Death Row Inmate Asked To Pick Either Firing Squad Or Electric Chair Has Decided

Aisha Nozari

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Death Row Inmate Asked To Pick Either Firing Squad Or Electric Chair Has Decided

Featured Image Credit: South Carolina Department of Corrections

Death row inmate Richard Moore, 57, was given eight days to decide whether he’d rather be executed by electric chair or firing squad and on Friday 15 April opted for the latter.

Moore has spent more than a decade on death row and his choice, reported in The Independent, will see him become one of the first to die under South Carolina’s new execution protocol.

It will mean three prison-volunteers shoot at Moore, who will have a target over his heart and have his head covered by a hood.

Meanwhile, the electric chair has only ever been used in South Carolina twice in the last 30 years.

Moore has spent more than a decade on death row. Credit: Alamy
Moore has spent more than a decade on death row. Credit: Alamy

Moore was convicted and sentenced to death in 2001. Two years prior, in 1999, he’d entered a South Carolina convenience store with the intention of robbing it so he could fund his drug habit.

Moore was unarmed, however the convenience store’s clerk, James Mahoney, was carrying a gun. 

The two struggled and Moore was shot in the arm by Mahoney. Getting hold of Mahoney’s gun, Moore returned fire, hitting Mahoney in the chest and fatally wounding him.

Moore’s case was covered by VICE on 14 April and, speaking to the outlet, Moore’s daughter Alexandria said: “What occurred the night my father was arrested was devastating and sad – but a mistake. Sentencing my dad to be executed is just another mistake being made that we are desperate to avoid.”

Moore’s lawyer, Lindsey Vann, filed a motion last Friday arguing that her client is facing a ‘cruel and unusual punishment’.

Vann wrote: “The electric chair and the firing squad are antiquated, barbaric methods of execution that virtually all American jurisdictions have left behind.”

The electric chair has only ever been used in South Carolina twice in the last 30 years. Credit: Alamy
The electric chair has only ever been used in South Carolina twice in the last 30 years. Credit: Alamy

Moore has no more appeals to use, which means that unless a court intervenes, he will face execution on Friday, 29 April.

Speaking in Moore’s favour, Jon Ozmint, the former director of South Carolina's Department of Corrections, told VICE that Moore’s punishment is ‘far out of proportion to any other death penalty case he’s seen’.

Kaye Hearn, an associate justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, echoed: “The death penalty should be reserved for those who commit the most heinous crimes in our society, and I do not believe Moore’s crimes rise to that level.” 

Prosecutors have argued that Moore didn’t stop to help Mahoney after he shot him and instead started searching the premises for money.

UNILAD has approached the South Carolina Department of Corrections for comment.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Topics: News, US News, Crime

Aisha Nozari
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