COLUMBIA, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The U.S. District Court of South Carolina denied Friday an injunction filed by two death row inmates scheduled for execution starting next week.
Death row inmates Brad Sigmon and Freddie Owens asked the court to find the electric chair to be declared cruel and unusual punishment violating the 8th amendment to the U.S. constitution.
The case stems from Governor McMaster adding firing squad to the state’s execution methods except the firing squad is yet to be created and lethal injection is arguably unavailable. So Sigmon and Owens are set to die by the only method available, electrocution, on June 18th and 25th respectively.
Justice Harwell wrote a detailed 12 page decision citing to all the cases relied upon by the plaintiffs as well as defendants, Governor McMaster and Bryan Stirling the director of corrections.
The judge starts the discussion with a blow to the inmates – saying “legal precedent and the weight of legal authority are against them.”
The judge goes on to say the plaintiffs can’t survive over 100 years of precedent that says electrocution is not cruel and unusual punishment, plaintiffs haven’t demonstrated that lethal injection is substantially less painful than electrocution and plaintiffs have not shown lethal drugs are even available.
This decision was filled with strong language with no room for interpretation. So in one week from today South Carolina is set to witness its first death row execution in a decade.