SC lacks drugs for December execution

Henrietta Strickland
November 21, 2017

SC won't be able to carry out its first execution in more than six years as scheduled next month because the state can't purchase the drug cocktail needed for lethal injection, officials said Monday.

Drug companies won't provide the state with the drug cocktail needed to carry out the execution because the Palmetto State doesn't have a shield law that would allow the seller of the death penalty drugs to remain secret, Gov. Henry McMaster says.

After hitting a record low last year, executions are up slightly in 2017, on pace to end the year at two dozen lethal injections.

McMaster said without such a law in place companies face fear of "retribution or exposure" if their names are made known. Stone is sentenced to death by lethal injection for shooting and killing Charlie Kubala, a sergeant with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office, in 1996.

"Anytime we start the conversation with a company that makes the drugs ... they ask, 'How would they be protected?"

"The state wants to carry out justice, the family deserves it, the court has ordered it, and we're unable to carry out justice", South Carolina Department of Corrections Director Brian Stirling said. The department's previous supply expired a month before Stirling took over in 2013, he said.

SC primarily uses lethal injection.

SC has scheduled its first execution in more than six years. He said other states that have passed a shield law are able to obtain the drugs necessary for lethal injection.

Many other death penalty states have laws shielding suppliers, including less-regulated compound pharmacies, to remain hidden from the public after complaints of threats.

McMaster and Stirling have asked the state General Assembly to pass the shield law during its next session.

Even if the state had drugs to carry out Stone's execution, it's unlikely it would happen on Dec 1.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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