- Last May, South Carolina passed legislation to give inmates the choice of execution by firing squad.
- On Friday, state officials said they completed renovations needed to carry out those executions.
- The legislation was passed after the state had trouble getting lethal injection drugs.
South Carolina said the state is ready to carry out firing squad executions following renovations at the Capital Punishment Facility at Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia.
In a press release on Friday, South Carolina’s Department of Corrections said firing-squad executions are now allowed under state law.
“The death chamber has been renovated to accommodate a firing squad. The chamber now includes a chair in which inmates will sit if they choose execution by firing squad,” the press release said.
Last May, the state passed legislation that made the “electric chair the state’s primary means of execution while giving inmates the option of choosing death by firing squad or lethal injection if those methods are available.”
The Associated Press reported the legislation was passed last year to combat the state’s inability to get lethal injection drugs. The AP also reported that South Carolina’s last batch of lethal injection drugs expired in 2013. Drug manufacturers have been reluctant to sell the drugs to states because of pressure from anti-death penalty activists.
According to the press release, the death chamber renovations cost $53,000.
The chamber has a metal chair with restraints that faces a wall with an opening allowing three firing squad members to aim their rifles through from the other side. “The inmate will be strapped into the chair, and a hood will be placed over his head. A small aim point will be placed over his heart by a member of the execution team,” the press release said.
The firing squad would then shoot the inmate after a warden reads the execution order, according to the press release.