Execution South Carolina

This undated file photo provided on July 11, 2019, by the South Carolina Department of Corrections shows the new death row at Broad River Correctional Institution in Columbia, S.C. Lawyers for some of South Carolina’s death row inmates say they might challenge a new law that would let the condemned choose between dying by electric chair or firing squad if lethal injection drugs aren’t available. (South Carolina Department of Corrections via AP, File)

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — A federal judge in South Carolina is considering a bid to block the upcoming electrocutions of two prisoners under the state's recently revised capital punishment law.

U.S. District Judge Bryan Harwell heard arguments Wednesday on whether he should halt the executions of Brad Sigmon and Freddie Owens later this month.

Attorneys for the men say the state hasn't exhausted all avenues to obtain lethal injection drugs. The new law forces inmates to choose to die by electrocution or gunshot if lethal injection drugs aren't available, but prison officials haven't yet put together a firing squad.

A state judge denied a similar request to stop the executions earlier this week.

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