S Carolina lawmakers keep firing squad as option in bill

S Carolina lawmakers keep firing squad as option in bill
The execution chamber at the Utah State Prison after Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed by firing squad Friday, June 18, 2010. The bullet holes are visible in the wood panel behind the chair.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A small group of South Carolina House members have kept firing squads in a bill meant to restart executions in a state that hasn’t put an inmate to death in nearly 10 years.

South Carolina no longer can obtain the lethal injection drugs.

Even though the state kept its electric chair, without this bill’s passage condemned inmates cannot be executed unless they explicitly choose electrocution.

Prison officials say two inmates have already ran out of appeals and yet can’t be executed and a third will likely join them this month.

A House subcommittee approved the Senate bill Wednesday. Another bill without firing squads is already on the House floor.

South Carolina last executed a condemned inmate in the electric chair in 2008.

Currently, eight other states can use electric chairs and Utah, Oklahoma and Mississippi allow firing squads.

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