Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Florida Supreme Court to review lethal injection

The Florida Supreme Court has ordered a review of the new drug used in the state's lethal-injection protocol in the case of Paul Augustus Howell, a death-row inmate set for execution this month reported the Orlando Sentinel.
Justices ordered a circuit court to hold a hearing on whether substitution of the drug midazolam violates the constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment by the government.
Howell's lawyers argued that midazolam, the first of the three-drug cocktail that induces unconsciousness, paralysis and cardiac arrest, is problematic because it will not anesthetize him and would leave him "unable to communicate his agony" when the other drugs are administered.
The justices rejected an appeal about the new drug in a previous case, but in a four-page order issued last week said that an expert's report submitted by Howell "has raised a factual dispute, not conclusively refuted, as to whether the use of midazolam, in conjunction with his medical history and mental conditions, will subject him to a 'substantial risk of serious harm.'"
The second drug, vecuronium bromide, renders muscle, including the diaphragm, unable to contract, making it impossible to breathe. If not completely anesthetized when that drug is administered, the condemned would "experience the physical and psychological agony of suffocation," Howell's lawyers argued in briefs.
The new drug protocol has been used four times since its adoption in September, but Howell's lawyers argued that three of those executed were not fully anesthetized before the other drugs were administered.
To read more Click Here

No comments:

Post a Comment