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March 3, 2010

Washington state following Ohio's lead to adopt a one-drug lethal injection protocol

This AP story, headlined "WA changes execution method," suggests that Ohio's recent success with a change to a one-drug lethal injection protocol is having an impact in other state laboratories.  Here is how the piece starts:

Washington state has changed its method of execution from a three-drug cocktail to a one-drug system, according to paperwork filed Tuesday with the state Supreme Court.

The filing by state Attorney General Rob McKenna reveals that the state made the decision last Thursday.  It wants the high court to dismiss portions of the appeal of death-row inmate Darold Stenson, arguing that a challenge of the drug protocol's constitutionality is now moot.

The state Department of Corrections is in the process of rewriting the execution policy that will make Washington the second state in the nation to use the one-drug method.

Ohio switched in January after the botched execution of Romell Broom that was halted by Gov. Ted Strickland in September.  Executioners unsuccessfully tried for hours to find a usable vein for injection, and Broom has appealed the state's attempt to try again.  Ohio has executed three men under the new method.

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March 3, 2010 at 09:31 AM | Permalink

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Comments

The 1-drug system is unconstitutional and causes creul and unusual pain. It must replaced by the 3-drug coctail -- but only in Ohio and Washington -- and it needs to be litigated extensively while executions are put on hold!

Posted by: LOL | Mar 3, 2010 11:52:12 AM

Agreed

Posted by: Ben | Mar 3, 2010 1:02:36 PM

Can someone shed light on the impact this will have on Stenson and Brown? Both men received last minute stays so the lawsuit could be heard in the District Court. Will the stays be vacated or continued so the remaining issues before the court can be litigated?

Posted by: MikeinCT | Mar 3, 2010 4:50:17 PM

The first two posts are obviously incorrect. The State of Washington would most likely ask the state supreme court to declare the issue moot like the district court and 6th circuit did in Ohio with the first one drug execution they had. They probably have already done this. Or the Washington Supreme court could just hear it and decide the case. The protocol was upheld by the lower court. I think as time goes on, more and more states are going to adopt the 1 drug protocol because of less chance of error.

Posted by: DaveP | Mar 3, 2010 8:12:46 PM

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