Firing Squad Execution for Richard Moore Halted in South Carolina

    Photo: AP Images [via The Washington Post]

    The Facts

    • On Wed., South Carolina's Supreme Court issued a temporary stay of execution for death row inmate Richard Moore, who was set to be the state's first execution by firing squad.

    • Moore was scheduled to be put to death on Apr. 29 for the 1999 murder of a store clerk during a robbery gone wrong. He had chosen firing squad, over the electric chair, as the method of execution.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Moore fatally shot store clerk James Mahoney during a fracas in a botched robbery; he didn't intend to commit murder. Even a dissenting Supreme Court justice has questioned whether capital punishment, which is supposed to be reserved for the most heinous crimes in American society, is appropriate.

    Narrative B

    Moore robbed a store with the intention of stealing money to support a cocaine habit. He shot an innocent man in the chest and stepped twice over his lifeless body, claiming, at the time, that he acted in self-defense. The punishment here is proportionate to the crime.

    Progressive narrative

    Capital punishment is a barbaric affair that compounds violence with violence. It eliminates any possibility of rehabilitation, drains tax dollars, and revictimizes a murder victim's loved ones. The death penalty is no more effective at ensuring a safe society than a life sentence - it needs re-examining.

    Establishment split



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