he couldn’t have intended to kill someone when he walked in.
If Richard decides to go with a firing squad execution, three volunteer shooters – all Corrections Department employees – will have rifles loaded with live ammunition, and their weapons aimed at the inmate’s heart. A hood will then be placed over the head of the inmate, who will be given the opportunity to make a last statement.
South Carolina is one of eight states to still use the electric chair and one of four to allow a firing squad, according to the Washington-based nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center.
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