South Carolina judge refuses to block 2 scheduled executions

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A South Carolina judge is refusing to block two executions set for later this month. The two condemned inmates, both men, have sued the state over a new law effectively forcing prisoners to choose between the electric chair or a firing squad.

Circuit Judge Jocelyn Newman issued an order Tuesday allowing the planned executions of Brad Sigmon and Freddie Owens to continue.

Attorneys for the inmates argue they should not be executed, noting officials say the electric chair is the only method up and running. Lawyers for the state claimed the inmates don’t have the right to choose how they die.

Sigmon and Owens are also challenging the plans in federal court.

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