A judge has to choose a method of capital punishment for executing prisoners in South Carolina.

This comes after a trial over whether executing prisoners again either with a firing squad or electric chair is cruel, reported ABC News. A lawsuit that was filed by Justice 360 alleged that the state's current means of execution -- the firing squad and electric chair -- are unconstitutional. Last year, state lawmakers added the firing squad as the state could no longer obtain lethal injection drugs, according to 4WYFF.

The lawsuit was filed by Justice 360, a nonprofit, on behalf of a group of death row inmates. Last week, lawyers for four death row inmates argued that the prisoners would feel terrible pain whether their heart stopped by marksman's bullet assuming they are on target or their bodies were “cooking” by electricity.

Lawyers for the state countered with their own experts who said that death by the rarely-used-this-century electric chair or yet-to-be-used firing squad would be instantaneous and the condemned would not feel any pain.

Judge Jocelyn Newman was ordered by the state Supreme Court to rule within 30 days. But it almost certainly won't be the end of the case as whichever side loses, is expected to appeal.

A Corrections Department official said during last week's trial that he devised the firing squad protocols after consulting a prison official in Utah, which is the location of the three inmates who are to die by firing squad since 1977. The department's security director Colie Rushton testified that the .308 Winchester ammunition to be used is designed to fragment and split up in the heart. This would make death happen as fast as possible.

Dr. Jonathan Arden, who formerly led the Washington DC Medical Examiner’s office, said that the human brain remains conscious at least 15 seconds after a person’s heart stops beating. Arden, who testified on behalf of the inmates, said that it appeared at least 10% of inmates in cases that he reviewed remained conscious after the first shock of an electrocution.

Attorneys for the inmates also submitted autopsy reports and photos from inmates who died in the electric chair. They said that they demonstrate the pain that they suffered.

Amid the trial that began on Aug. 1, a review of the state’s death penalty by the Greenville News revealed that there was a pattern of geographic arbitrariness, discrimination and high error rates in the implementation of the punishment. According to DPIC, reporter Kathryn Casteel analyzed in a two-part examination, the racial and county demographics on death row. The reversal rates in capital cases, and the timing of death sentences to provide context for the state’s efforts to institute the firing squad and electric chair as its primary execution methods were also analyzed.

This is a representational image. Skitterphoto/ Pixabay

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