South Carolina obtains drugs to carry out lethal injections

Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 4:19 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) obtained drugs to carry out executions by lethal injection, the department informed the state Supreme Court alongside Gov. Henry McMaster.

“Justice has been delayed for too long in South Carolina,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “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.”

McMaster has called on the General Assembly to pass a Shield Statute since he took office in 2017, according to the governor’s office. It was passed this year and signed into law on May 12 with protections that include protecting the identities of the people or entities involved in the planning or execution of a death sentence.

The governor’s office said SCDC “made more than 1,300 contacts in search of lethal injection drugs” to manufacturers, suppliers, compounding pharmacies and other potential sources.

SCDC secured the drug pentobarbital to carry out executions under a one-drug protocol and the departments policy was revised to allow for it, officials said.

“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 said.

S.C.’s law states the default method of execution as the electric chair, but allows inmates the option of choosing a firing squad or lethal injection if available. All three methods are now available to carry out a death sentence.

Jace Woodrum, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina released a statement regarding Governor Henry McMaster’s announcement about the death penalty.

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