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October 17, 2006

Tracking the execution rate as lethal injection scrummages rage on

From Missouri (where a federal judge has now again rejected the state's revised lethal injection protocol), this article correctly observes that all the lethal injection litigation in 2006 has not dramatically impacted the total number of execution this year:

The nation's executioners have done a steady business in 2006 despite court-imposed bans in several states and unprecedented attacks on the lethal-injection method in individual cases around the country.  Despite that legal scrutiny, the year-end total for executions will be very close to what it's been for two years — about 60 if executions currently scheduled are carried out.

The always-on-the-mark Debby Denno highlights that this is really a state-by-state story: "Deborah Denno, a professor at the Fordham University School of Law, said the spate of challenges to the lethal-injection method has had a major impact in some states and a minimal impact in others."  As I detailed in this post, the lethal injection litigation has created a de facto execution moratorium in a number of states, but not in those states that typically have the most executions.

Some recent related posts:

October 17, 2006 at 06:52 AM | Permalink

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Just because the number of executions won't change much between each of 2004, 2005 and 2006 doesn't mean that executions haven't been affected. We have an execution moratorium in Missouri and Arkansas, which has probably prevented at least 5 executions. The Ohio litigation continues, staying a number of executions there. Delaware delayed one execution. Maryland has delayed an execution. The feds have delayed three executions, and California has delayed Morales' execution. Florida has restarted executions, but the uncertainty likely delayed a few that have not been scheduled.

That's a significant number, and absent the lethal injection claims, the number of executions would likely have been 70, which is a significant jump from 60.

Posted by: Sean O'Brien | Oct 19, 2006 12:50:47 AM

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