Federal judge won’t halt upcoming South Carolina executions

South Carolina News

FILE – This March 2019, file photo, provided by the South Carolina Department of Corrections shows the state’s electric chair in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law last week a bill that would essentially restart the state’s stalled death penalty after a lack of lethal injection drugs has delayed several executions. The new law would let condemned inmates choose between the electric chair or a newly formed firing squad. (Kinard Lisbon/South Carolina Department of Corrections via AP, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal judge in South Carolina has denied a request to block the upcoming executions of two prisoners scheduled to die under the state’s recently revised capital punishment law.

U.S. District Judge Bryan Harwell issued the order Friday allowing the executions of Brad Sigmon and Freddie Owens.

Attorneys for the men say the state hasn’t exhausted all avenues to obtain lethal injection drugs.

The new law forces inmates to choose either the electric chair or a firing squad if lethal injection drugs aren’t available.

Prison officials haven’t yet put together a firing squad, saying electrocution is now the only method available.

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