WASHINGTON (BP)--The Supreme Court announced Sept. 25 it will hear an appeal concerning the constitutionality of lethal injections, specifically the three-drug concoction used in 36 states to put inmates to death.
A Kentucky case will be used to issue a ruling by next summer on whether the current protocol can be deemed "cruel and unusual punishment," violating the Eighth Amendment. Ralph Baze and Thomas Bowling, two death row inmates, have filed the appeal, claiming the concoction could cause "unnecessary pain."
Both men were convicted of double homicides and given the death penalty in Kentucky. Baze killed a Powell County deputy and sheriff, while Bowling murdered a couple with a young son.
According to Baze and Bowling's attorneys, at least half of those sentenced to lethal injection and facing imminent execution in the last two years have challenged the use of the tri-chemical cocktail. Sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride are used together to render the inmate unconscious, interrupt the breathing process and, finally, stop the heart. Read More