Death Penalty-South Carolina

FILE - 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)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has signed into law a bill that forces death row inmates to choose between the electric chair or a newly formed firing squad in hopes the state can restart executions after an involuntary 10-year pause.

The governor signed the bill Friday without fanfare. South Carolina had been one of the most prolific states of its size in putting inmates to death. But a lack of lethal injection drugs brought executions to a halt.

Prosecutors said three inmates have exhausted all their normal appeals. Lawyers for death row inmates say they're considering suing to stop executions under the new law.

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