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The South Carolina Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay to the planned execution of Richard Moore, who was scheduled to be executed on April 29.
Lindsey Vann, one of Moore’s attorneys, said that they asked the state’s Supreme Court to put the execution on hold in order to give them time to appeal his conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Vann represents Moore and three other death row inmates in an ongoing lawsuit against the state claiming the methods of execution are unconstitutional. At the time of sentencing for the men, lethal injection was the default method of execution in South Carolina. The State Department of Corrections told CNN that they have not been in possession of a usable dose of lethal injection drugs since 2013.
The lawsuit filed by the death row inmates claim that prison officials have shown little proof that they can’t get the drugs needed to carry out lethal injections.
South Carolina Supreme Court temporarily rules in favor of Richard Moore
Moore has spent more than 20 years on death row after being convicted of the 1999 killing of convenience store clerk James Mahoney in Spartanburg. If the state moves forward with his execution on April 29, he would become the first person put to death in the state since 2011 and the fourth in the country to die by firing squad in nearly half a century even as Southern states like Virginia have recently abolished the death penalty.
The lawsuit challenging South Carolina’s execution protocols was allowed to proceed by Circuit Judge Jocelyn Newman. Death by electrocution is currently the default method of execution in South Carolina with inmates now having the option to choose death by firing squad after the method became legal in May 2021.
The South Carolina Supreme Court has not released the reason for staying the planned execution.