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February 6, 2006

Back to the lethal injection litigation

After a weekend respite, federal courts can look forward to another (chaotic?) week of litigation about the constitutionality of lethal injection.  This article from California effectively explains the latest wave of lethal injection challenges:

[D]eath row inmates in California and dozens of other states have mounted furious legal challenges to lethal injection, arguing that the seemingly antiseptic process masks the potential for a searingly painful death that amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. 

Largely unsuccessful in the past, this legal argument has gained unprecedented momentum in the past week because of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to stop a Florida execution as an inmate was being prepared to die by lethal injection.  The Supreme Court's dramatic 11th-hour stay to consider how challenges to lethal injection should proceed has rippled across the country, casting doubt on dozens of execution dates, including the scheduled Feb. 21 execution of condemned killer Michael Morales at San Quentin.

Over at Capital Defense Weekly, Karl Keys provides additional effective coverage here.  (Karl also has this interesting post expressing sympathy that Justice Alito in his new job will now have "to give the proverbial thumbs signal, up or down, for life or death" perhaps thousands of times.)

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February 6, 2006 at 07:05 AM | Permalink

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