COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Whether South Carolina can start executing prisoners again either with a firing squad or electric chair is now in the hands of a judge.
The case is over whether either method is cruel and unusual punishment banned by the U.S. Constitution.
Lawyers for the prisoners say they would feel terrible pain whether their bodies were “cooked” by electricity or their heart stopped by a marksman’s bullet.
Attorneys for the state countered with their own experts who said death by either method would be instantaneous and the condemned would not feel any pain.
Judge Jocelyn Newman has been told to make her ruling in 30 days, but it almost certainly won’t be the end of the case. Whichever side loses is expected to appeal.