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With executions set to resume in South Carolina, an examination of the death penalty


South Carolina is set to execute its first inmate in more than a decade. Richard Moore has been on death row for 21 years for the 1999 murder of a convenience store worker. Barring appeals, he will be put to death on April 29, becoming the first person to be executed in South Carolina since 2011.

Executions in many states were effectively halted when pharmaceutical companies stopped providing the drugs necessary for lethal injection. With those drugs harder to come by, some states have begun authorizing another option – execution by firing squad. Last year, South Carolina’s General Assembly updated its capital punishment law to include that option and now, Moore will choose between death by electric chair or firing squad.

Nationwide, use of the death sentence and the number of executions has declined significantlyover the last 30 years. Public supporthas also waned. We’ll look at the history of capital punishment, the specifics of Moore’s case and the use of the death penalty in the Carolinas and beyond.


Robert Dunham, attorney and expert on the death penalty; executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a national nonprofit organization that studies capital punishment

Henderson Hill, Charlotte attorney and critic of the death penalty; currently senior counsel at the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project

Chiara Eisner, investigative reporter for The State newspaper who has been looking into executions in South Carolina

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Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.