South Carolina Considers Using Firing Squad as Alternative Death Penalty Method

A view of the death chamber from the witness room at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility shows an electric chair and gurney August 29, 2001 in Lucasville, Ohio. (Credit: Mike Simons/Getty Images)

A view of the death chamber from the witness room at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility shows an electric chair and gurney August 29, 2001 in Lucasville, Ohio. (Credit: Mike Simons/Getty Images)

South Carolina lawmakers are considering legislation that would add firing squads to the state’s existing execution methods.

The House Criminal Laws subcommittee on Thursday approved a Senate proposal that also changes South Carolina’s default execution method to the electric chair.

Lawmakers acted after prison officials told them they don’t have the drugs needed for lethal injection and don’t know when they will be able to obtain them.

Don Zelenka is South Carolina’s deputy attorney general. He says 29 prisoners are currently on death row.

The bill has passed the Senate. If the House Judiciary Committee approves it, it could pass the House before the Legislature adjourns May 9.

South Carolina’s last execution was in May 2011.

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