Wednesday, April 16, 2008

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Lethal Injections

The Supreme Court upheld Kentucky's use of lethal injection executions Wednesday, likely clearing the way to resume executions that have been on hold for nearly 8 months.

The justices, by a 7-2 vote, turned back a constitutional challenge to the procedures in place in Kentucky, which uses three drugs to sedate, paralyze and kill inmates. Similar methods are used by roughly three dozen states.


Slip Opinion

I find the majority opinion a bit surprising given the evidence of past botched executions, the lack of policy guidelines, and the lack of training. I anticipated that the Court would decree that the states and feds would have to develop new procedures and use new chemicals. I find it simply amazing that the Court would allow a human to be executed using a combination of chemicals that over 20 states ban when animals are euthanized.

On the other hand, part of the continue use of the death penalty is to demonstrate the power of the State. If all the terror of executions were removed, would not the power of the State be diminished?

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