South Carolina scrambles to find drugs in order to execute inmate
South Carolina’s governor is trying to change the law so that he can get the drugs to kill a death row inmate.
Bobby Wayne Stone, a 52-year-old convicted of murdering a sheriff’s deputy in 1997, is scheduled to die on Dec. 1, though the state cannot procure the drugs required by its execution protocol.
Stone, who said that his gun went off accidentally, still has remaining appeals to delay or stop the state from ending his life, it’s first execution in six years.
South Carolina has ran out of supplies of pentobarbital, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride, all three drugs of their three-drug procedure, according to Department of Corrections head Bryan Stirling.
Supplies of drugs in death penalty states have dwindled in recent years after companies in Europe, under pressure from international human rights organizations, stopped providing them for executions.
Gov. Henry McMaster said Monday that the killing of Stone cannot 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..
Many other death penalty states have laws shielding suppliers, including less-regulated compound pharmacies, to remain hidden from the public after complaints of threats.
Stirling said that the secrecy would be "for justice," though did not answer how making information known would impede that.
There are currently 39 inmates on death row, according to McMaster.
Inmates in South Carolina can also choose execution, though Stone did not.
Twenty-three people have been executed in the United States this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
With News Wire Service