Executioners can be questioned about training
01:52 PM EDT on Friday, March 30, 2007
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky’s executioners can be questioned about their training and qualifications by attorneys for a death row inmate challenging the use of lethal injection, a federal judge ruled Friday.
The execution team could remain anonymous, but their background, training and experience could be explored, under the ruling by U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell in Lexington.
The decision came in the case of Brian Keith Moore, who is awaiting execution for a 1979 slaying in Louisville. Moore is challenging the use of lethal injection on the grounds that the drugs used will cause him excruciating pain in violation of the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Moore, 49, was convicted and sentenced to death for the kidnapping and slaying of Virgil Harris of Louisville.
Meanwhile, Moore is awaiting DNA testing on old evidence in his case. Moore, the first Kentucky Death Row inmate to have been granted such testing, claims the evidence will point to another man, who has since died, as Harris’ killer.
In April 2006, Attorney General Greg Stumbo sent a letter to Gov. Ernie Fletcher requesting an execution date for Moore, but Fletcher never signed a warrant and set a date.
Kentucky has executed two inmates since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. Harold McQueen of Madison County was put to death in the electric chair in 1997. Eddie Lee Harper of Louisville became the only inmate to be executed by lethal injection in 1999.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)