Saturday, 19 April 2008

Deborah Denno on the Baze Ruling

Deborah Denno on the Baze Ruling

Fordham Law prof Deborah Denno, the leading scholar examining lethal injection issues, has this reaction to the Baze ruling:

Baze v. Rees is a splintered plurality decision in which the Supreme Court puts forth an Eighth Amendment standard that an execution method must constitute a "substantial" or "objectively intolerable" risk of serious harm before it can be rendered a violation of the Eighth Amendment. While the Court affirmed the constitutionality of Kentucky's lethal injection procedure, the evidence available in Kentucky was limited due to constraints on discovery and the fact that the state has conducted only one prior lethal injection execution. Other states have far more information available concerning the problems with their particular procedures. There is a door open for future litigation on the constitutionality of lethal injection and I imagine that death penalty attorneys are already starting to prepare their future challenges.

Denno's "The Lethal Injection Quandary: How Medicine Has Dismantled the Death Penalty," is noted in this post.

The opinion in Baze v. Rees is here. The lethal injection index is here.

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