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November 15, 2006

Maryland lethal injection litigation update

The Baltimore Sun here reports on the latest developments in Maryland's on-going lethal injection litigation.  Here are highlights:

The federal judge hearing death-row inmate Vernon L. Evans Jr.'s challenge to Maryland's lethal-injection procedures said Wednesday that he may direct state corrections officials to "test the recruitment waters" in search of doctors or highly trained nurses to participate in state executions before he rules on whether to require the medical professionals' involvement.  U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg said nine days of trial testimony, stretched over three months, had left "a hole in the record" regarding the availability of doctors and nurses trained and willing to monitor an inmate's level of consciousness and to perform a surgical procedure to establish an IV in a major vein....

Phillip M. Pickus, an assistant attorney general representing the state, told the judge that requiring doctors' involvement in executions "brings us into a whole new world with a whole new set of problems." "Where is the line going to be drawn?" Pickus asked, wondering aloud whether the physicians would have to be board-certified, licensed to practice medicine in Maryland or trained in particular specialties. "This is a slippery slope that we don't want to go down."

UPDATE:  This Washington Post piece provides more details on this lethal injection scrummage.

November 15, 2006 at 11:03 PM | Permalink


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Isn't it ironic, they put Doctor Death in prison for helping others kill themself and now they are asking Doctors to help the State kill people. I'm just an American that enjoys your web site. I have a son that got caught up in the drug problems and I read your site to keep current on the legal issues related to drug sentences. My eyes have been opened wide to the inequities in our legal system since my son got caught up in it.


Posted by: James Strahan | Nov 16, 2006 2:18:47 AM

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