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Death row inmates can now choose electric chair or firing squad

Virginia Death Penalty electric chair
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Death row inmates in South Carolina who have exhausted all of their appeals will no longer be able to escape their ultimate fate, after Governor McMaster signed a new bill into law on Friday.

The new law mandates that if the lethal injection is unavailable, authorities will be able to precede with the inmates choice of execution, whether it be the electric chair or the newly formed firing squad.

The law is a revision of the old law that allowed death row inmates to choose between the electric chair or the firing squad but did not allow officials to use the electric chair as a means of execution. Those who choose the chair would then be rescheduled for the lethal injection.

Due to a lack in the supply of lethal injections, however, death row inmates have been able to skirt their executions by opting for the electric chair which would pause their execution.

At least three inmates who are scheduled for execution have used the old law as a way to avoid their impending executions according to prosecutors.

This revision will restart the process.

According to the report, lethal injection will remain the primary form of execution, but if for some reason the toxic concoction is unavailable, officials will be able to precede with the inmate’s choice of firing squad or the electric chair.

It was the first of 50 bills that Gov. McMaster signed.