SC Statehouse: Debate over more death penalty options

South Carolina lawmakers want to make sure the state is able to carry out the death penalty. And right now, there are already 3 bills being considered this year that would make sure that happens.

The first bill would keep the name of the companies that make lethal injection drugs a secret.

Senator Eddie Tallon, (R) Spartanburg – “We’ve been unable to purchase drugs. The drug companies and compounders do not want to be known as furnishing drugs that take lives.”

Right now inmates on death row can choose death by electrocution or lethal injection, but if the drugs aren’t available, a separate bill would default the inmate to the electric chair.

But an Upstate lawmaker wants to add another option. Representative Joshua Putnam from Anderson filed a bill that would add a firing squad. Some say this, if it became law, would help teach a lesson to would be killers, others say the option is inhumane.

So far only one of the bills, requiring an inmate to be electrocuted if lethal injection drugs are not available, has made it to the Statehouse floor. That bill will be up for a second statewide reading later this month.

The firing squad bill has been referred to a Judiciary committee.

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