Lawmakers, solicitors question future of death penalty in South - FOX Carolina 21

Lawmakers, solicitors question future of death penalty in South Carolina

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South Carolina has made little progress in the fight to bring lethal injection drugs back into state prisons (FOX Carolina) South Carolina has made little progress in the fight to bring lethal injection drugs back into state prisons (FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

It has been five years since South Carolina executed a prisoner on death row, partly because the main drug used in lethal injections has run out. 

FOX Carolina first told you about the shortage a year and a half ago. Officials said Tuesday since the story ran, the state has not come any closer to obtaining pentobarbital. 

Solicitor Walt Wilkings said South Carolina's affiliation with the death penalty is rapidly changing. 

"The anti-death penalty folks have almost won the actual war," said Wilkins, who added the lack of Pentobarbital will not deter solicitors from seeking justice for grieving families. 

Officials said drug companies have caved to pressure from death penalty opponents not to sell the drug to the state.

Lawmakers, though, are eager for a solution.

"If it doesn't happen, executions will probably slowly just go away," said Sen. Glenn Reese, a Democrat from Spartanburg. Reese said lawmakers are considering alternative methods of execution in the event South Carolina cannot get the drug back. 

"It could be the firing squad, the gas chamber, electrocution...maybe some other drugs...eventually something will come out of this," said Reese. 

Aside from the lack of pentobarbital, Wilkins said victims' families are more reluctant to seek the death penalty, because it simply takes too long to carry out. 

There are currently about 40 people on death row in South Carolina. FOX Carolina reached out to the Dept. of Corrections for comment but did not hear back. 

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