Charles Warner is to be executed tonight. He and three other Oklahoma death row inmates filed a petition for certiorari and an application for stays of their executions, contending that Oklahoma's lethal injection protocol violates the Eighth Amendment. I believe that petitioners have made the showing necessary to obtain a stay, and dissent from the Court's refusal to grant one.Although it takes five votes to grant a stay, it only takes four to take up a case for full briefing and argument, and the Supreme Court today granted certiorari in the underlying case. The case is No. 14-7955. It is now titled Glossip, et al. v. Gross, et al., because Warner's case has reached the point of ultimate mootness.
Mark Sherman has this story for AP; Adam Liptak and Erik Eckholm cover it for the NYT.
Update: Robert Barnes and Mark Berman have this story in the WaPo.
Last week's execution of Warner, who was put to death for raping and killing an 11-month-old girl, was carried out without much incident, witnesses said, although as the process began, Warner said, "My body is on fire.""As the process began" is significantly misleading. As I noted previously, the actual observation by the television reporter was:
KFOR's Abby Broyles says before the three-drug cocktail was administered, Warner said, "It feels like acid," and "My body is on fire."Big difference. Warner's statement is not evidence that the drugs being used are painful and cruel. It is evidence that inmates facing execution are being coached to fake it, and some of them are going along with it.