June 4, 2007
Eighth Circuit rules on Missouri LI litigation
This morning the Eighth Circuit finally decided Taylor v. Crawford, No. 06- 3651 (8th Cir. June 4, 2007) (available here), which addrssses lethal injection issues in Missouri. Here is the official summary of the ruling from the unanimous panel of the Eighth Circuit:
District court's judgment holding Missouri's lethal injection protocol for imposition of death sentence unconstitutional is reversed. Revised written protocol does not rise to the level of creating a constitutionally significant risk of pain. The 5-gram dose of thiopental properly delivered by qualified medical personnel, a three-minute wait before injecting final two chemicals, and physical examination to determine level of consciousness is sufficient. Continuous monitoring by anesthesiologist or by additional equipment is not justified.
After this decision, one must wonder whether the next stop for Missouri death row defendants will be: (1) en banc review in the Eighth Circuit? (2) the Supreme Court's docket? or (3) the death chamber? You make the call.
June 4, 2007 at 11:39 AM | Permalink
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Likely en banc, as it will delay things as long as possible, unless the state can successfully get a new date set and the stay lifted. Given the no nonsense makeup of the Eighth Circuit, the likelihood of a successful en banc petition approaches zero.
As for the Supreme Court, I don't see how there are 5 votes to overturn the Eighth Circuit. Keep in mind that the Supreme Court did not lift a finger to stop the execution in Tennessee, where lethal injection was a front and center issue.
Keep in mind, too, that Arkansas executions may be back on soon as well. A stay was in place ordered by a federal judge.
Posted by: federalist | Jun 4, 2007 6:46:08 PM