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S.C. Considers Using Electric Chair for Executions

Jan. 10 (UPI) -- South Carolina lawmakers are considering a proposal to allow its first electric chair execution in a decade if lethal injection drugs aren't made available.

State Sen. William Timmons, R-Greenville, proposed a bill, discussed in a subcommittee Wednesday, that would allow the state to electrocute death row inmates because the state lacks chemicals necessary for lethal injections.

"I'm not changing any options, I'm just changing the way we're operating within the legal structure," Timmons said.

Presently the state is unable to execute any of its 35 death row inmates unless they elect to be executed by electric chair, a choice no inmate has made since James Earl Reed requested it in 2008.

State Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, said he could support the bill, despite disagreeing with the death penalty, because it allows corrections officers to do their jobs.

"This, to me, is a question about efficiency, not about the death penalty," Hutto said.

The Dec. 1 execution of 52-year-old Bobby Wayne Stone, who was convicted in the murder of Sumter County Sheriff Sgt. Charlie Kubala in 1996, was postponed because South Carolina's supply of pentobarbital and two other drugs used in the state's lethal injection protocol expired in 2013.

Like many other states South Carolina is unable to receive new shipments of the chemicals because distributors and pharmacies that provide the drugs fear retribution or exposure.

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