Kentucky is ready to resume executions because a new one- or two-drug lethal injection method that took effect Friday addresses concerns by inmates that the previously used three-drug mixture amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, prosecutors said.
In a notice filed in Franklin Circuit Court, the Kentucky Attorney General's office told Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd that the method should cancel out any arguments made by the condemned inmates. Prosecutors want a final ruling from Shepherd that would lift his order that stopped executions in Kentucky.
The revised regulations that went into effect Friday specify that doses of the drug used in the one-drug execution -- 3 grams of sodium thiopental or 5 grams of pentobarbital -- be repeated if the inmate has not died within 10 minutes.* * *In a two-drug execution, the warden may authorize continued injections of 60 milligrams of hydromorphone until the inmate dies, if the initial injection is not deadly. The regulations give the state the option of which method to use depending upon the availability of the drugs. Kentucky previously used sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride.