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Arizona Joins the Single-Drug Club

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The previous two posts discussed the Ninth Circuit's opinions in the Arizona cases.  A separate note is in order regarding Arizona's decision to drop the three-drug protocol and follow Ohio and Washington to the use of the single-drug method.  There is no good reason not to at this point.  The concern that it would take the inmates too long to die has been refuted.  From the Arizona Republic article:

It was the first Arizona execution carried out with a single drug instead of a three-drug cocktail. But result was the same. Execution started at 10:23 and ended at 10:33, roughly the same amount of time that the execution with the three-drug protocol took. Moormann died with a peaceful look on his face.
The focus of litigation for years has been the danger of extreme pain if pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride were injected without insuring the inmate was sufficiently anesthetized.  There is no danger if those drugs are simply eliminated.

States that have not yet switched should do so as soon as their internal procedures will allow.

3 Comments

Texas just completed an old-fashioned lethal injection.

Given that the Ninth Circuit has now upheld lethal-injection protocols in Arizona, Idaho and Washington (and possibly in other Ninth Circuit states as well), couldn't California just copy one of those protocols practically verbatim? Why wouldn't that be enough to get a California protocol through Federal District Court and, later, the Ninth Circuit?

yankalp: Your suggestion sounds reasonable to those who actually want a functioning death penalty. But our AG and Governor have no interest in a functioning death penalty and are perfectly happy to see it die a slow and expensive death under their stewardship all the while claiming while they are personally opposed, they will enforce the law.

I do believe that a victim famiily member needs to sue the AG under Marsy's law since it is apparent, to me at least, that the State of California is intentionally dragging its feet when other states can manage a new protocol in days or months, yet we cannot in over 4 years.

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