Political News

High Court Will Hear Lethal Injection Case

Posted September 25, 2007

Death Row, Death Penalty, Execution

— The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to consider the constitutionality of lethal injections in the case of two death row inmates from Kentucky.

The high court will hear a challenge from convicted killer Ralph Baze and fellow death row inmate Thomas Clyde Bowling Jr. The two inmates sued Kentucky in 2004, claiming lethal injection amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Baze's execution had been scheduled for Tuesday night, but the Kentucky Supreme Court halted the proceedings earlier this month.

"This is probably one of the most important cases in decades as it relates to the death penalty," said David Barron, the public defender who represents Baze and Bowling.

North Carolina's use of lethal injection has been tied up in the courts for months after the North Carolina Medical Board adopted a policy that threatened to revoke the medical licenses from physicians who participate in executions.

A judge last week ruled that the medical board had overstepped its authority and couldn't punish physicians for taking part in a state-sanctioned execution.

The Council of State, a nine-member board that includes Gov. Mike Easley and other statewide elected officials, is expected to discuss North Carolina's execution protocol next month. An administrative law judge ruled last month that the officials need to consider input from attorneys representing death-row inmates before adjusting the protocol to ensure condemned inmates don't suffer during executions.

48 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Slip Kid Sep 25, 2007

    "It is supposed to be about protecting society and that can be done without state-sanctioned killings." - HappyMom

    I could live without the death penalty IF prisons were places of confinement, hard labor and and minimal life support. A sentence of life only means something if the system doesn't expend ridiculous amounts of resources to prolonging their lives. Prisoners get cable, '3 square', gyms, education and healthcare. End these exorbitant services to criminals and make prison HARD TIME and I'll support ending capital punishment. Until then, those that do not deserve these comforts need not drain taxpayers resources and live better than law abiding citizens.

  • happymom Sep 25, 2007

    It wouldn't matter if he or she is my son or daughter. That's why it is called justice and not revenge- it's not supposed to be about and "eye for an eye" (a phrase that is often taken out of context anyway). It is supposed to be about protecting society and that can be done without state-sanctioned killings.

  • Slip Kid Sep 25, 2007

    elcid89 - if one of my own did something bad enough to get the death penalty, then yes, I would still support it. I would think that if you raised your kids to respect and follow the law and understand the consequences, then you and they would know they have to take their due punishment. We are a society of the blameless now and it's sickening.

  • Winston Sep 25, 2007

    RedRocker said "How can it be right for our "justice" system to murder someone, and then turn around, stick their finger in our faces, and say "It's wrong to kill!"
    Red...google the definition of murder and you will be enlightened. The state state KILLS legally and I'm glad.

  • elcid89 Sep 25, 2007

    " I have one question for those who are against the Death Pentaly, what if she had been your daughter?"

    I have one question for those who support the death penalty: Would you support the execution of your child if he / she committed a crime which resulted in a sentence of death?

  • ladyblue Sep 25, 2007

    I'm glad it's making it's way there so we can get this thing straight once and for all. I personally don't feel that it should be considered unusual or harsh. It can't be any worse than those victims. I also think it's not against anyone rights to have a dr there to witness as in past...

  • Slip Kid Sep 25, 2007

    If someone leads a life or takes actions that leave them unable to defend themselves in a court and jury of peers, then the wheels of justice MIGHT cruch you. My sentiment is that more people should lead lives less open to misinterpretation. A hisotrically violent person might get convicted of a captial crime more so than a grade school teacher without the classic Motive, Opportunity and Benefit.

  • Slip Kid Sep 25, 2007

    "Saddam Hussein was hanged only a few weeks after his conviction. If Americans were put to death as quickly after convicted, I wonder if that would stop people from murdering."?

    Only the ones who think about it and very few of the typical 'un{fill in the blank}" hotheads that might listen to their conscience at the last moment... but definitely the thinkers!

  • HP Sep 25, 2007

    Who cares if they suffer or not? Did the victims have that choice? What about the families & friends of the victims...does anyone think they are suffering!
    This reasoning behind stopping executuions is only an excuse to stop the executions by those opposed to the death penalty. Lets tell the real reason here.
    Good way to stay off death row.....do not kill anyone!!

  • Slip Kid Sep 25, 2007

    A death sentence is only real if it can be carried out.

More...