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Federal judge won’t halt upcoming South Carolina executions

This March 2019, file photo, provided by the South Carolina Department of Corrections shows the...
This March 2019, file photo, provided by the South Carolina Department of Corrections shows the state's electric chair in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina House members may soon debate whether to restart the state's stalled death penalty with the electric chair and whether to add a firing squad to the execution methods. The state's House Judiciary Committee approved a bill Tuesday, April 27, 2021, that would let condemned inmates choose death by being shot in the heart by several sharpshooters. (Kinard Lisbon/South Carolina Department of Corrections via AP, File)(Kinard Lisbon | AP)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 3:15 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A federal judge in South Carolina has denied a request to block the upcoming executions of two prisoners scheduled to die under the state’s recently revised capital punishment law.

U.S. District Judge Bryan Harwell issued the order Friday allowing the executions of Brad Sigmon and Freddie Owens.

Attorneys for the men say the state hasn’t exhausted all avenues to obtain lethal injection drugs.

The new law forces inmates to choose either the electric chair or a firing squad if lethal injection drugs aren’t available. Prison officials haven’t yet put together a firing squad, saying electrocution is now the only method available.

Sigmon is scheduled to be executed June 18 and Owens is set to be executed June 25, court documents show.

Owens was sentenced to death in 1999 for the murder of Irene Graves on Halloween night in 1997.

Sigmon was convicted in 2002 of beating the parents of his estranged girlfriend to death with a baseball bat.

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