Two death row inmates in South Carolina have filed an emergency appeal to stop their upcoming executions by electric chair. Brad Sigmon and Freddie Owens are slated to be the first to be put to death in the state after a ten-year pause on executions—and the first to die in accordance with a new capital punishment law that effectively gives them the option of only the electric chair or a firing squad. Court documents filed with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday by the inmates’ lawyers argue that they will “suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction.” Sigmon is scheduled to be executed on Friday, June 18, and Owens a week later, on June 25. The latest appeal comes after a federal judge on Friday denied their motion to halt the execution, ruling that they failed to prove that death by electrocution is “cruel and unusual.” Sigmon, 63, was convicted in 2002 of killing his ex-girlfriend’s parents in a brutal attack a year earlier. Owens, 43, was convicted of killing a convenience store clerk during a robbery spree in 1997.
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