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South Carolina’s State Department of Corrections approved execution by firing squad on Friday for those sentenced to death.
A law passed in May 2021 gave inmates sentenced to death the option of choosing death by firing squad once the method became available.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections informed S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson that renovations to the state’s death chamber have been completed to accommodate a firing squad.
According to a press release, the DOC spent about $53,600 to renovate the state’s death chamber. The Capital Punishment Facility at Broad River Correctional Institution houses the death chamber that holds the electric chair as well as the newly installed chair for the firing squad.
Firing Squad Protocols
The death chamber has been renovated and now includes a chair in which inmates will sit if they choose execution by firing squad. The chair is in a corner of the room away from the current electric chair, which cannot be moved.
Bullet-resistant glass has been installed between the witness room and death chamber. The chair faces a wall with a rectangular opening 15 feet away.
Three members will be behind the wall, with rifles facing the inmate through the opening. The inmate will be given the opportunity to make a last statement before a hood is placed over their head.
A small aim point will then be placed over their heart by a member of the execution team.
After members of the firing squad, made up of volunteers of SCDC employees, fire their shot, a doctor will examine the inmate and declare them dead.
Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Utah are the three other states that allow the practice.