Published: Tue, November 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

SC lacks drugs for December execution

SC lacks drugs for December execution

SC has scheduled its first execution in more than 6 years, but it is unknown if the state has the drugs needed to carry out lethal injection.

McMaster said without such a law in place companies face fear of "retribution or exposure" if their names are made known.

The state's Department of Corrections last week received an execution order from the state supreme court for Bobby Wayne Stone, a 52-year-old man on death row for killing a sheriff's deputy.

McMaster and Stirling have asked the state General Assembly to pass the shield law during its next session.

Gov. Henry McMaster said Monday that the killing of Stone can not go forward without the drugs, and pushed his state's lawmakers to change statutes and allow its providers secrecy in order to satisfy their demands for providing them.

"The reason we don't have the drugs despite intense efforts to get them is because the companies that make them, the distributors who distribute them and the pharmacies who may have to compound them don't want to be identified", McMaster said.

The governor says lawmakers need to pass a shield law, to protect companies who sell the drugs from public opposition.

The unavailability of lethal injection drugs has become a problem for many states around the country that still administer the death penalty.

The state's current injection protocol requires three drugs: pentobarbital, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride.

Other states have passed laws shrouding their suppliers in secrecy, although courts have overturned or expressed concerns about some of them.

"The question was asked about what do we do when we get to December the first or some later date months after that".

But the state has not executed anyone on death row in six years due to the lack of access to the necessary drugs. "All (are) perfectly good reasons", McMaster said.

SC primarily uses lethal injection and hasn't carried out an execution since 2011. "The people of SC have been clear in their support of justice, including the death penalty".

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