June 14, 2006
Lethal Injection as a Cruel and Unusual Punishment
From NPR.com: This week the Supreme Court decided Hill v. McDonough and opened the door to new constitutional challenges to lethal injection. In the unanimous opinion written by Justice Kennedy, the court said those condemned to die can make last-minute claims that the chemicals used are too painful, and that their use is tantamount to cruel and unusual punishment.
Thirty years ago, death by lethal injection was conceived of as a more humane way to execute the condemned; 37 states now use that method -- all but one of the states that administers capital punishment.
But the lethal cocktail that is used has not changed, and critics charge that unnecessary suffering is caused by the drug combination and the lack of training for those who administer it. More. . . [Mark Godsey]
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