COLUMBIA, S.C. — Legislation adding a firing squad to South Carolina’s execution methods amid a lack of lethal-injection drugs is headed to the desk of Gov. Henry McMaster.
The state Senate concurred Wednesday with a version of the legislation that was approved last week by House lawmakers.
McMaster said last week he would sign the bill. "We are one step closer to providing victims’ families and loved ones with the justice and closure they are owed by law," McMaster said in a statement on Twitter on May 5.
The measure will require condemned inmates to choose either being shot or electrocuted if lethal injection drugs aren’t available. The state is one of only nine to still use the electric chair and will become only the fourth to allow a firing squad.
South Carolina last executed a death row inmate 10 years ago. Online records show 37 people are on South Carolina's death row.
Supporters of the bill say it's necessary because the lack of the drug is denying justice to be carried out against people convicted of heinous crimes. Opponents are concerned about the death penalty in general and whether it should still be used considering some people on death row may be innocent.