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Single-Drug Method

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As noted in today's News Scan, a Kentucky state court judge has ordered that state to consider the single-drug method.  The Arizona execution, also noted in the News Scan, is the third in that state using this method.

When that method was first proposed, some experts were concerned that it might take the inmate a long time to die.  That concern has proven unfounded.  The AP story on the Kemp execution notes, "The one-drug execution took seven minutes, and Kemp's time of death was 10:08 a.m."

Last week, as noted in this post, CJLF filed a petition for writ of mandate to force California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to issue a single-drug protocol for the execution of Michael Morales, who has now evaded justice for 29 years, 6 of them after completion of all reviews of his sentence.  Morales has been allowed more time on the lethal injection issue alone than the D.C. Sniper got for the entire review of his case.

Update:  AP reports that Thomas Kemp shook during the execution, and his lawyer was "very disturbed by that."

We have known all along that involuntary movements were a possible side-effect of the one-drug method and that some witnesses might find that disturbing.  That was the precise purpose of the pancuronium bromide in the three-drug method.  However, the risk of pancuronium outweighs the benefit, which is why states are dropping it.

Shaking does not necessarily mean pain or even consciousness.  A person receiving a big dose of pentobarbital is not going to be in extreme pain, and that is all that matters.  Murderers are not entitled to the most peaceful, painless death possible.  Anyone executed with a single dose of barbiturate will feel less pain in his death than most of us are going to suffer when we die, and that is enough to end the matter.

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That's because Virginia is serious and California isn't.

What a jerk this Judge Shepherd is--he delays final justice for a long time, and then goes further than Baze. What is it about capital murderers that makes judges lose their senses?

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