South Carolina prepares to carry out death penalty by lethal injection

COLUMBIA, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – Governor Henry McMaster says “Justice has been delayed for too long in South Carolina” and now his office and the S.C. Department of Corrections have both informed the S.C. Supreme Court the state is now prepared to carry out executions by lethal injection.

Governor McMaster said “This filing brings our state one step closer to being able to once again carry out the rule of law and bring grieving families and loved ones the closure they are rightfully owed.”

The governor’s office says since taking office in 2017, McMaster has been calling on the General Assembly to pass a Shield Statute, echoing points S.C. Department of Corrections Director Bryan Stirling has made throughout his tenure at SCDC.

The S.C. General Assembly passed legislation this year to enact the Shield Statute, which protects the identity of individuals or entities involved in the planning or execution of a death sentence. After Gov. Henry McMaster signed the Shield Statute into law on May 12, the department continued its previous efforts to secure the drugs with the new shield provision.

Since then the SCDC made more than 1,300 contacts in search of lethal injection drugs. The department says those inquiries included drug manufacturers, suppliers, compounding pharmacies, and other potential sources.

As a result of those efforts and the Shield Statute, the SCDC said it was able to secure pentobarbital for carrying out an execution by lethal injection under a one-drug protocol.

The department’s lethal injection policy has been revised to provide for the use of a one-drug protocol.

The SCDC says the new protocol is essentially identical to protocols used by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and at least six other states. Courts have upheld the use of this drug against constitutional challenges.

The governor’s office says South Carolina law specifies the electric chair as the default method of execution while giving inmates the option of choosing death by firing squad or lethal injection if those methods are available. All three methods outlined in law are now available to carry out a death sentence.

Related links:

Mother Seeks Justice as Man Convicted in her Son’s Death Remains on Death Row


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