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October 18, 2006

More Florida and Ohio lethal injection litigation updates

Florida has an execution scheduled for tonight and another next week, which is getting the lethal injection litigation revved up yet again in the Sunshine State.  As detailed here, lawyers for the defendant scheduled to be executed tonight assert that courts need to review the state's lethal injection protocol because "a document released this week reveals the state made secret changes to the lethal injection process."  The Florida Supreme Court unanimously rejected the defendant's claims yesterday.  That means today will likely bring a set of frantic federal court filings. 

Meanwhile, as ODPI details here, a district judge here in Ohio has stayed an Ohio execution scheduled for next week to permit the defendant to be included in an on-going Ohio lethal injection challenge brought by another death row defendant.  An interesting and thoughtful opinion (available here) supports this decision, which notes Sixth Circuit and Supreme Court disagreements about some of the issues raised.  It will be interesting to see if Ohio appeals this ruling and tries to move forward with next week's scheduled execution.

Ah, the joys of fresh federal filings in the fall....

October 18, 2006 at 07:00 AM | Permalink

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I am counsel for Mr. Vonner. The government essentially argued in its en banc petition that the panel decision was erroneous in its finding that a district court at sentencing must address each of the grounds raised by the defendant, which is a procedural reasonableness issue. However, my speculation is that the Sixth Circuit will use Vonner to address both procedural and substantive reasonableness, since I raised a myriad of issues, some not addressed by the panel opinion, in the briefing submitted to the panel.

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