- Feb 16, 2008
- Reaction score
- Western NY and Geneva, CH
- Political Leaning
Supreme Court denies inmate's last-ditch appeal - seattlepi.comFLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for Arizona to carry out its third execution in the last year Wednesday following a closely watched First Amendment fight over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs.
Joseph Rudolph Wood, 55, was scheduled to be put to death at the state prison in Florence amid new scrutiny nationwide over lethal injections after several controversial executions.
Wood's lawyers used a new legal tactic in which defense attorneys claim their clients' First Amendment rights are being violated by the government's refusal to reveal details about lethal injection drugs. Wood's lawyers were seeking information about the two-drug combination that will be used to kill him, including the makers of the drugs.
A federal appeals court ruled in Wood's favor before the U.S. Supreme Court put the execution back on track. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision marked the first time an appeals court has acted to delay an execution based on the issue of drug secrecy, said Richard Dieter, director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C.
The 9th Circuit gave new hope to death penalty opponents. While many death row inmates have made the same First Amendment argument as Wood, the Supreme Court has not been receptive to the tactic. The court has ruled against them each time the transparency issue has come before the justices.
States have refused to reveal details such as which pharmacies are supplying lethal injection drugs and who is administering them because of concerns over harassment.
It occurs to me that, a this point, a state could now use a paralytic (such as is used during an intubation procedure), then pump the condemned full of rat poison ... or acid ... bleach ...
Three cheers for civilization, hip-hip hooray.
This post has been brought to you by 200-proof sarcasm.