Tags: justice | execution | drug | death

Supreme Court Stays Three Executions Over Drug

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 04:00 PM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the executions of three death-row prisoners in Oklahoma pending its review of the drugs used by the state for lethal injections.

Convicted murderer Richard Glossip had been scheduled for execution on Thursday via a three-drug cocktail that includes midazolam.

The combination was used in a botched execution in the state in April last year, one that left the inmate alive and visibly writhing in pain for more than 40 minutes, according to witnesses.

The Supreme Court last week agreed to hear a case brought by Glossip and two other inmates who claim that Oklahoma's execution method violates a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

At issue is the use of midazolam, an anesthetic that is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The court on Wednesday said in a brief ruling that "petitioners' executions using midazolam are stayed pending final disposition of this case."

Authorities in Oklahoma had themselves asked that the executions be postponed, pending the court's ruling in the case.

The case is expected to be heard in April, with a ruling before the court's term ends in late June.

Depending on how it is phrased, the ruling could affect all executions using midazolam.

The drug was used in Ohio in January 2014, in Oklahoma in April and in Arizona in July. In all three cases, the inmates appeared to be gasping for air before dying.

In 2008, the court ruled that lethal injection was constitutional, and not a violation of the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

But since then, a majority of states have changed their drug protocols due to a shortage of the products used in the past.

© AFP 2017

 
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the executions of three death-row prisoners in Oklahoma pending its review of the drugs used by the state for lethal injections.Convicted murderer Richard Glossip had been scheduled for execution on Thursday via a three-drug cocktail...
justice, execution, drug, death
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2015-00-28
Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 04:00 PM
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