A bill that would allow the state to use electrocution if lethal injections are not available will move to the full Senate for debate after passing in committee Thursday.
The Senate Committee on Corrections and Penology approved the proposal 14-3, according to the Associated Press.
S. 872, sponsored by Sen. William Timmons (R-Greenville), would change state law to read that if a death row inmate does not choose a method of execution in writing 14 days prior to the execution date, he or she would have to face electrocution. If the inmate did choose to kick the bucket via lethal injection, but the drugs aren’t available, then too bad, electrocution it is.
Similar bills did not even make it out of committee in 2015, according to The Post & Courier. One of those bills was H. 4038, which tried to introduce death by firing squad as an option if lethal injections were not available. Utah did just that in 2015.
The Department of Corrections ran out of the drug used in lethal injections in 2013.
Drug companies have continuously refused to sell drugs used in lethal injections. In response, Gov. McMaster and DOC director Bryan Sterling urged the Legislature in November to pass a shield law that would allow pharmaceutical companies to sell the drugs without being identified.
The bill comes as 36 people await execution in the state, according to the Department of Corrections’ death row list. William Dickerson, one of those on the list, is from Charleston County. He was sentenced to death in 2009 for kidnapping, brutally sexually assaulting, and murdering Gerard Roper. It was the first time a jury recommended the death penalty in 13 years.
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