Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Supreme Court's Conservative Justices Defend Lethal Injections

The Supreme Court appeared unlikely Wednesday to limit states' use of lethal injections in executions with restrictions that some conservative justices linked to a "guerrilla war against the death penalty" by "abolitionists."
The conservatives' defense of state executions came in a case that liberal justices said included evidence that condemned prisoners were being "burned alive" by a three-drug protocol in violation of the Constitution.
Throughout the unusually emotional debate, justices who clearly differ on the death penalty showed signs of tempers rising — as when Chief Justice John Roberts gave Oklahoma's lawyer extra time to speak because liberal justices had dominated his turn at the lectern with their questions.
Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and John Roberts
The case, coming on the court's last day for oral arguments this term, was brought by three death row inmates against Oklahoma's method of lethal injection, also used by several other states. There had been four inmates in the case, but the court refused to stop Charles Warner's lethal injection in January despite dissents from the four liberal justices.
Clayton Lockett
That followed three executions involving the drug midazolam last year that did not go off well. In April, Oklahoma's Clayton Lockett struggled, groaned and writhed in pain for 43 minutes before dying, at least in part because of mistakes made by prison officials. Prisoners executed in Ohio and Arizona also showed signs of feeling pain during their executions, one of which lasted two hours.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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