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South Carolina Wants To Restart Executions With Firing Squad, Electric Chair And Lethal Injection

via Vice News
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Lawyers for four death row inmates in South Carolina argued that the state’s old electric chair and new firing squad are cruel and unusual punishments, while a 2023 law aimed at restarting lethal injections keeps too many details about the new drug and protocol secret.

The state contends that all three methods fit existing protocols, and the justices questioned the electric chair’s modern impact and whether the firing squad should be considered unusual punishment.

If executions restart and additional appeals are unsuccessful, South Carolina’s unused death chamber could become busy, with four inmates currently suing and four more having run out of appeals.

“Courts have never held the death has to be instantaneous or painless,” lawyer Grayson Lambert wrote.

“I want to make sure it is humane as possible,” attorney John Blume said.

The shield law, which allows prison officials to keep execution details secret, was also a point of contention, with lawyers for the inmates arguing for more transparency.

“No inmate in the country has ever been put to death with such little transparency about how he or she would be executed,” Justice 360 attorney Lindsey Vann wrote.

“Each additional piece of information is a puzzle piece, and with enough of them, Respondents (or anyone else) may put them together to identify an individual or entity protected by the Shield Statute,” Lambert wrote.

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