22 April 2023 :
(April 19, 2023) - The House passed 75-21 a secrecy bill, S 120.
After an unintended 12-year moratorium on the death penalty in South Carolina, the state House gave key approval Wednesday to allow the name of any company that sells lethal injection drugs to remain secret, as well as members of the execution team.
A shield law has already passed the Senate, and if the two bodies can work out their minor differences, the proposal will head to the desk of Gov. Henry McMaster, who has been adamant about restarting executions with several inmates having reached the end of their appeals.
The bill that got key approval on a 75-21 House vote Wednesday adds criminal punishment and a possible prison sentence of up to three years for anyone who releases information that is supposed to be kept secret. It also bans any legislator or their families or businesses from providing any drugs or equipment needed for executions.
Those and other small differences will need to be worked out with senators, who said they thought those would not be high hurdles.
Along with hiding the name of the sellers of drugs from the public and from state accountants, the bill also keeps the names and normal jobs of the members of the execution team from the public.
The bill also requires the state Department of Corrections to share autopsy results from inmates killed by lethal injection with their attorneys.
The drugs bought by prison officials must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The qualifications of any medical professionals involved in the execution would be published and they must be fully licensed and certified.