Judge Rejects Missouri Execution Plan

by TChris

Missouri's latest attempt to fashion a protocol for executing condemned prisoners by lethal injection failed to satisfy Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. Judge Gaitan wanted a board-certified anesthesiologist to participate in executions to assure that the injected drugs do not cause excruciating pain in a conscious prisoner, but no anesthesiologist was willing to help the state take a life. Judge Gaitan modified his order yesterday to permit "a physician with training in the application and administration of anesthesia to either mix the chemicals or to oversee the mixing of the chemicals for lethal injection."

Gaitan also said the protocol must include additional safeguards for ensuring that inmates were adequately anesthetized before the injection of succeeding chemicals that stop their breathing and heart.

Judge Gaitan barred the doctor who had mixed the drugs in the past from participating in future executions.

[Dr.] Doerhoff stoked Gaitan's concerns over Missouri's executions when he acknowledged in court he is dyslexic, but still oversaw executions and determined dosages of drugs used for lethal injection.

Dr. Doerhoff acknowledged that he sometimes gave prisoners less anesthesia than the state's policy required.

TalkLeft background on the Missouri case is available here and here.

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    Re: Judge Rejects Missouri Execution Plan (none / 0) (#1)
    by magster on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    Maybe they should contact Dr. Kevorkian.

    Re: Judge Rejects Missouri Execution Plan (none / 0) (#2)
    by HK on Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:32:55 AM EST
    This situation is pretty much the opposite of what Dr. Kervorkian did in that Kervorkian acted outside the law but in accordance with the wishes of his patient. This is becoming a familiar story in US law; if the standards are too high, simply lower them. It wouldn't surprise me if soon an orderly who cleans operating theatres is deemed sufficiently competent to conduct lethal injections.