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Prisoner Chooses Firing Squad Over Electric Chair


This hasn’t happened in a while.

A prisoner in South Carolina has opted to be sentenced to death by a firing squad instead of the electric chair.

Richard Moore who was convicted of killing a store clerk in 1999 has chosen to die by a rifle squad instead of the electric chair.

According to a new law in South Carolina, death row inmates have an option to either die by the electric chair or die by a firing squad that is made up of prison guards.

As of right now, South Carolina is one of eight states to currently still use the electric chair and one of four to allow a firing squad.

Here’s what the Daily Mail had to report:

A South Carolina prisoner scheduled to be the first man executed in the state in more than a decade has decided to die by firing squad rather than in the electric chair later this month, according to court documents filed Friday.

Richard Bernard Moore, 57, is the also first state prisoner to face the choice of execution methods after a law went into effect last year making electrocution the default and giving inmates the option to face three prison workers with rifles instead.

Moore has spent more than two decades on death row after being convicted in the 1999 killing of convenience store clerk James Mahoney in Spartanburg.

If executed as scheduled on April 29, he would be 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.

Only three executions in the United States have been carried out by firing squad since 1976, according to the Washington-based nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center.

The New York Post covered the story too:

A South Carolina prisoner on death row has elected to be executed by firing squad rather than the electric chair at the end of this month, according to court documents filed Friday.

Richard Bernard Moore, 57, also became the first prisoner in the state forced to choose his form of capital punishment. A year-old law made the electric chair the default method, but allowed inmates the option to be shot.

The prisoner has been on death row for decades following his conviction for the 1999 murder of a Spartanburg store clerk. He was scheduled to be killed via lethal injection in 2020 but officials could not secure the lethal injection drugs needed for the execution.

Moore is now set to be gunned down by three prison workers with rifles on April 29, officials said. He would be only the fourth American to be executed by a firing squad since 1976.

Moore’s lawyers had asked the state’s Supreme Court to postpone his death while two other courts review the legality of the capital punishment.


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