In May 2021, Governor Henry McMaster signed into law a bill that made the electric chair the state’s default method of execution and added the firing squad as an alternative method. The law gives death-row prisoners the right to choose which of the three methods is their preferred choice. If the lethal injection is unavailable for use, the prisoners must select death by firing squad or electrocuted.
South Carolina’s highest court on Wednesday issued a temporary stay blocking the state from carrying out what was set to be its first-ever firing squad execution, a barbaric, inhumane end of one’s life. The order by the state Supreme Court puts on hold, at least temporarily, the planned April 29th execution of Richard Bernard Moore.
The death penalty violates the right to life which happens to be the most basic of all human rights. It also violates the right of individuals not subjected to torture. Over 70% of the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty. The United States is a nation that still enforces capital punishment, standing in stark contrast to other democracies. However, over the past years, Americans’ view of the death penalty has shifted. According to a Gallup poll, 60% of participants believe life in prison without parole is a better punishment than death. As for racial groups, despite making up only 13% of the US population, Black people make up over 40% of the prisoners with a death sentence. The judicial system must ensure justice in all situations and the punishment is the same in similar situations.
It is the position of the NAACP South Carolina State Conference of Branches that no one should be sentenced to death, our legislative leaders must make law(s) that are an alternative to the death penalty.
It is not the intention of this organization to minimize the experience of the family member(s) who have been traumatized by the loss of a family member.