South Carolina lawmakers look at electric chair as sole execution method

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill that would make the electric chair the default execution method for death row inmates in the state.

A House subcommittee advanced Thursday legislation that requires death row prisoners to be electrocuted if lethal injection is not available as an option.

Currently, death row prisoners who exhaust their court appeals can choose to die by either lethal injection or electrocution. The method defaults to lethal injection if a prisoner does not make a choice.

But South Carolina ran out of the drugs needed for lethal injection in 2013 and hasn’t been able to buy more since.

Two executions have been paused in the last three months because of the lack of drugs. The state Supreme Court last year delayed the December execution of Richard Bernard Moore, who was convicted for the 1999 killing of a convenience store clerk in Spartanburg County.

Earlier this month, the high court also stayed the execution of Brad Sigmon, who was sentenced to death for a 2001 double murder in Greenville.