2nd SC execution on hold after court halts firing squad plan

Published: Apr. 23, 2022 at 7:42 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 23, 2022 at 6:18 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - The South Carolina Supreme Court has put another execution on hold, two days after temporarily blocking plans for a rare firing squad execution.

The court issued an order Friday granting inmate Brad Keith Sigmon, 64, a temporary stay ahead of his scheduled May 13 execution.

Sigmon was sentenced to death after being convicted of two counts of murder and first-degree burglary from Greenville County in 2002, state Department of Corrections spokesperson Christi Shain said.

State law requires death row inmates to select their method of execution 14 days before the execution date. The law provides two choices: the electric chair or a firing squad.

But the state’s highest court issued a temporary stay Wednesday preventing South Carolina from carrying out its first-ever firing squad execution. That court order temporarily halted the execution of another death row inmate, Richard Moore, who was set to be executed this Friday.

The state’s highest court says a more detailed order would follow.

Moore’s attorneys had asked justices to block the execution plan so they could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review whether his crime rises to the level of a death penalty offense.

Moore had selected the firing squad as his method of execution but Sigmon had not chosen his execution method.

Moore and Sigmon would have been the first death row inmates put to death by South Carolina after a 2021 law made electrocution the default and also gave prisoners the option to choose a firing squad.

Previously, the state’s two options for death row inmates were the electric chair or lethal injection, but the state has been unable to stock the drugs necessary to carry out an execution by lethal injection for years.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.