Barack Obama Says ‘Circular Firing Squad’ Weakens Progressive Progress PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay

Richard Bernard Moore's firing squad execution was temporarily halted by South Carolina's highest court on Wednesday.

The court issued a temporary stay on Moore's planned April 29 execution, blocking the state from implementing its first-ever firing squad execution. The court stated that it would release a more detailed order later.

Moore's attorneys had sought a stay, citing pending litigation in another court challenging the constitutionality of South Carolina's execution methods. Moore's lawyers also wanted time to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether Moore's sentence was commensurate with his crime.

The 57-year-old death row inmate has spent more than two decades in jail after he was convicted in 2001 for the fatal shooting of convenience store clerk James Mahoney. According to prosecutors, he entered Nikki's Speedy Mart in Spartanburg looking for money to aid his cocaine habit. He got into a fight with Mahoney, who drew a pistol which Moore immediately wrestled away from him. Mahoney then pulled a second gun, and a gunfight followed, with Mahoney shooting Moore in the arm and Moore shooting Mahoney in the chest.

Moore's lawyers insisted that he had no intention to kill anyone when he entered the store because he did not have a gun with him at that point of time.

The execution date for Moore was scheduled after corrections officials confirmed that they had completed renovations on the state's death chamber in Columbia to accommodate the firing squad and developed new execution protocols.

South Carolina's last execution dates back to 2011. Due to the inability to produce lethal injection drugs after the state's last batch expired in 2013, a 2021 law made the electric chair the default execution method instead of lethal injection and arranged the firing squad execution as an alternative option for condemned inmates.

According to Moore's written statement, he was forced to make an option by a deadline set by state law but still found both options unconstitutional. Moore is also asking a federal judge to consider whether the firing squad and the electric chair are cruel and unusual.

On the report of the Death Penalty Information Center, South Carolina is among the eight states that still use the electric chair and one of four — including Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah — to permit a firing squad execution.

Jail Cell
A former Tennessee assistant district attorney has pleaded guilty on Monday to soliciting a sexual bribe in exchange for dropping the shoplifting and meth possession charges of a woman, who he had previously paid for sex. PIXABAY

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