Opinion | Difficult choices
I had a hundred languages. . . I couldn’t name all the types of punishment. – Virgil, Aeneid_
As the months have passed since the events of January 6 at the United States Capitol, one would be forgiven to assume that the only problem the country faces is the need for voting reform. At last count, 38 state legislatures spent much of their time trying to enact voting reform to correct the non-existent shortcomings of the election that just happened.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, more than 400 voting restriction bills have been introduced in 48 states during the current legislative sessions, of which 63 appear to have a chance of becoming law. As of this writing, 12 states have already enacted 26 laws to make voting more difficult.
As a result of the above efforts, the news from South Carolina is like a breath of fresh air and completely unexpected. South Carolina is, after all, the state that gave us, and the United States Senate, Lindsey Graham, one of the brightest, albeit lesser, lights of the United States Senate. He’s in the news all the time. Few would have expected South Carolina to become a state that has chosen this year to reform its method of implementing the death penalty rather than joining fellow Republicans in taking action to address the non-existent problem. electoral fraud. In March 2021, South Carolina’s forward-looking lawmakers addressed the very real problem that exists in that state when it comes to implementing the death penalty.
One of the last rights granted to a person on death row in South Carolina is the right to choose which of the two approved methods of execution the sentenced person would like to undergo as the state fulfills its duty to execute that death. nobody. The two choices are: lethal injection, or electrocution in the electric chair affectionately known as “Old Sparky.” If the convict decides that no prospect is appealing and refuses to make a choice, the default provision under South Carolina law is that the prisoner is put to death by lethal injection. This is where the problem lies. There are no drugs available in South Carolina to enable him to honor a possible deceased’s wish to be executed by lethal injection. An example of the dilemma this poses for the state, but not for the person to be executed, is offered by Richard Moore.
Richard Moore was sentenced to death but did not cooperate and constantly refused to tell authorities how he would like to be executed. State law decrees that if he refuses to express a preference, he must be killed by lethal injection. Due to the unavailability of the drugs needed to run it, Mr. Moore has, so to speak, the final say. The state cannot execute it. It was to resolve this dilemma that a new law was passed by the South Carolina legislature and is now heading to the governor for signature. While this has had no effect on Mr. Moore since he was sentenced under the old law, under the new law there is both good and bad news for the death row inmate.
The good news in the newly enacted law, at least from the point of view of the person to be executed, is that she has an additional choice as to how she would like to die. Under the old law, the only choice was between lethal injection or the electric chair. Under the new law, the person threatened with execution will not only be able to choose between these two traditional methods of killing, but now by the newly provided third method, execution by a firing squad. The bad news in the new legislation, from the point of view of the prisoner, is that he will no longer be able to thwart the execution of the execution by refusing to make a choice, thus preventing the state from executing him due to the ‘unavailability of means to do so. Under the new law, if the inmate follows Mr. Moore’s lead and refuses to express a preference for the means of execution, or chooses lethal injection when no drugs are available to allow the State to honor the request of the future deceased, the execution of the death the penalty will not be suspended. Under the new law, in the absence of a positive choice on the part of the convicted individual, he or she will be executed while sitting at Old Sparky. This method of execution is guaranteed to be successful. All it takes for it to work is for it to be plugged in properly. Good news for the stateless, good news for the anticipator.