Thursday, June 13, 2024

Firing Squad Executions Make a Return in SC in Old Trey Gowdy Case

(John RansomHeadline USA) South Carolina has scheduled its first execution of an inmate with the option of choosing the firing squad.

Previously, South Carolina used either the electric chair or lethal injections in order to carry out death warrants signed by the courts and approved by the governor.

Richard Moore has been scheduled to put be put to death April 29, pending a last-minute stay or pardon according to The Hill.

Moore, 57, has been on death row since 2001, after being convicted of murdering a convenience store clerk in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1999. He now has 14 days to decide his method of execution between the firing squad or the electric chair.

Moore, who was prosecuted by then Solicitor Trey Gowdy, who later became a congressman, shot a store clerk to death, and another customer inside the convenience store, before robbing the store of $1408 and buying crack cocaine with it, said Gowdy, according to the Spartanburg Herald Journal.

During the penalty phase of the trial, Gowdy detailed Moore’s long history of criminally violent behavior, describing “Moore as a violent thug who has repeatedly assaulted women,” giving the case aggravating circumstances which argued for the death penalty, said the Herald Journal.

In reinstituting the firing squad, South Carolina is trying to prevent delays that usually accompany lethal injection executions because of concerns about “cruel and unusual punishment” objections in the method of execution.

States have found it increasingly difficult to find drugs available for lethal injection, as drug companies have been reluctant to make them available for the purpose said the Washington Post.

Predictably, Moore’s attorney is arguing that death by either the firing squad or the electric chair are also methods of cruel and unusual punishment, said the Associated Press.

“The electric chair and the firing squad are antiquated, barbaric methods of execution that virtually all American jurisdictions have left behind,” Moore’s lawyer Lindsey Vann wrote in court papers filed Friday, according to the AP.

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