Wednesday, 28 February 2007

New Lethal Injection Law in South Dakota

New Lethal Injection Law in South Dakota

The Rapid City Journal has, "Death penalty measure signed."

Gov. Mike Rounds on Friday signed HB1175, the state’s new death penalty law, which will take effect July 1.

The old law called for a two-drug cocktail. The new law is less descriptive and says death shall be inflicted by the intravenous injections of a substance or substances in a lethal quantity.

The law reads “any person convicted of a capital offense or sentenced to death prior to the effective date of this act may choose to be executed in the manner provided in this act or in the manner provided by South Dakota law at the time of the person’s conviction.”

That gives Page the right to choose whether to use a two-drug lethal injection or the three-drug one officials planned to use at his first scheduled execution last summer.

The two-drug cocktail would have used an ultra-short-acting barbiturate intended to put the inmate into a deep sleep and a chemical paralytic agent intended to stop his breathing.

The third drug is potassium chloride, which induces cardiac arrest.

Rounds stayed Page’s execution set for Aug. 28, 2006, just hours before the lethal injection was administered because prison officials were planning to use a three-drug method, rather than two drugs as outlined in state law.

Earlier coverage of South Dakota developments is here and here. More on lethal injection is here.

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