CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Oklahoma Lethal Injection Challenged in Federal Court

From Death by lethal injection faces a significant challenge in federal court today in Oklahoma City, with doctors contending that the state's method creates an unnecessary risk that a condemned inmate will suffer excruciating pain, in violation of the constitutional prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Like challenges to lethal injection in several other states — including California — the one in Oklahoma contends that although lethal injection is supposed to be more humane than earlier execution methods, it often masks a painful death.

All of the suits allege that there is a significant possibility that an inmate does not receive enough of the first drug — a short-acting barbiturate — to be sufficiently sedated to not experience pain caused by the second two drugs, a paralytic and potassium chloride, which causes cardiac arrest.
Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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