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Judge to decide if firing squad or electric chair is cruel

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FILE-A gurney and a electric chair sit in the death chamber of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio. (Mike Simons/Getty Images) COLUMBIA, S.C. - Whether South Carolina can start executing prisoners again either with a firing squad or electric chair is now in the hands of a judge after a trial over whether shooting or electrocuting inmates is cruel and unusual punishment banned by the U.S.

Constitution.Lawyers for four death row inmates argued this week the prisoners would feel terrible pain whether their bodies were "cooking" by electricity or heart stopped by marksman's bullet — assuming they are on target.Attorneys for the state countered with their own experts who said death by the yet-to-be-used firing squad or the rarely-used-this-century electric chair would be instantaneous and the condemned would not feeling any pain.RELATED: South Carolina schedules 1st execution with firing squad method availableThe state Supreme Court ordered Judge Jocelyn Newman to rule within 30 days, but it almost certainly won't be the end of the case.

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