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Groups rally against SC state death penalty at State House

Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 27, 2022 at 7:03 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Despite South Carolina’s highest court issuing a temporary hold on the state’s first-and second-ever firing squad executions, several groups rallied against the death penalty altogether at the State House Wednesday.

That order by the state Supreme Court puts on hold, at least temporarily, the executions of Brad Sigmon and Richard Bernard Moore, with Moore’s originally set to be this Friday and Sigmon’s next month.

People against the death penalty rallied at the State House saying these executions are inhumane, no matter the form, no matter the crime.

“Sometimes we forget the word people, sometimes we forget humanity,” President of Stand As One Justin Hunt said. “I listen to our governor be so pro-life and make quotes that everyone has a right to live their life.”

Another group, South Carolinians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, is calling for the state to completely scrap the death sentence.

The groups mentioned several people who have either already been killed as a result of their sentencing or people currently awaiting theirs. Despite those people being found guilty of murder, the groups claim the death sentence is never the answer.

The brother of the last person to be executed by firing squad in Utah back in 2010, Ronnie Lee Gardner, said living without his brother has been hard.

“They blew his back out; we shouldn’t be killing our own citizens,” Gardner said. “There are different ways we can take care of them without making murderers of ourselves; his death was a homicide.”

Gardner also called on Gov. McMaster to consider how he can be pro-life and support these executions.

“If you have a pro-life governor here, and he’s condoning it’s okay to execute people, then he’s not really pro-life,” Gardner said.

In the past, McMaster has said he supports these executions, saying they bring families one step closer to seeing justice.

The executions of Richard Bernard Moore and Brad Sigmon are temporarily on pause, as Moore’s attorney calls on the courts to determine whether the crimes call for the death penalty.

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