Death Row Inmates Will Now Have to Choose Between Firing Squad or Electric Chair in South Carolina | 22 Words

The death penalty has long been a topic of heated debate - but the latest laws from South Carolina sound particularly barbaric.

The death penalty has long been a controversial issue.

Getty

But the latest news on the subject has got the internet debating once more.

The death penalty has been a part of the US justice system for centuries...

Getty

And the penalty, which is often referred to as capital punishment, has been in action since approximately 1608... yep, it's really that old.

But it's not currently legal in every state.

Getty

And as the years have gone on, it's become more and more of a controversial and taboo subject.

Many U.S states have now abolished the death penalty for a number of reasons...

Getty

Including the risk factors of executing an innocent person, the fact it doesn't prevent future crimes, and the fact that it is both discriminatory and can be used politically, as per Amnesty.

Organizations such as Amnesty have been fighting for decades to have the death penalty abolished entirely...

And they have been trying to expose and hold to account governments that continue to use the punishment.

Many find the death penalty totally barbaric.

Getty

When questioned philosophically, it's difficult to justify the state killing its citizens.

Campaigners argued that many of those executed over the last few years were killed despite suffering from serious mental and physical illnesses...

Getty

Which should have rendered the death penalty an unconstitutional punishment.

And some states have made huge progress in this field.

Getty

Recently, history was made by Virginia being the first-ever southern state to abolish the death penalty.

People were overjoyed by the news, to say the least...

Facebook

And many are even calling for the abolishment to be nationwide.

Virginia is now the twenty-third state to abolish the death penalty.

Getty

And many are hoping for other Southern states to follow suit.

But it seems there are other states who are nowhere near this much-needed progress.

Getty

Including South Carolina.

Last Friday, Henry McMaster signed a controversial bill into law.

Getty

In an attempt to allow the state to resume executions of prisoners.

The state involuntarily halted executions thanks to a shortage of the drugs required for lethal injection.

Getty

But the latest law signed by McMaster now means prisoners can be executed either by electric chair or firing squad - both of which seem far more brutal and inhumane.

"The families and loved ones of victims are owed closure and justice by law. Now, we can provide it," McMaster said on Twitter.

Getty

This now means executions can resume, having been paused since 2011.

This news has been highly criticized by many.

Shutterstock

"These are execution methods that previously were replaced by lethal injection, which is considered more humane, and it makes South Carolina the only state going back to the less humane execution methods," Lindsey Vann of Justice 360 told the Associated Press.

​The electric chairs are reportedly already ready to use, while the logistics of using a firing squad still need fine-tuning.

Shutterstock

Scroll on for more of the latest news stories ...