Two South Carolina prisoners, who are due to die this month under the state’s recently restructured death penalty law, have called on the Court of Appeals to stop deaths from electrocution.
On Monday, Brad Sigmon and Freddie Owens filed an appeal notice with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The convicted man is trying to overturn an order by Judge Brian Harwell of the US District Court who refused to suspend their next execution on Friday. Lawyers from Sigmon and Owens say South Carolina hasn’t made enough effort to get deadly injections or formulate itself, as some other states have done. Claiming and performing them by electrocution exposes men to intolerable pain and violates the Eighth Amendment Article 8 Prohibition of cruel and extraordinary punishment.
Sigmon’s execution is scheduled for Friday in a 109-year-old electric chair in South Carolina. Owens will die in a week.
Their deaths were scheduled within a month after a new law was passed accused of choosing between electrocution and firing squad when deadly injections were not available. The law aims to resume executions after an involuntary decade of suspension due to the state’s inability to procure drugs.
Sigmon and Owens sued when the bill was enacted and said they could not be electrocuted or shot because they were sentenced to lethal injection as the default method under previous law. Prison officials say they haven’t yet obtained a deadly injection and haven’t gathered a firing squad — that is, both men will die in electric chairs.
Harwell wrote in a Friday order that he could not clearly show that the electrocution violated Article 8 of the Constitutional Amendment, citing federal court precedents for more than a century.
Harwell’s refusal marks a second blow to prisoners in a legitimate attempt to secure an amnesty. A state judge evaluating the proceedings over the new death penalty also refused to suspend executions earlier this week. Prisoners are also seeking rest from the South Carolina Supreme Court.
Both Sigmon and Owens have run out of traditional complaints in the past few months, and the state Supreme Court continues to execute the death penalty after stating that the orthodontic agency does not yet have a deadly injection. I will.
Sigman, 63, was convicted in 2002 for killing his ex-girlfriend’s parents with a baseball bat in Greenville County. Owens, 43, was first sentenced to death in 1999 for a shooting murder of a convenience store clerk two years ago, also during an armed robbery in Greenville County.
According to the Death Penalty Information Center, South Carolina is one of eight states that still use electric chairs, and four to allow firing squad. Prison officials say they are investigating how other states operate their squads, but do not provide a timeline for when firing squads will be available.
The last execution in South Carolina took place in 2011, and the lethal injection batch expired two years later. 37 men are waiting for death in the state.
Megkinard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP..
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South Carolina prisoner in court of appeal: stop electrocution
Source link South Carolina prisoner in court of appeal: stop electrocution