Ohio Judge Orders Switch to Barbiturates for Executions
Judge James Burge in Ohio has ruled that Ohio must change its three drug execution cocktail to a single dose of barbiturates if it wants to continue executions.
He based the ruling on Ohio law that mandates the use of “a drug or combination of drugs of sufficient dosage to quickly and painlessly cause death.”
The Supreme Court in Baze v. Rees refused to find the three drug cocktail, which veternarians won't use in dogs, unconstitutional. [More...]
The Baze decision did not foreclose all challenges to lethal injections under the Eighth Amendment, which bars cruel and unusual punishment. But it said challengers must show a demonstrated risk of severe pain along with a feasible alternative that would significantly reduce that risk.
....Baze, Judge Burge wrote, said the Constitution did not require the avoidance of all risk of pain. The Ohio law, by contrast, he said, “demands the avoidance of any unnecessary risk of pain and, as well, any unnecessary expectation by the condemned person that his execution may be agonizing or excruciatingly painful.”
Texas sees it differently and has refused post-Baze requests on similar grounds. Karl Chamberlain is scheduled for texecution tonight.
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