Supreme Court Upholds Kentucky's Use of Lethal Injections

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Supreme Court (AP) By a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court has upheld the way Kentucky carries out executions by lethal injection.

The justices turned back a constitutional challenge to the procedures in place in Kentucky, which uses three drugs to sedate, paralyze and kill the condemned.

Executions have been on hold since September, when the court agreed to hear the Kentucky case. There's no indication yet when they would resume.

The argument against the three-drug protocol is that if the initial anesthetic does not take hold, the other two drugs can cause excruciating pain. One of those drugs, a paralytic, would render the prisoner unable to express his discomfort.

In the Kentucky case, two death row inmates did not ask to be spared execution or death by injection. Instead, they wanted the Court to order a switch to a single drug, a barbiturate, that causes no pain and can be given in a large enough dose to cause death.

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