Court finds South Carolina’s execution methods unconstitutional


South Carolina’s plan to execute men and women by electrocution or firing squad constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the state Constitution, a state judge ruled earlier this month.

The legislature “ignored advances in scientific research and evolving standards of humanity and decency” when it voted last year to force people to be killed by electric chair or firing squad if they refuse to choose a method of execution, Circuit Court Judge Jocelyn Newman wrote in her opinion.

In 39 pages, Newman lays out in excruciating detail how a person killed by electrocution or firing squad dies. Both methods cause extreme pain and suffering, and death is not immediate. As a result, both methods violate the state Constitution,

“Because both methods are unconstitutional, the statutes creation of an inmates right ‘to elect the manner of their execution’ is violated by the fact that an inmate does not have a choice between two constitutional methods of execution,” she noted.

Executions in South Carolina have been on hold since 2011 because officials have been unable to obtain lethal injection drugs.

According to the State, Gov. Henry McMaster said he will appeal the decision, sending the case to the state Supreme Court for a ruling.

You might also be interested in...

Oklahoma high court denies both of Glossip’s petitions for a hearing on new evidence

In one week, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied two petitions filed by Richard Glossip for an evidentiary hearing...
Read More

Alabama’s governor tries to shift the blame for the state’s botched executions

In a bizarrely-worded statement, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey called for a temporary halt to executions last week. She announced the...
Read More

California man is freed on DNA evidence after 38 years in prison

“What has happened to Mr. Hastings is a terrible injustice,” Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said at a news...
Read More