Why the death penalty isn't working for America

A South Carolina man on death row was forced to choose between death by firing squad or death by electric chair - due to a shortage in the drug used during lethal injections.

The man, Richard Bernard Moore, 57, is awaiting execution for the 1999 killing of convenience store clerk James Mahoney. Should Moore be executed on his scheduled date, April 29, he would be the first person to be put to death in the state since 2011.

Last week, South Carolina gave Moore approximately one week to make a decision.

On Friday, the 57-year-old made his choice: death by firing squad.

“I believe this election is forcing me to choose between two unconstitutional methods of execution, and I do not intend to waive any challenges to electrocution or firing squad by making an election,” Moore said in a statement on Friday.

In the same statement, Moore said he would rather die by firing squad than electrocution because he strongly opposed death by electrocution.

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Moore's choice comes one year after South Carolina passed a law that makes electrocution the default method of death but it gives inmates the option to face a firing squad when lethal injection is not available.

Now, Moore's attorneys are asking the South Carolina Supreme Court to delay Moore's execution to determine if Moore's punishment was disproportional to similar crimes. However, the state denied a similar appeal recently.

They are also asking for a delay while an ongoing case determines if death by firing squad is considered cruel and unusual punishment.

Death by firing squad is only used in four states - Mississippi, Oklahoma, Utah, and South Carolina. But Moore's case brings up several ethical questions about the execution method.

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