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November 1, 2007

Florida Supreme Court upholds state's lethal injection protocol

As detailed in this AP article, Florida's state Supreme Court unanimously ruled today that "Florida's procedure for carrying out execution by lethal injection doesn't conflict with the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment."  I suppose what exactly this means in light of Baze will be for others to figure out in the days ahead.

The opinion in Schwab v. Florida can be accessed at this link.

UPDATE:  As a commentator notes, the Court's longer treatment of these issues is in this other opinion, Lightbourne v. McCollum, also released today.

November 1, 2007 at 01:32 PM | Permalink

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A more detailed 8th Amendment analysis can be found in the Lightbourne case, also handed down today. http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/2007/sc06-2391.pdf

Posted by: JustClerk | Nov 1, 2007 2:45:48 PM

This decision seems more odd given Florida's 2002 amendment which requires its courts to interpret the cruel and unusual clause "in conformity with decisions of the United States Supreme Court which interpret the prohibition." Seems like with all the stays being issued coupled with this amendment, the Court should have held out for a few months.

Can't really blame them for issuing the decision though. It followed 13 days of hearings that generated 6500 pages of transcripts.

Posted by: JustClerk | Nov 1, 2007 3:07:35 PM

Schwab should be bound be res judicata, and thus unable to get a hearing in federal court. That means that his execution should go forward.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 1, 2007 4:58:11 PM

He may not need to go to the lower federal courts. Florida Supreme held his claim is not procedurally barred, so he can go straight to SCOTUS on the merits.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Nov 1, 2007 5:37:28 PM

Wouldn't SCOTUS, at least in theory, be bound by factual determinations in Florida courts?

Posted by: federalist | Nov 1, 2007 8:15:10 PM

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