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May 10, 2006

Another state halts an execution due to lethal injection litigation

As of today, add Delaware to the list of states halting planned executions while the Supreme Court considers a procedural issue relating to constitutional challenges to lethal injection.  Details of the stay entered by a federal court in Delaware can be found in articles here and here.  The News Journal provides these highlights:

A federal judge has blocked the May 19 execution of convicted ax murderer Robert Jackson until the Supreme Court rules on a case claiming certain methods of lethal injection are unconstitutionally cruel and unusual.  Attorney General Carl Danberg confirmed this afternoon that Chief U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson issued an injunction halting the state's plans to put Jackson to death.

Jackson’s attorneys had filed an emergency appeal in U.S. District Court in Delaware on Monday, joining a national movement to stop lethal injections by raising civil rights claims about the way states carry them out. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last month in a Florida case that raised similar claims.

Since that time, at least nine executions have been put on hold across the country, according to Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington.  Affected states so far include Florida, California, New Jersey and Missouri.

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May 10, 2006 at 12:40 AM | Permalink

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