Supreme Court Hearing Oral Arguments in Baze Lethal Injection Case

I'm listening to the Supreme Court oral arguments in the Baze lethal injection case (Baze v. Rees (07-5439.) Justice Stevens is questioning the lawyer for the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

Justice Stevens just asked the lawyer for Kentucky about why veternarians won't even use the procedure on dogs. (Background, You Wouldn't Do a Dog This Way.) Justice Roberts jumped in and the KY lawyer said if you drop the first drug, which they've done, it's all fine and good.

Justice Stevens says he's concerned the second drug is also problematic.

Justice Ginsberg asks why they pick non-professional people to administer the drugs. (Doctors and nurses are banned. )

Sentencing Law and Policy has been following the case closely. How Appealing has gathering of news articles.

Here's an article on the lawyers arguing the case. The defense lawyer is a 29 year old public defender. [More...]

Gregory Garre, Deputy Solicitor General, is now up. He seems to be reading his statement, quite unusual in my opinion. They are talking about alternatives to the three drug cocktail. The defense lawyer has 3 final minutes. The case is Baze v. Bowling. TalkLeft's last 25 posts on lethal injection are assembled here.
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    I saw (none / 0) (#1)
    by Judith on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 12:13:55 PM EST
    something abiut this today.  Scalia saying that taking the time to address what might actually be torure in several situations would slow down the rate of executions.  Like that is a bad thing.

    Turns my stomach to read something like that.


    Why are (none / 0) (#2)
    by burnedoutdem on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 12:19:03 PM EST
    doctors and nurses banned?  Is it the Hippocratic oath?

    yes (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 01:10:30 PM EST
    and AMA policy.

    What's next? (none / 0) (#4)
    by mallison on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 05:52:24 PM EST
    Any thoughts on what will happen if the Court agrees with the inmates?  Can we expect the Court to come up with the new alternative cocktail or way of administering the death penalty or ban the punishment altogether?  

    I'd like to see the death penalty abolished, but it  makes me nervous having this Court decide the issue. With this Court I always hope for the best, but expect the worst when it decides to hear a case.

    "Hippocratic Oath" (none / 0) (#5)
    by diogenes on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 06:28:43 PM EST
    People who quote the Hippocratic oath in banning doctors from performing executions don't talk about invoking the hippocratic oath to ban assisted suicides or to ban abortions (which were banned in the original hippocratic oath)
    Why not hire veternarians to put convicts to "sleep", since they humanely do the same for millions of our beloved dogs and cats without anyone's objection.
    This whole type of argument is just a guerilla war against the will of the majority.  If the death penalty is wrong, and if this is a democracy, then convince the majority of people that it is wrong and it will go away.  Unless you think that the majority is "too dumb" to be trusted with such important decisions and need wiser people to make the decisions for them.

    I dont remember (none / 0) (#6)
    by Judith on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 06:32:03 PM EST
    being asked to vote for torture.