South Carolina inmates want deaths delayed during appeal

State - Regional

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) — The two South Carolina inmates scheduled to die under the state’s recently revamped capital punishment statute want an emergency order to stop their planned electrocutions.

Brad Sigmon and Freddie Owens on Tuesday asked the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals for an injunction during their appeal challenging the use of the electric chair. Attorneys for both men argue South Carolina hasn’t tried hard enough to get lethal injection drugs.

They also argued that electrocuting them violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

Sigmon is scheduled to be electrocuted on Friday and Owens a week later.

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