Two states don't wait for court's review of lethal injection
Lawyers for two murderers set to die by lethal injection today said the executions should be delayed because the U.S. Supreme Court plans to...
The Associated Press
LIVINGSTON, Texas — Lawyers for two murderers set to die by lethal injection today said the executions should be delayed because the U.S. Supreme Court plans to review that method of capital punishment, but officials in both states involved intend to press ahead.
In Texas, attorneys for Carlton Turner Jr. hurriedly prepared appeals Wednesday challenging lethal injection.
In Alabama, attorneys for Tommy Arthur are seeking a stay of his execution because of the high court's plans and because Gov. Bob Riley decided Wednesday to change the state's lethal-injection procedures. The procedures can't be changed in time for today's scheduled execution, but state officials said the procedures in place are constitutional.
The Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will hear a challenge from two inmates on death row in Kentucky — Ralph Baze and Thomas Clyde Bowling Jr. — who claim that lethal injection as practiced by the state amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Legal experts said it's unlikely the high court will issue a national moratorium while the case is considered.
It declined to halt Tuesday's execution of Michael Richard in Texas.
High-court rules require four votes to accept a case but five justices to block an execution.
Doug Berman, a sentencing expert at Ohio State University's law school, said he expects some state courts to stop executions while awaiting the outcome of the case.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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