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April 27, 2006

More coverage of the Hill lethal injection argument

I noted here that early press coverage of the oral argument in Hill suggested that a number of Supreme Court Justices were interested in broadly exploring lethal injection protocols and did not confine their questions to the narrow procedural issue raised in the case.  Additional press coverage confirms this story.

For example, Tony Mauro's account of the argument from Legal Times is headlined "Supreme Court Looks at Humaneness of Lethal Injections."  Similarly, Nina Totenberg's story at NPR is titled "Supreme Court Weighs Pain of Deadly Injection."  Additional strong coverage of the Hill argument comes from Charles Lane at the Washington Post and Linda Greenhouse at the New York Times.  The NY Times piece makes this astute observation:

Although the question before the court was the procedural one of how a challenge to lethal injection can be raised by a death row inmate who has exhausted the normal course of appeals, the intense argument showed that it was not easy to separate procedure from substance, at least with phrases like "excruciating pain" hanging in the courtroom air.

Adding an interesting bit of post-argument drama is on-going lethal injection litigation now coming to the Supreme Court from Virginia.  Virginia is scheduled to conduct an execution on Thursday evening at 9pm in a case that has also placed another spotlight on capital clemency (details here and here).

UPDATE:  How APpealling has collected lots of additional coverage of the Hill argument here.

April 27, 2006 at 05:19 AM | Permalink


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